Eco-tourism is defined as traveling to natural environments and areas in a way that is not only mindful and conserving of those areas, but also helped to improve the natural space and the welfare of the local people living there. So if you were to be an eco-tourist in the rainforest, you would want to choose sustainable forms of transport (perhaps a guided hike instead of a tourbus or a drive?), choose housing and activities that are not detrimental to the rainforest (such as hotels that are environmentally friendly and do not exploit local resources), and take place in activities that not only preserve or restore the plants, animals, and people living in the rainforest habitat, but also help to raise awareness or funding for further protection of the environment there.
Ecotourism intends to promote a more environmentally respectful, sustainable form of tourism. Consequently, traditional tourist practices entailing short-sighted development plans are being phased out in order to protect the interests of the rainforests and their inhabitants. Instead of overwhelming forests with masses of tourists, ecotourism emphasizes low-impact, sustainable practices to preserve natural environments. Deforestation (for development and construction of tourist sites and accomodations), pollution and sewage (noise pollution also), and destruction of forest trails are just a few effects of unsustainable tourist practices that can be avoided with the implementation of ecotourism. “Ecotourism also provides the opportunity for intellectual advancement for locals educated as wildlife guides. With an education, their children will have a better chance of breaking out of their subsistence lifestyle and improving their livelihood.”
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