It is often seen that tourist spots are very dirty, plastic bags and packets are thrown everywhere. In short, tourism is polluting the environment. We can stop this by promoting eco-friendly tourism. Here are three such types of tourism.
Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” (TIES, 2015). Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel.
This means that those who implement, participate in and market ecotourism activities should adopt the following ecotourism principles:
- Minimize physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts.
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
- Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry.
- Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climates.
- Design, construct and operate low-impact facilities.
- Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment.
Some Eco tourism places in India are –
- Coorg, Karnataka
- Munnar, Kerala
- Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
- Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
- Kaziranga National Park, Assam
The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism in the following manner: “Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems.”
According to The World Tourism Organization (WTO), sustainable tourism should:
- Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
- Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
- Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.
Some companies that promotes sustainable tourism in India are –
- Evolve Back
- Spiti Ecosphere
- India Untravelled
- Green People
Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place – its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents.
Principles of geo tourism are –
- Integrity of place: Enhance geographical character by developing and improving it in ways distinctive to the local, reflective of its natural and cultural heritage.
- Market diversity: Encourage a full range of appropriate food and lodging facilities
- Community involvement: Base tourism on community resources to the extent possible, encouraging local small businesses and civic groups
- Protection and enhancement of destination appeal: Encourage businesses to sustain natural habitats, heritage sites, aesthetic appeal, and local culture.
- Land use: Anticipate development pressures and apply techniques to prevent undesired overdevelopment and degradation.
- Conservation of resources: Encourage businesses to minimize water pollution, solid waste, energy consumption, water usage, landscaping chemicals, and overly bright nighttime lighting. Advertise these measures in a way that attracts
Some geo tourism places in India are –
- Akal Fossil Wood Park, Jaisalmer
- Saketi, Sirmur District, Himachal Pradesh
- Peninsular Gneiss National Monument at Lalbagh, Bengaluru
- Columnar Basaltic Lava, Coconut Island (St. Mary’s Islands), Udupi District, Karnataka
- Ramgarh Crater, Baran district, Rajasthan.