Ecotourism is: "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." (TIES, 1990)
Importance to Tourism in Developing Countries:
- Tourism is a principle "export" (foreign exchange earner) for 83% of developing countries, and the leading export for 1/3 of poorest countries.
- For the world's 40 poorest countries, tourism is the second most important source of foreign exchange, after oil.
Principles of Ecotourism:
Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles:
- Minimize impact.
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
- Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
- Raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate.
Ecotourism Facts & Statistics:
Size of Global Tourism:
- As the largest business sector in the world economy, the Travel & Tourism industry is responsible for over 230 million jobs and over 10% of the gross domestic product worldwide.
- In 2006, Travel & Tourism (consumption, investment, government spending and exports) is expected to grow 4.6% and total US$6.5 trillion.
for more information on EcoTourism contact http://www.ecotourism.org