Ecotourism project

Nature tourism is a controversial topic as it
carries a lot of environmental issues that are worth discussing. But in
order to understand what we mean by nature tourism and the impact that it
can have on a country it’s necessary to know a little bit more about the context
of tourism in Australia. Australia’s number of tourists has increased
significantly through the last few years. According to the Australian Bureau of
Statistics between June 2016 and June 2017 8.5 million people visited
Australia, which doubles the amount of tourists that visited the country 22
years ago. And how many of the visitors that Australia receives every year can
be considered in nature tourists? We understand nature-based tourism as
all tourism experiences centered on wild or natural environments. This includes
visiting national parks or state parks visiting wildlife parks zoos or
aquariums, botanical or other public gardens, bushwalking or rainforest walks,
whale watching, dolphins, snorkelling, scuba diving, those sorts of things.
The ABS states that 68% of international tourists that visited Australia in the
year ending at June 2016 were involved in some sort of nature based activity
which isn’t surprising considering that Australia has over 500 national parks.
Places like Tasmania, the Great Barrier Reef and the Blue Mountains, the Twelve
Apostles or Uluru are just some of the most popular natural attractions of
the country and millions of people from all around the world come to visit them
every year/ But another question arises considering the huge amount of tourists
that visit the natural environments in Australia. How does this impact the
culture society politics and economics of the country? Are the natural
ecosystems being damaged by tourists? And how can we avoid that? To be able to
answer those questions it’s essential to know the meaning of sustainable tourism.
This refers to those visitors who try to make only a positive impact on the
environment, society and economy. This means that
they’re informed about the culture that they’re visiting, they respect it and its
integrity. They also worry about supporting local economies and being
environmentally conscious. Another concept that it is important to
understand is ecotourism. It can be defined as the ecologically sustainable
tourism with a primary focus and experiencing natural areas that fosters
environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation. Overall,
ecotourism aims to preserve the integrity of the destination according
to “Ecotourism Australia”. This kind of tourism then, worries about the impact
that visitors may have in culture and natural areas of the country. Considering
this we asked ourselves: How can we be good tourists? How can we, as
international visitors, preserve the integrity of Australian natural
environments? To answer these questions we decided to get away from the noise and
visited Sydney Harbour National Park and some beaches in Cairns. There, we
interviewed some Australians and also international visitors to get different
perspectives about tourists and the impact tourism can produce in variant
ecosystems. People want to visit beautiful spots. They’re gonna heighten awareness to
protect it right. I mean the money, if well-managed, the tourism brings can be
used to protect the environment. It’s just it has to be reasonable well managed and the impact needs to be controlled… I live in a city whose main export
is art and so we live and die by tourism. Because in the year, in holiday time you want to spend time to see different things, you know, and different people, different food. It’s like, to spend the holiday. Ecotourism, I think it’s good. It contributes to the environment and helps to preserve it. So I actually live in Cape Cod which is near Boston and I would say that nature tourism is a very important part of the
community. Particularly in the summer months it gives a boost to local economy, just gives everybody around there lots of jobs and whatnot. And I think it’s important for people to respect nature in other parts of the world than
from where they’re from. We are here crossing the Daintree River on a ferry in a car and in a croc infested waters and I gotta say, you know, this is definitely a worthy experience and if people touring Cape Cod in Boston feel the same way that I feel now, then more power to them respect the locals. Do you think you are protecting it more than hurting it by having people in and out? It depends, it’s all effect of the intensity. Low impact ecotourism I don’t think really has a big impact If it brings in money and raises awareness to protect more, it’s gonna be a good thing But if it’s uncontrolled mass tourism it could be very destructive. Ecourism fundamentally
is low-impact tourism, where the tourists enjoy or participate in some
activity in nature and they see something, they experience it, they live it, but for it to be eco it needs to be sustainable and non
destructive. I think most people are fundamentally interested in nature. They are all attracted to the wild, to nature and the way the word works. Specially what you see on the TV or you read about it. We all wanna experience. I think a good tourist is somebody that really cares about where they visit. They do homework, they read up… Someone who goes out of the way to learn the culture and the policies, ideas, beliefs of the people in the community they are visiting. And so they can treat the people respectfully and they are environment respectful. They don’t litter, they take care of the environment that they are visiting. A good tourist… one that appreciates the country where they are staying and takes care to preserve it. One who respects the culture in which they are involved, as well as spend time to appreciate, as well as benefit the area. Good tourists. Good tourist they are good in nature, good in behaviour. You know, they come here to know all the people, all people’s language, all cultures, religion They are very polite, they spend money. Probably somebody that comes and makes everything for theirselves, don’t have any considerations for those around them and in particular doesn’t care for the environment. Not all the tourists are bad, some bad tourist they are smuggling, you know drugs and smuggling. They involve non legal and they got in trouble. They should know the international rules and regulations on this country. Like if someone was in a country that is very strict for all drugs and all this things, so they shouldn’t do that. Rude obnoxious treat people as
if the locals who are working there should be treated as extras as they’re
entitled to something because they are visiting that location, treat the locals poorly. I mean it’s good economically for the country, yes, for nature not so much. It allows people to view the national aspects of the environment and respect them, but there is a lot of destruction that is involved. One example of an ecotourism spot in Australia is Uluru. Uluru is a deeply spiritual and sacred place for the Anangu people. The traditional people from Uluru say that the tourists climbing the rocks has caused some deep cultural service. Tourists are not currently forbidden for climbing, but they are respectfully asked by the Anangu people to stay off this side. Despite this, thousands of visitors make
the trek each year. Northern Territory Chief Minister Alain Kyle’s is encouraging the Anangu people to support the tourists climb. Debate around closing the climb has reached since 1985. Kyle, who is also an indigenous man,
explains how it is important to keep the opportunity of climbing Uluru, as it is an
economic resource and an exceptional tourist experience in the country. Others, as the traditional culture of Uluru, say the climbing is disrespectful. It’s not just a place with a good view, but it’s also a place with cultural significance and spiritual connection to the people of Anangu. From their view, that is not something to be messed with for the sake of a political point and increase tourism revenue. Besides from disrespecting the aboriginals o Uluru, they’re also concerned for the environmental impact of climbing Uluru. Erosion for one is a significant concern. Each step a climber changes the face of Uluru. There are no toilets on the top of Uluru and most sorrel to dig a hole. When it rains everything gets washed off the rock and into water holes, polluting the water for the many plants and animals found in the park.

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