Ecotourism Threats: Are We Really Following Environmental Protection?

Many argue that ecotourism does not offer enough  environmental  protection.  In fact, some believe that ecotourism threats will actually damage the very environments that ecotourism strives to preserve.

Ecotourism Threats
One of the problems that ecotourism poses is the overall impact that ecotourism has on the environment. Ecotourism does not only impact the areas where travelers visit. It takes energy in the form of airplane fuel, bus or automobile fuel and/or boat fuel to reach remote areas. The resulting energy consumption is not always taken into consideration when looking at the effects of ecotourism. In a sense, ecotourism might be considered wasteful.

When tourists travel, they need places to stay or “stage” before they start their journey. This means clearing land, building facilities such as hotels and developing support industries. Even though these facilities may not be in the area that ecotourists spend most of their time, they still must be available. This could be added as an indirect negative to the environment.

Another threat ecotourism poses is that some of the ecosystems where ecotourists travel are extremely fragile. Over time, even small groups of people who strive to be as careful as possible can still have a negative impact and upset the local ecosystem.

Since some ecotourists want to observe the drama of nature, tours for these types of travelers are scheduled to coincide with breeding or hunting seasons. Again, this could prove to be disruptive to the natural cycle of life.

Another problem associated with ecotourism is that if the moneys generated by this type of tourism are mismanaged, the environment will be the victim. In addition, corruption and greed could add to a negative impact on a local ecosystem as well.

One of the tenants of ecotourism is to have as little impact on local cultures as possible. The reality of this is that once different peoples come into contact with each other, they are both affected. It can be argued that as the world becomes smaller with this merging of cultures, it is inevitable that even remote cultures will change through exposure to other peoples. Whether this is a negative or positive advance remains to be seen.

Article excerpted from


About minesgreencircle

Founded in 2008, the Mines Green Circle is the special Green Environmental Unit of Palace of the Golden Horses and Mines Wellness Hotel for “Better Environment, Better Health”. It advocates green practices amongst the personnel of the Palace of the Golden Horses and Mines Wellness Hotels as well as its guests.

Posted on February 24, 2011, in Travel-Eco and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi! This is an interesting post. As someone who loves the wilderness and the environment I have to admit that you made some pretty good points. Thankfully many guides with any reputable ecotourism industry are required to have Leave No Trace certification and can therefore help their tourists to leave as little an impact in the fragile environment as possible.

    Although I can see your point about cross-cultural changes, I believe that becoming more cultured by interacting with other cultures around the world is a good thing. These slight “changes” that occur will actually help to preserve some cultures as travelers become aware of cultures that are beginning to diminish. However, the points you make are good and are definitely worth pondering over.

    Thanks for your great thoughts!
    – Nate

  2. Cheers Nate. there is just so much we can do, and we will do that much to preserve the environment. it all leads back to the human behavior – greed. great thoughts from you as well.


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