Consequently, it is fundamental to agree on the most suitable ecotourism strategies and approaches. Ecotourism Ecotourism involves visiting pristine, fragile and natural areas that are not distorted by humans. Ecotourism is small scale and has low environmental impacts compared to mainstream commercial tourism. It also involves responsible travelling to natural sites with an aim of preserving the surroundings and improving the welfare of the local people residing in such areas. The main purposes of ecotourism in to volunteer, learn and personal growth of the participants (United Nations Environmental Program 2011, p. 1). Additionally, it minimises the negative environmental impacts that mainstream tourism causes. It also promotes the cultural integrity of the local people. The participants in the ecotourism industry participate in recycling, conserving water, saving energy besides creating economic opportunities for the local people (Kotas 2009, p. 53). Ecotourism existed because of the prevailing problems in the tourism industry. The interest in ecotourism is the need to conserve wildlife facing extinction. There have been increased cases of invasion of natural habitats for agricultural purposes, fishing, logging and hunting. Although many countries have officially reserved areas for conservation, they lack enough funds for protecting and managing them. Consequently, several destructive activities are happening in these areas. Consequently, ecotourism is interested in restoring the values and the genetic reservoirs of vital biological resources (Buhalis 2002, p. 1). Reward scheme A reward scheme is an arrangement that an organisation provides to clients and other stakeholders in its industry aimed at encouraging them to appreciate and take part in activities that improves their welfare and community members. The focus of any reward scheme is to prioritise initiatives for customer care, initiate corporate social responsibility and strengthen communication strategies. Principles of reward schemes A reward scheme is hard to design and run because of the many challenges that characterise its execution. The challenges include the difficulty in getting tourists to sign up and join the scheme. It is also not easy to change the behavior of tourists towards this scheme because they focus on pleasure. However, it is necessary that an organisation follow several principles to ensure the creation of a comprehensive reward scheme. Organisations reward their clients differently based on the nature of clients and the organisation (Barbera & Dutta, 2008, p. 59). The initial standard is to ensure that the rewards currency is relevant to the organisation. An organisation must ensure that the rewards are directly linked to products and services. The perspective of the tourists must be the key driving force in such a situation. The second principle is to communicate the burn instead of the earned. One of the objectives of a reward scheme is to ensure that tourists acquire points as they purchase the products and enjoy the services of their host organisation. These points are exchanged with rewards. Most tourists are not always aware of the exact worthiness the points earned. They are only concerned with the benefits from the points. This means that communication plays a fundamental role when distinguishing and empowering the tourists (Fennel2007, p. 93). An organisation can achieve
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REWARD SCHEMES AS A MEANS OF PROMOTING AND ACHIEVING THE AIMS OF ECOTOURISM Name: Institution: Reward schemes tend to be the most effective way of promoting and achieving the aims of Ecotourism, Discuss Introduction Business dynamics provide opportunities for organisations to engage stakeholders in the realisation of business goals…
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