This assignment is basically based on eco-tourism. Ecotourism is a very fast growing sector in today’s travel industry. Also known as “green tourism,” ecotourism is when people use to travel to a destination and take place in observing and interacting with the environment, learning about the cultures and practices of local inhabitants while promoting their well being. I have put together various articles relating to ecotourism. These articles include a study that reveal what makes up ecotourism and how it is being developed. The second article I will to look over describes how business travel organizers are more often considering ecotourism when they scheduling their events.
Tourism is travelling for predominantly recreational or leisure purposes or the provision of services to support this leisure travel. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who “travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited”. Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. In 2004, there were over 763 million international tourist arrivals.
Eco-tourism: Perhaps the most over-used and miss-used word in the travel industry. But what does it mean? The Ecotourism Society defines it as “responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people”. A walk through the rainforest is not eco-tourism unless that particular walk somehow benefits that environment and the people who live there. A rafting trip is only eco-tourism if it raises awareness and funds to help protect the watershed. A loose interpretation of this definition allows many companies to promote them as something that they are not. If true eco-tourism is important to you, ask plenty of questions to determine if your trip will help “conserve and improve” the places you visit.
Without getting too bogged down in theoretical definitions of tourism, tourist or the tourism industry it is very important to tell the differences between mass tourism and eco-tourism. Mass tourism should have the following characteristics:
A concentration on high volume sales with throughputs and turnarounds
The shifting of large groups of people ‘en masse’ to specific developed destination
Full utilization of packaged holiday components offered as a single product at an all inclusive price, often with a short term time period.
Development of large scale transport systems, infrastructure accommodation, supporting facilities and attractions within destinations, usually at a fast pace and often supply led.
Marketing approach is centred on the most hedonistic motives for travel, particularly the sun, sea and tourism products.
The key for mass tourism are high volume, large scale, fast pace, hedonistic motives. Eco-tourism, on the other hand, needs to have the following characteristics
Be a nature based experience
Be low impact and small scale
Promotes a conversation ethic
Provides support for local communities
Provides a learning opportunity
Helps to maintain the natural and cultural integrity of certain tourism areas
Utilises environmentally friendly techniques and technologies
Eco-tourism has missed in past fifteen years from a convenient buzzword to an international movement. It is an attempt to balance the economic development of tourism with the conservation and protection of natural areas and traditional cultures. It underpins the very concept of sustainable development through tourism
There are lots of benefits of ecotourism. If done right, there are lots more benefits of ecotourism than any disadvantage valuable considering. Sadly, the idea of ecotourism has been advertised and abused by many people, organizations, and countries to reap profits for themselves.
While there are lots of benefits of ecotourism to consider, we also need to consider the disadvantages of ecotourism. Most of the benefits of ecotourism cannot be corrected in our situation since the number of people taking beneficial of ecotourism is far larger than the number of people actually staying true to ecotourism and helping the environment.
We can do our part in helping the environment and saving our natural resources at home, in our backyard, in our community and of course, we can help by educating people. Don’t let the benefits of ecotourism make we be part of the scams and schemes that constitute the biggest problem in ecotourism.
Its aim is to create the viable and sustainable tourism opportunity, and limit the effect that all related movements will have on the environment, while improving the lives of the public living in the place. According to Ecotourism the concept accords of a number of core principles, including: Minimising industrial impact on the environment, building environmental and cultural awareness, empowering local communities, increasing awareness of the political and the environmental and social issues of the country concerned.
In its original way eco tourism is purely nature-based, the adverse impact of tourism on the local culture having been, temporarily, over looked. However, it quickly became clear that when they trying to create a new tomorrow for tourism, to focus on wildlife and natural environment unique, simply did not work. It was also smoothly clarified that in those countries where the local communities where actively indulged in the eco tourism decision-making process there was that they got much higher a success rate, especially in terms of profit. As a result, today’s eco tourism encloses the synergistic approach and I think Bulgaria is the best example where eco-tourism applies.
