Since ecotourism is very practical and also has significant value especially in developing countries, it has become popular. In developing countries there may arise conflict between the needs and requirements of the local people or communities and need for growth of tourism industry. It is very essential for any developers to consider the people living in a particular given locality and impact that designating the area will have on the lives of locals or people in that community. This is because the area may be the community’s source of livelihood and depend on it wholly for food and even shelter. The developer should give much thought on impact of activities on the community and design ways to ensure that the locals are not disadvantaged.
Principles of Ecotourism
Ecotourism is a very important concept as it moves in to ensure that the impact on the environment by all activities is minimized and at the same time ensure that there is improvement in the lives of locals or people living in the particular community and also aims at the creation of viable opportunities for tourism, thereby ensuring a balance among the three that is the environment, the people and the tourism industry. This balance counters any conflict. Ecotourism is keen on local people empowerment and more so aims also at increasing environmental awareness positively among the people. Ecotourism mainly operates on the standard of ensuring that the experience turns out to be positive and also beneficial for all involved or affected parties.
Local Communities Involvement
Since one of the major aims of ecotourism is to empower and benefit the local people in the particular community, it is essential and vital to allow local communities participation an d contribution in activities and also decision making. Communities’ participation is vital as it ensures that local people understand all activities being conducted and therefore resistance is handled. The fact that community is involved makes the people of the locality feel that they own the project; they feel valued as their input is appreciated. The most important factor for successful ecosystem is knowledge. Those undertaking the project should fact find about the area including the flora and fauna, the communities in the locality and their economic activities which may include mining, farming, hunting and gathering. The culture of the communities surrounding the area is also very vital. Understanding people makes it easier to approach, handle and approach them. Ecotourism becomes successful when all parties benefit, there is minimum effect on environment and there is creation of sustainable tourism opportunities.