Some things that draw tourists to specific destinations are the experiences and views offered by thriving nature and unspoiled environments. Being able to reflect the real essence of these tourist spots is a great privilege. But then, many people associate tourism with negativity.
Tourism can indeed have negative impacts on the environment. These include pollution, waste issues, heightened pressure on endangered species, and natural habitat loss. But then, tourism can also bring benefits to the environment.
For one, this offers direct financing for the conservation and protection of nature and wildlife. Tourism also helps in boosting sustainable livelihoods. Another reason tourism is beneficial is its ability to raise cultural and environmental awareness among locals and tourists alike.
Ecotourism, by definition, is a business model that aims to protect the local community and the environment. The problem is, there is no single solution to promoting ecotourism in national parks and other tourist destinations protected by the government. There are three major aspects the government needs to consider to successfully embody ecotourism.
- Community Development
- Environmental Stewardship
- Sustainable Business Practices
Without these three, the efforts made by the government will be insufficient. There is a need for the government to use these aspects in the heart of their ecotourism efforts. This is the only way to sustain ecotourism operations.
Challenges When Promoting Ecotourism in Protected Tourist Destinations
When it comes to projects as big as ecotourism, there are many agencies and people involved. This includes the residents, small business owners, local authorities, and other stakeholders. Without sustained communication efforts, it will be challenging to improve everyone’s knowledge of ecotourism.
Lack of Financial Resources
One negative impact tourism can have on the environment is environmental deterioration. The sharp increase of tourists in government-protected areas and failure to finance supportive measures to protect tourist spots can result in the scarcity of natural resources. This can also lead to constraints on the management and development of ecotourism sites.
Lack of Involvement
Not everyone will voluntarily involve themselves in the ecotourism industry. It becomes a must that every member involved is knowledgeable, skilled, hardworking, patient, and have all characteristics required to achieve ecotourism goals. Lack of cooperation between stakeholders can discourage members from engaging in the cause.
The indifference of local community members can also stop the government from maximizing its ecotourism efforts. Some residents may feel like tourists are only disrupting the peace, quiet, and beauty of their environment. The lack of support of local community members can draw visitors away.
Limited Understanding of Ecotourism
It is not enough that everyone, especially the government, can mobilize their plan to kick start their ecotourism plan. Inadequate understanding and lack of awareness will make it difficult for the government to optimize its efforts. This can lead to a series of fails, including insufficient planning, implementation, and training of people involved.
Promoting Ecotourism: the Great Challenge
The list above shows just how challenging it can be to support ecotourism even in highly-developed countries. Many things can stop governments from promoting ecotourism in protected environments. Thankfully, there are ways the government can resolve the aforementioned issues.
Aside from educating the local community about the importance of ecotourism, it is crucial that the government form partnerships with the appropriate agencies, non-governmental organizations, local businesses, and community members. It also helps if the government tries other ways to promote ecotourism by hiring professionals to do this for them.
For instance, the government can hire businesses specializing in promotional items to help them entice more visitors into visiting national parks. Premium promotional items can attract visitors into booking accommodations near government-protected tourist destinations. These can also serve as their souvenirs that they can show to family and friends back home.
Promotional products can also help government agencies in reminding the public about the importance of ecotourism. These serve as marketing materials that can have a higher return on investments. When partnered with the right online marketing campaigns, promotional products can leave an everlasting impression on tourists.
There may not be a one-size-fits-all product for all agencies. Thankfully, there are tons of options government agencies can use as an incentive. The trick is to find the right ones that will help them achieve their ecotourism goals.
Ecotourism plays a significant role in creating a positive experience for visitors and locals while protecting nature and wildlife. Many barriers can hinder the government’s effort in promoting ecotourism in protected tourist destinations. It is crucial that everyone and every agency and business involved show dedication and cooperation to realize their goals.