Eco-tourism

Tourism-related activities are the largest economical sector in the world, since they contribute either directly and indirectly to approximately 7% of the world’s production and offer thousands of jobs worldwide. For many countries, tourism is one of the greatest sources of work and income.
It is important, therefore, to raise people’s awareness of the disturbance tourists inevitably cause to the environment with which they interact, and to promote conscientious tourism, or eco-tourism. It can actually protect the natural wealth by finding how to minimise negative effects. The World Tourism Organisation, the United Nations and other international agencies have identified the main conditions that an ecotourism project has to fulfil:

  • making sure it furthers the preservation and sustainable development of territories and neighbouring communities;
  • ensuring the involvement of local communities in all stages of an ecotourism project;
  • minimising the negative impact that accommodation, transport and any organised tourist activity may have on the natural and cultural environment;
  • making sure a reasonable part of the income generated by tourism-related activities goes back to local communities and to the preservation of natural assets;
  • raising awareness that tourism may be practised in different ways, that are more respectful of the environment and socially responsible.

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

  • ecosystems

    Birdwatching

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    ecosystems

    Beech forest

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  • ecosystems

    Forest

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    ecosystems

    Deforestation in the Amazon

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  • ecosystems

    Deforestation 2

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    ecosystems

    Deforestation

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Facts