Ecotourism has grown rapidly since the late 1980s, which is the fastest development of all the events in the tourism industry. The word ‘ecotourism’ is from ‘ecological tourism’. According to the definition of ecotourism is ‘Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.'( Martha Honey,1990).Furthermore, ecotourism also includes that traveling to natural destinationsã€building environmental awarenessã€respecting local culturesã€supporting human rights and democratic movements
Nowadays, more and more countries and national organizationsã€including many individuals show high respect for worldwide ecotourism. Some countries like Kenyaã€Nepalã€Australiaã€Antarctica and Dominica. There are also many famous organizations such as World Tourism Organization (WTO)ã€United Nations Environmental Programmers (UNEP)ã€The International Ecotourism Society (TIES). It is considered that that is the reason why ecotourism can develop so fast that it can affect the world and our planet Earth greatly. (Transitions abroad, n.d.)
The Dominican Republic, as the name “Natural Isle of the Caribbean” goes, the country which is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. As well as having many mountainous rainforestsã€it is home to many rare plantsã€birds and animals in its limited 754 square kilometers. This is the reason that led to the Dominican Republic becoming an ecotourism island. Many people still believe that the lack of terrain and development funding is the other key why many people and global organizations claim that the Dominican Republic is well-known for its ecotourism industry. Although the Dominican Republic has many different cultures and customs like French cultureã€Spanish custom and local culture, for example, traditional Aztec culture and traditional Indian culture ,these different cultural phenomenon did not affect the natural system .Otherwise, natural ecotourism plays an important part in the Dominican Republics’ economy. All in all, people can learn more about Ecotourism in Dominican Republic. This research paper will examine four main aspects of ecotourism in the Dominican Republic: International and national organizations supportã€Advantages Disadvantagesã€the success of Ecotourism programmes and Future developments.
With the remarkable improvement of people’s living standards¼Œecotourism has aroused wide public concern. USAID¼Œan American organization, has put a lot of efforts into developing ecotourism. USAID programs brought the public and personal sectors together, in order to support sustainable ecotourism development. USAID also gave a helping hand to creating a vision and seeking a key to ecotourism in the Dominican republics’ future. Laying emphasis on increasing leadership roles of local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), increasing the communication of society ã€developing marketing toolsã€reopening the local airport ,and strengthening the quality of the services of ecotourism while using natural resources.(USAID¼Œ2009)
The Tourism Sector Development Program, funded by the European Special Framework of Assistance¼ˆSFA,2006¼‰is an ecotourism program which is two years old, being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and Legal Affairs (MT & LA). Improving on the competitiveness of the tourism sector in the Dominican Republic is an important part of this program. Another aim of this program is to seek to build the main connection of the society and ecotourism between tourism and the agricultural and rural parts. Furthermore, it aims to improve the Dominican Republic’s position in the market place through increased marketing and promotions.
The Tourism Sector Development Programme focuses on society tourism products development in the Dominican Republic. Help is given to these communities in the areas of foundation development; human resources development and business planning; package and tour development and marketing. The main developing marketing is in the key markets of Europe and Caribbean and a range of additional materials to aid in the marketing of the ecotourism in the Dominican Republic. (ODT, n.d.)
In many peoples’ opinion, ecotourism is the symbol of ecosystem and ecology. It cannot be denied that ecotourism benefits not only our society, but also the nature system. Firstly, people who have ecotourism in some natural places can educate others by teaching them about plants and animals, which promotes conservation of natural assets. Secondly, ecotourism can give people a deeper understanding of the local nature, and many professors predict that ecotourism can bring people closer to nature. Ecotourism can enhance the cultural integrity of the local people. Thirdly, it is considered that ecotourism can open people’s minds and broaden their horizons.
Furthermore, countries and governments also get finical achievements. Many people think that visitors may become more aware of the surrounding environmental wealth. With the emphasis laid by governments, ecotourism will attract many people from home and abroad, so local people and visitors have to spend money during the activities in ecotourism. Money can go back into the country through this cycle, the more energy governments put on it, the better this system will go back to the country. Moreover, this cycle system can provide employment. In addition, this cycle system provides financial incentives to encourage local people to protect their environment.(Heritage, n.d.)
