Ecotourism is dramatically better for local economies and ecosystems than other forms of travel, according to a United Nations-supported study by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.
Ecotourism is a concept that emphasizes authentic experiences in preserved natural environments, typically guided by local people. The environment is more likely to be protected because local people have an economic incentive to preserve the landscape to make it attractive to tourists. Otherwise, the incentives to exploit natural resources might outweigh the advantages of preservation.
Compared to "standard all-inclusive package tours" that deliver 20% of revenues to local companies (the rest goes to airlines, hotels and large tour companies), ecotours can return as much as 95% to the local economy, according to the study.
The report also warned, however, that the benefits of ecotourism are limited. Mismanagement, or rapid growth and expansion of ecotours could do more harm than good to fragile ecosystems.
Learn more about sustainable travel with The Daily Green's Ecotourism Trips, Tricks and Tips
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