(Ecobits and Ecopieces 2002)
However, the costs of ecotourism have become a controversial issue among different sectors and institutions in the global society. Even though ecotourism is seen to promote ecological awareness for travelers and serve as a significant revenue generator for rural societies, a lot of people question its real function in the community. Some groups like Tourism Concern in UK argued that ecotourism harms the environment, together with the people in it. (Ecobits and Ecopieces 2002)
This paper aims to further explore the costs of ecotourism in the global community. In order to fully understand ecotourism, this paper will first tackle its definition and cite specific activities pertaining to it. The next section will then lay down the costs associated with this activity by specifying the harms it brings to the environment, to people, and the society as a whole. The paper will then offer an analysis on each argument and will conclude with a summary of its findings.
Currently, the word ecotourism is used loosely in conversations. "Ecotourism" is often used to denote activities involving nature. "Ecotourism" can designate a wide array of activity like mountain climbing, water rafting, and other ecological explorations. However, it can be surprising to find out that various ecotourism institutions give definitions which are way to far from the colloquial perception.
Ecotourism means "ecological tourism," which possesses both "ecological" and "social" connotations. Ecotourism can denote both "concept/tourism movement" and as a "tourism sector (Ecotourism 2005)." The existence of ecotourism dates back in the late 1980s and United Nations declared the year 2002 as the International Year of Tourism. During that year, the UN has recognized the impact of ecotourism in the global community and aimed to promote a "sustainable tourism (International Year of Ecotourism 2002)."
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well being of local people (What is Ecotourism 2004)." This also implies that people who implement and take part in this "responsible travel" should adhere to principles so as promote the objectives of ecotourism.
With this consideration, companies and participants alike are required to "minimize" their impact to the ecological society visited. Ecotourism activities should also be designed to establish environmental and cultural awareness and respect, as well as provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts. Since ecotourism is geared to develop the "destination," it should be able to benefit the society financially for the conservation of the environment. Ecotourism is also promoted to boost the traveler's sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate. Aside from generating income for the host society, ecotourism is also seen to enhance the economy through the generation of employment opportunities (What is Ecotourism 2004).
Ecotourism in this sense sounds almost perfect. It seems to pertain to a fruitful activity which is mutually beneficial to all the stakeholders in the tourism industry. However, the real world situation is far from the definition given and the significant principles in it are not properly adhered to failing in its main task to become a "sustainable t