Is Ecotourism in Tourism?

Sylvie Leochko
 


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While ecotourism and tourism seem to be similar, there is a different between them. Does it mean that the statement: “Ecotourism in tourism" is false? Not exactly, you see, one is a more specific term than the other. Let me explain it in a more detailed fashion.

What is ecotourism?

Ecotourism is a form of tourism. You see, like in tourism, it reaches some of the same goals which are educational and entertaining. Contrary to tourism, animal life such as dolphins is observed in its natural habitat instead of an artificial setting created by humans such as an aquarium.

The educational goal is mainly to teach tourists about the characteristics, the habits, the habitat and the dangers affecting the wildlife. The entertainment is offered by exciting and surprising appearances and sometimes displays of animals in the wild. For example, tourists can observe a pod of dolphins playing together during a dolphin watching tour.

This form of tourism has been used for centuries but it has recently reached a new level of interest amongst tourists which explains a higher rate of tourists exploring ecotourism. This type of link is the reason which some people are asking: “Is ecotourism in tourism?"

What is tourism?

Tourism is a way to invite visitors to explore the area under different angles, for example during tours. This is also considered an important part of the national economic industry of a country. Tourism is a more general term that includes a variety of ways to educate and entertain tourists, in both natural and artificial settings.

For example, in ecotourism, you may observe dolphins in their natural habitat while in tourism, you may either observe them perform in a show offered by a local aquarium or again, swim with trained dolphins in a man-made lagoon. So is ecotourism in tourism? Let’s explore this question a little further.

Is ecotourism part of tourism?

While some people say that these are two different things, several aspects tend to indicate that ecotourism is part of the large family of tourism. Which are these aspects? Here are a few of them.

1. Both gain profits from the patronage of tourists.

2. Both may use tours to educate and/or entertain visitors.

3. Both require a permit.

4. Both must pay dividends to the government under the Tourism Industry.

5. Both include tours of wildlife, one in their natural habitat, and the other in a man-made setting.

6. Both must follow safety regulations.

7. Both require guidance from professionals.

8. Both allow the use of cameras unless safety is an issue.

What are the main differences between ecotourism and tourism?

These two terms are both similar but do have their differences. Let’s compare tourism in an aquarium during a show and ecotourism during a dolphin watching tour, in their natural habitat.

1. Trained dolphins are captured, sometimes in cruel ways, put in a limited space and forced to perform for food. Some even are highly stressed or die of depression.

2. Dolphins in the wild are free; they are not separated from their pod but face dangers such as predators, fishermen, nets, pollution and more.

3. Chumming is a method often used to attract marine life. Unfortunately, it also attracts sharks and has been held responsible for the presence of sharks rising in beaches areas.

4. Feeding dolphins in the wild can create problems if dolphins start depending on it. Feeding in man-made surroundings make their natural instinct as a hunter disappears and they become solely dependent on humans. Worse, they must often perform tricks to be fed properly.

5. Some cheap businesses claiming to be in the ecotourism industry may disturb and negatively affect dolphins and their natural habitat.

6. Some organizations consider the use of dolphins for therapy, entertainment or other form of tourist activity such as swimming with dolphins is a form of slavery and animal exploitation.

7. Some trainers use abusive methods while training dolphins.

8. During a dolphin watching tour, some tourists will feed dolphins certain items that may endanger the dolphins’ safety as a “joke".

9. Some environmentalists say that nature should be left alone and that it is wrong to exploit it in the name of profit.

What is the answer?

The answer is this one. Ecotourism in tourism is a correct statement as ecotourism is part of the tourism industry. It is a certain specialty that is exploited in the name of tourism to give tourists the opportunity to learn, observe and enjoy wildlife in their natural habitat. Is it wrong to enjoy a dolphin watching tour? The answer is: “No!" As long as the company that offers you such an opportunity follows the safety rules, has a permit, a professionally trained staff and follows legal regulations as well as respect the natural habitat of the dolphins and other marine life, it is safe to say: “Why not enjoy such a fantastic opportunity?"

My name is Sylvie Leochko. I love dolphins and everything about them. My love of this topic is the main reason why I wish to share a few things with you. If you wish to learn more about this topic, I invite you to go to my website: http://dolphins-and-more.com or read a few informative news and articles on my blog: http://facts-about-dolphins.blogspot.com

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