Environmental Conservation

Environmental Conservation in Tourism

Some tourism operators have a direct interest in wildlife preservation, for example Camp Jabulani, a luxury safari camp that carries out elephant conservation projects. It is argued that this type of tourism mutually develops the livelihoods of local people and sustains environmental sustainability.

In contrast, some argue that subsuming nature conservation under market logics through ecotourism can exacerbate ecological deterioration as it instigates dislocation, heightens living expenses and marginalizes local people.

Protected areas

The tourism industry and conservation communities have long struggled to balance economic benefits of nature-based tourism with preservation of natural resources in protected areas. While nature-based tourism provides a powerful incentive for investment in preservation, the economic value is not enough to justify allowing unsustainable impacts on biodiversity.

In such cases, nature-based tourism can provide an alternative motive for protection through the creation of a sense of stewardship among visitors. However, this is difficult to achieve if tourism development does not consider the wider social and environmental contexts of tourism and the protected area.

To address these issues, this paper presents a framework for investigating the impacts of protected area tourism on communities. It frames the community as the focus for assessing the protected area tourism system and applies ecologically derived resilience assessment principles. The framework is developed through iterative participatory processes with local communities who act as a unit of analysis and provide the focus for exploring community perceptions.

Wildlife

One of the best ways to lower your environmental footprint is to visit wildlife parks and reserves. Not only will you get to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitats, but the money you spend on the trip helps with conservation efforts.

Wildlife tourism provides economic benefits for communities, which can change attitudes towards wild species and nature. From villages in Tanzania protecting wildlife in exchange for tourist income to zoos breeding endangered species and donating them back into the wild, many successful examples of sustainable wildlife-based tourism exist.

However, wildlife tourism also impacts the animals directly. For example, the leave no trace ethos of reducing human impact on wildlife and their habitats can be hard for tourists to implement, especially when visiting a wild environment. This can lead to problems such as disruption of intra-specific relationships (e.g. female harp seals leaving their pups due to tourists), and increased vulnerability for the species from increased exposure to predator attacks.

Water

Water conservation in tourism is an important topic for sustainable development. Water-based tourism products and experiences are gaining popularity due to their positive impact on health and well-being, but they also cause environmental stress if not managed effectively.

Many hotels and resorts are reducing their water usage by installing low-flow fixtures, implementing leak detection systems, and using smart irrigation techniques. These initiatives help reduce operational costs and provide a more luxurious experience for guests.

In addition, tourism activities can benefit local communities by bringing jobs and income, and by maintaining natural ecosystems. However, if tourist numbers exceed capacity, this can lead to over-consumption of natural resources and degradation of service quality. The deterioration of natural environments can have negative impacts on biodiversity, soil erosion, and pollution. It can also affect local populations’ access to clean drinking water and contribute to water poverty. This is especially important in remote regions where it’s difficult to pipe in freshwater.

Air

As tourism is one of the main energy-consuming sectors, its influence on atmospheric emissions should be considered. Studies have shown that tourism development is associated with a rise in air pollution and soil erosion (Kostic et al., 2019). It also has an adverse effect on biodiversity, socio-cultural habitats, and virginity of land and sea (Shaheen et al., 2021).

The increase in tourism development is usually accompanied by an increase in the use of fossil fuels and electric power. This is why it is important to control these emissions in order to achieve sustainable tourism. Moreover, it is important to promote environmental awareness among tourists and locals to reduce wastefulness. This could include establishing programs for animal hunting and the establishment of protected areas, as well as creating awareness programs against deforestation, littering, and water and air pollution. Besides, it is also necessary to ensure the protection of natural and cultural heritage. This could be achieved by rehabilitating and conserving cultural sites and social values.

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