One of the extra ecotourism industries is called ecotourism business. Human beings have little or no adverse impact on environment. Just what is mentioned in the financial ecotourism cycle system, ecotourism business provides local employment. It is thought that little waste is generated. In the end, ecotourism business provides human beings with educational and enlightening experiences.
Ecotourism is a responsible tourism to the natural environments. Although ecotourism is one of the fastest growing additions to the tourism industry, some people predict that ecotourism has a large number of disadvantages, such as costs to the peopleã€community and the ecological balance.
Many local people firmly believe that how to protect the ecotourism system is the largest problems in the environmental development. It is undeniable that there are also many other elements affecting this system. Another major element is the increasing human activity. People like jogging and relaxing in the natural environment, which means agricultural clearance. That is the reason why so many professors think the ecotourism are the production waste and effluent pollution.
Ecotourism tends to Imaging if a place became an ecotourism tourist attractions, many businessmen want to attract many people, so the environment may be damaged. Increasing use of environmental resources by the humans leads to pollution, even in the smallest places, causing environment problems.
Different places have different cultures. There may be competition for ecotourism income between various groups leading to social disharmony.
The bar graph has drawn great public attention in the Dominican Republic, which has compared the economic freedom and world average. Thanks to the Dominican Ecological Corridor Network, developed in 1995 ,as a key to connect the paradigm of the new trends for the recovery of the ecological balanceã€the natural resources and the sustainable production of these materials.
Although the figure of economic freedom vs. world average looks very large, the figure is decreasing day by day. In fact, many figures is closer to world average like property rightsã€.corruptionã€labor freedom and monetary freedom. To peoples’ amazement, there are also many figures surpassing world average. For example, investment freedoms has surpassed at roughly 5%;government size has surpassed about 28%;others like facial freedom has surpassed about 6% ,and trade freedom has surpassed 2%.
No matter how closer the economic freedom to the world average, how larger the declining of the Dominican republics’ economic freedom to the world average, people always see the distance not only between economic freedom and world average, but also between ecotourism and peoples’
According to the WTO line graph for the period between 1989 and 1998, there was a stable growth of international tourism arrivals at 10% and international tourism receipts at 9%. (Weaver, 2001)
This tabular data compares tourist arrival numbers in the different parts of the world from 1995 to 2020. Annual percentage increases a significant declining in all markets during 1995 to 2020 in the whole world. In fact, international arrivals are forecasted that the growth from 673 million in 2000 to 1.05 billion in 2010, and 1.6 billion in 2020. Factually, these projections are based on increasing figures’ rates every year of 4.2% to the end of the 1990s and the figures will at between 4% and 5% during first decade of the 21st century. Europe was the first since 1995. According to the research, the tourist arrivals in Europe will still higher than other places, such as Pacificã€Americaã€Africa and Middle East.
People in the Dominican Republic are serious about making the country into a model of ecotourism in the Caribbean areas. It is necessary for human beings to further understand the expectations and behavior of visitors to natural areas and features. People can gain further experience from their trips without bringing about any negative effects on the tourist attractions that they visit, so people must be prepared to try their best to educate people in handling the issue of sustainable development and conservation as the relations to the specific sites. People have the potential to take on the challenge and realization of the chances that ecotourism is the way forward.¼ˆXavier¼Œn.d.¼‰
Ecotourism attracts ecological professors and socialists, focusing on individual growthã€volunteering and environmental responsibility. Responsible ecotourism means minimizing the negative aspects of traditional tourism on the environment and improving cultural integrity of local people. Furthermore, environmental evaluationã€cultural factors and promotion of recycling are also playing important roles in ecotourism. Ecotourism allows the government to have more chance to preserve the natural environment. It is obvious that ecotourism has a high sense of responsibility when it comes to promoting harmony between human beings and nature.