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Ecotourism and community development - Assignment Example

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Ecotourism involves travelling to natural places with the aim of conserving the environment and improving the livelihood of the inhabitants of the region Forsyth (2010). Edgell (2006) argues that as a trend, ecotourism emerged in 1980 s and it involved small-scale visits, however in the recent years people have become more aware of it leading to its grown popularity. In Thailand, ecotourism has several benefits that point towards the conservation of the natural environment especially the Thai’s mangrove forests. Sirinart Rajini mangrove-ecosystem learning centre is the first product of the government’s effort to promote ecotourism. Created from an abandoned shrimp farm the centre aims to provide the residents with practical knowledge on the importance of promoting ecotourism. Following the establishment of a shrimp farm in the Sirinart Rajini ecosystem, the natural mangrove forest and environment was greatly affected and therefore the government aims to restore it by promoting ecotourism (Thanomrak, 2011). The centre works with the local communities to promote environmental conservation through soil conservation and reforestation. The centre therefore aims at establishing a sustainable ecosystem that benefits people and other inhabitants of the environment. ...
The definition also includes the desire to conserve the natural environment as the second objective of ecotourism. Ecotourism generally targets the creation of awareness in people on the need to conserve the deteriorating natural resources (Wood, 2002). Ecotourism also promote the development of the local communities through promotion of economic activities that are aimed at the conservation of the natural environment and resources. Through ecotourism programs, the government is also pushing its agenda of poverty eradication through the promotion of sustainable community development projects Neth (2008). Although ecotourism has massive and notable benefits, some scholars have pointed at some disadvantages on the activity that focus on the long-term developments. Promoting ecotourism has led into encroachment into the natural environment and this has caused ecological imbalance. The process has therefore led to the destruction of ecosystems that are of great biological importance for the future generations. The need to generate more revenue has accelerated the pace of destruction of the natural environment and therefore the country would do better without the activity. Ecotourism has also exposed native communities of the country to external influence and this has promoted cultural interference (Belanger, 2006). The activity has therefore weakened the culture of the Thai people that had been one of the strongest cultures of the world. Through promoting ecotourism, cultural and religious values that are of great importance to the people and the country are being eroded constantly. The government is therefore conscious of the long-term effect of the activity in the ...Show more
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Ecotourism and Community Development Conclusion In the past decade, Thailand’s tourism sector has achieved many developments due to an increase in the number of tourists visiting the country. Domestic tourism has also grown tremendously due to improvements in standards of living and technology…
Ecotourism and community development
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