Academic journal article Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends

Nature-Based Tourism as an Introduction to Ecotourism Experience-A New Approach

Academic journal article Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends

Nature-Based Tourism as an Introduction to Ecotourism Experience-A New Approach

Article excerpt

Introduction

Contemporary tourists are becoming more and more demanding and they are still looking for something new, exciting and unusual. It is not enough to attract them to some, even very valuable places, it is also necessary to create activities believed to be prepared especially for this event. This creates an opportunity to develop new ideas or innovations and to improve the touristic offer.

On the other hand, the number of earth dwellers is still rising but the problem is that the space on earth is still the same. What is more, the nature valuable areas are constantly disappearing, which is very often connected with tourist industry--new hotels, resorts, golf clubs, etc.

This situation immediately gives rise to some very important questions: How to use a space wisely?

How to attract tourist to local areas, so that they do not spend their money abroad?

How to protect everything valuable?

How to prepare tourists to be responsible and sensitive while travelling?

These issues are especially important and inquiring for scientist from an environmental background. In response to such problems many different solutions were proposed such as alternative tourism, responsible tourism, green tourism, environmentally friendly tourism and others, which will be discussed in the theoretical part of this paper, as well as sustainable tourism.

One of the most important features of sustainable tourism, and especially ecotourism as its core, is not to concentrate only on the tourist and their demands but also on the needs of the local society and community. In times when everybody wants to experience something unusual, exciting, even thrilling, some quiet and well known place start to be seen as boring and not worthy of spending time there. Tourist functions of that place begin to diminish and members of local community could start suffering from unemployment. On the one hand, it can be very profitable for local nature and its resources and values. But from the economical point of view local authorities and businessmen are always concerned about the attractiveness of their own surroundings. That issue also attracts scientists. Since the environment possesses the characteristic of public good or a common access resource some governments have stepped in to impose regulations with respect to environmental impact of tourism activity. Consequently, since the environment provides the attractions for tourist and hence the livelihood for much of the tourism industry, the industry recognizes the importance of protecting the environment from tourism induced damage. A superior condition of the environment might give the destination's industry a competitive edge. That can provide the impulsion for tourism operators to engage in voluntary protection of the environment on which their businesses rely. That issue requires a special environmental management in order to raise competitiveness (Huybers & Bennett, 2003).

The author of this paper, as a biologist *, intends to concentrate on only one aspect of this topic--how to wisely introduce tourist to a very precious and delicate world of nature? How to prepare someone who used to be a mass tourist to change their attitude and to start being more sensitive, responsible and involved? And, at the same time, how to make a nature-based tourism event more interesting than it currently exist. A well prepared trip or event is a good means of attracting tourists to ecotourism, to teach and inspire them. As personal growth is one of the features of ecotourism, the moment when tourists start to realize their own need for knowledge becomes the moment when the need for introducing them to the ecotourist world becomes real as well. Ecotourism is a very elite form of tourism and it is not necessary that all of a sudden all tourists become ecotourists. On the contrary, it should remain as it is. However, it would be highly desirable that the level of awareness and demand (up to standard) rise constantly. …

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