Brief Introduction of Bulgaria
Bulgaria, which was founded in 681 A.D., is the oldest state in Europe, but its roots reach far deeper into the past. In tombs adorned with frescoes and bas-reliefs in the Valley of the Kings, archaeologists continue to discover beautifully worked golden objects buried with Bulgaria’s Thracian forebears, some dating to 3000 B.C. Uncovering the countless burial mounds that dot central Bulgaria is a process started in earnest just a decade ago. In that short time, it has become clear that Bulgaria once was home to the world’s most sophisticated goldsmiths. The discoveries also have prompted local claims that it was here, in the shadow of the Balkan Mountains, that Europe’s first civilization was born.
Traversing Bulgaria’s mountain ranges, which are carpeted with ancient forests and carved by mineral-rich Rivers, you can see why the country’s sophisticated warrior-artists chose to settle in its fertile plains. Bulgaria is a fascinating country, with a temperate climate that is more southern European than eastern. It is this gentle climate, along with a sweeping, sandy beach bordering the Black Sea coastline that continues to attract new visitors, the vast majority of whom arrive in high summer.
Most of Bulgaria’s unique treasures lie hidden in the ancient tombs of the Valley of the Kings; in the mixture of Bulgarian Renaissance architecture and ancient Roman ruins lining the cobbled streets of Plovdiv; in the medieval university town of Veliko Tarnovo that rises precipitously from limestone cliffs above the winding Yantra River; and in the architectural museum towns snuggled deep in Bulgaria’s mountains. It is particularly the latter, their narrow cobbled lanes and alleys lined with 19th-century stone-and-timber homes, that define Bulgaria as an undiscovered gem.
During the earlier phase of the project, work centred on developing systems to encourage sustainable natural resources conservation and management in and near Bulgarian protected areas, and by this management system to benefit local communities. As part of the protected area management application effort, the project applied a competitive group approach to destination development in some regions around two of Bulgaria’s largest parks – Rila and Central Balkan National Parks. Activities involve eco-enterprise development based on non-timber natural resources harvesting, ecotourism destination development by community ecotourism associations, and significant amounts of public guidelines and organizational development.
Sustainable tourism aims are addressed by the “triple bottom line” system that includes social well being, environmental protection and economic development. BCEG Project assistance give their hands in small, independent tourism providers and regional ecotourism associations to anatomise the national ecotourism market. Based on this activity, the Bulgarian ecotourism sector became more confident in its ability to cover a major portion of the European and other international areas.
Ecotourism Monitoring ideas were produced in conjunction with Bulgarian National Park and participating ecotourism communities. This “Guidebook” is used by communities to choose and analyse indicators related to the triple bottom-line of social, environmental and economic growth. The nation’s first protected region management ideas were developed and approved through the Government of Bulgaria and are being used to guide in-park and outside-park tourism growth and management programs for two national parks and a world heritage site – Rila Monastery’s Nature Park.
A National Ecotourism Strategy and Action ideas for Bulgaria was made and applied by three collaborating ministries under the Project, and presented to the President of the Republic of Bulgaria by the U.S. Ambassador in 2004. Twelve Regional Ecotourism Action ideas were created, and they contributed to the growth of a national ecotourism action ideas. A national ecotourism market survey was directed and used to aware product growth. Two ecotourism department were institutionalized near Rila and Central Balkans National Parks, and members were trained in hospitality skills, destination management, and membership development. many community ecotourism projects were made, and destination management ideas developed for two of these department.
Public awareness was increased by the production and distribution of a national parks multimedia CD, mass-media outlets, and conservation education materials. The project helped significantly to national pride in Bulgaria’s culture and hospitality. It has made a base for tourism diversification, motivated concrete local initiatives toward application of ecotourism activities, relates the complementary motives of cultural and nature tourism, made synergies among donors, and has institutionalized a replicable growth process.
