terça-feira, 22 de outubro de 2013

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Definitions: Ecotourism vs. Sustainable Tourism

Eco-tourism is often defined as a form of tourism with a purpose. Whilst in general terms it means 'environmentally-friendly' tourism, there is not a universal definition for eco-tourism, and the specific definition as to what this actually means in practice can vary greatly from one country to another.
Although it lacks one clear definition, it has been classified by the International Ecotourism Society (1991) as: " responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people".
In addition, the World Conservation Union defined it (1996) as "visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas has low negative visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations".
Although the concept of eco-tourism is difficult to define, it does, however, have some consistent features:
  • The destination itself is usually an unpolluted natural area.
  • Its attractions are the flora and fauna, and its entire bio-diversity.
  • Eco-tourism should support the local economy and its indigenous atmosphere.
  • It should contribute to the preservation of the environment, and promote the importance of conserving nature.
  • 'Eco-trips' often include a learning experience.
Eco-tourism is often confused with sustainable tourism. Whilst eco-tourism is a form of tourism (like sports, health, beach, cultural or adventure tourism), the concept of sustainable development should be applied to all these forms of tourism. If the principles of sustainability are applied, then the type of tourism can be called sustainable tourism - therefore it can apply to all tourism activities.

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