The system of developing sustainable tourism strategies and application ideas has yielded many critical lessons: One is the need to clearly monitor and includes all key stakeholders in a strategic planning growth from the onset; it is important to build on present experience and perceptions, and to use these to build case studies materials for success. The ability to relate (at small scale) the activities of government, national authorities and local civil society was instrument to team-building and creating a common set of goals. Each understood they had an vital role to play in any successful ecotourism investment. In the absence of a “full” fruitful national policy, a partial national policy and many of political good will can do! Ecotourism in Bulgaria was able to capitalize on a changing national tourism development policy that, although centred on mass tourism, was open to form other forms of tourism market diversification. Advertising at national and local levels is not only important but critical to helping areas, government and even commercial banks, to better understand the opportunities for relating natural and historical resources to rural growth and economic growth activities. Those same information activities and centred campaigns are critical to the growth of a bottom-up system that is based on rapid, information sharing between stakeholders at regional level. Kamelia Georgieva, Bulgarian ecotourism important for the BCEG project, confirmed, “Sustainable tourism growth is about social and political engineering, as well as enterprise growth. Public awareness is critical to support this system.”
Long-term technical and commercial financing helped to governments, NGOs, and the private sectors are needed to implement the sustainable tourism system. Sustainable tourism growth and marketing to national and, more importantly, international areas is important to careful but concerted ecotourism growth. Foremost centred on domestic tourism markets in areas where citizens have a culture of holiday and growing real income will increase the local confidence needed to spread into the global market. International marketing and global market growth are good opportunities for public and private partnerships. There are no better “low hanging” circumstances for relating common ideas, and shared costs and revenues.
Protected regions and cultural landmarks must be saved from bad human impact related with distinct forms of tourism, including eco-tourism. When monitoring impacts and endorsing limits of acceptable use and change, they protected regions and cultural site managers must err on the side of conservation. The unsuccessful to do so can result in costly restoration agendas and the loss of culture and biodiversity. Therefore protected regions and site managers will work with others to: Develop a national process for the enjoyment and utilization of resources and sites that respects and sets boundary on use and change growth mechanisms that effectively endorse the management process. Analyzing threats to biodiversity and cultural and heritage sites and apply ways for mitigating those threats. Monitoring indicators and monitor changes in biodiversity and historical heritage. Implement official systems, standards and ways for the protection of natural resources (species, localities) and cultural and historical heritage sites in the areas of major conservation value, both inside and outside the protected region network. Growth and utilize special training agendas for training on assessment of desirable change, and increasing the skills of PA administrations, heritage regions managers, representatives of the private sector in the region of eco-tourism, departments and government.
There are a number of practical mechanisms growing in Bulgaria to help protected regions conservation and eco-tourism growth several have the capacity to financially benefit protected regions and eco-tourism entrepreneurs. Provisions to grow these mutually beneficial systems are still in their infancy and need to be further monitored and improved. There is a need to:
· Go on to monitor national legislation and reform it to allow fees to be collected from ecological activities to fund the conservation and maintenance of resources and sites of cultural heritage.
· Growth and legalize profitable financial systems that promote the initial goals of sustainable growth and nature conservation monitoring protected regions and eco-tourism financial systems models from other countries that employ the use of limited time redemption or commercial contracts
· Growth model shortens that serve to guide concession relationships, and endorsing their duration and operating systems
· Assign the profits made from these contracts to benefit the goals of nature conservation and local economic development
· Support the development of protected regions Fund to ensure continuing financial help for capital betterments and operating projects departments with a mechanism of protected regions in the country. The PAF would help capital investments, park development projects, cultural sites, and provide eco-tourism growth grants to communities that work in close proximity to protected regions.
· Assign central and municipal cultural funds, envisaged in the Law on Protection and growth of Culture, to help initiatives goals at conserving and using cultural heritage for eco-tourism.
Develop Clusters or Networks of Core Eco-tourism and Supply Chain Businesses at the International, National, Regional and Local Levels
Scattered eco-tourism activities in the country could profitable from the exchange of information and cost savings related with a national network of eco-tourism providers. The scale of such a network is difficult to measure at the existing time and should evolve from a model that represents the advantages to network subscribers. Eco-tourism groups or networks could start within key areas of the country, growing into a national system.
Improve the Entrepreneur Capacity of Businesses and Train Local Communities Providing Eco-tourism Services
Many local scommunities with good capacity for providing and benefiting from eco-tourism do not have enough skills and experience to offering eco-tourism products and services to their clients. At a certain stage, small, rural communities are able to measure the advantages of ecotourism as an income generation way and as a municipal growth tool, but they lack the important means and skills to monitoring success. Hence, these communities require small and micro business growth assistance to develop entrepreneurial potentials.
Expand Enter to Financing Mechanisms, Equity Investments and Other Funding Resources
Circumstances for investing in and financing eco-tourism in Bulgaria are relatively undeveloped. The scale and costs linked to most rural eco-tourism activities and services are not of a enough size to capture much commercial banking help. The scale and location of many of these business growth activities are varied, and represent no logistic and administrative advantage to a commercial bank if they were interested. However, investments in a large number of small-size projects in major target regions, rather than in large-scale individual projects, are needed to grow rural eco-tourism. Eco-tourism financing faces various challenges, and government agency help combined with (a) business planning and best management activities, and (b) financial facilitation and guarantee programs, may provide solutions. The following systems are seen as suitable for advancing eco-tourism models.
Facilitate the Development of Effective Small and Medium Eco-tourism Enterprises
Small and medium enterprises play a vital role in sustainable growth. SMEs support meeting sustainable growth goals by generating and keeping income and economic improvements closer to home. They are more flexible and readily tailored to offering tourists with extra care or customized services.
Local government engagement and leadership is key to the development and promotion of eco-tourism development. Effective implementation of the NETS by local governments will require:
· An understanding and capacity to develop eco-tourism as part of local government planning and operations
· Establishing local mechanisms for ensuring public and private sector engagement in focused eco-tourism development
· Selecting and applying financial mechanisms to support eco-tourism development, such as national budget, matching grants, public-private sector joint ventures, and links to large-scale tourism development
· Developing and implementing by- laws
· Creating and applying incentives
· Developing and implementing a system of monitoring indicators of success and impact
A partnership between the Ministry of Regional Development and the National Association of Bulgarian Municipalities and the Foundation for Local Government Reform, the two national associations that address local government, will help to ensure that eco-tourism is a focus of local government and capacity building. Both the public sector and the national associations must agree to participate in completing the NETS. In doing so, they will build the capacity for their future role in its implementation.
Ecotourism is the future of tourism, but it will resolve the key issue of large-scale ecotourism. Depending on the time, there can be better ecological and economic benefits from large-scale ecotourism. There are already examples in Bulgaria where this is obvious. However, scale is a case-by-case decision. The fundamentals of ecotourism (given that it is taken as given it will be based on green productivity principles, in that it is nature-based, provides quality experiences, is enjoyable, and is profitable not only for the operators but the local community) do not change with a change in scale.
Ecotourism is a move to counter this. Its objective is too made viable and sustainable tourism opportunities, and limit the effect that all linked activities will have on the environment, while improving the standards of the local people living in the area. According to Ecotourism.org, the concept involves a number of core principles, including is minimising industrial effect on the environment, building environmental and cultural awareness, raising awareness of the political, and social issues of the country concerned, and make sure that the experience is good for all parties, including visitors and citizens.
The objective is to get sustainable and responsible tourism activities to the benefit of all and the detriment of none. One of the most essential factors in the success of any ecotourism program is knowledge. Those proposing the project should gain intimate knowledge of the location, the fauna, the flora and the communities living there. They should know how they effect on each other and how a change in one will affect the rest. They should understand the culture recognising the people relationship with the environment, and how they look the concepts such as land and water gathering materials for personal purposes.
Eco-tourism is in its philosophy, centred on cultures, wilderness adventures, personal development and learning new measures to live. It is defined as go to destinations where the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the like minor attractions. Responsible eco-tourism involves programs that decreases the adverse impacts of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and improves the cultural integrity of local people.