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Eco Tourism in Nepal

Although the origins of the term “ecotourism “are not entirely clear, yet it can be said that ecotourism is the outcome of environmental movement of 1970 and 1980 growing.. tourism lead to increased demand for nature based experience of and alternative nature. It is very clear that ecotourism developed with in the womb of environmental of 1970s and 80s.one of the first to use it appears to have been hater(1965)who identify four pillars (principals) of responsible tourism: minimizing environmental   impacts, respecting host culture maximizing the benefits of local people and maximizing tourist satisfaction.(fennel 1998,cited by balmey in encyclo eco,the first of these four was held be most distinguishing characteristics of “ecological tourism”(ecotourism).

Evolution of ecotourism

Evolution of ecotourism, however it is considered that it has been attached to remote past that is the origins of nature travel. To the origin of nature travel in detail we have to go to distant past. As lascurain is of the view that Herodotus was one of the first nature tourists who visited black sea Egypt, Athens and the Aegean Sea. Record of his visits show that he was interested not only in history but also the geography, the natural environment and ancient monuments .Aristotle also practiced nature tourism.

In the later times macro polo and others visited various new lands, they discovered. more recently Charles de la condemned, James cook ,Lois Antoine de Bougainville, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russell, Wallace are among the dedicated personalities who visited remote areas with the propose of discovering, studying and describing landscapes, life forms and different cultures.

However, nature travel cannot be considered to have truly developed until the late 19th century, during the 19thcentury was essential a quest for spectacular and unique scenery.

During this time the national park concepts were created, and while the founders of national parks wanted to protect the environment, rather than provided resorts, not until the mid 2oth century worldwide travel became possible for more than just elite. The technological revolution in communication and transport made possible trips to remote destinations.

After the world war ii tourism exploded worldwide giving rise to mass tourism which deteriorated the image of tourism .as lascurian points out, in the1950s and60s Americans became the “ugly tourist” worldwide. In the 70s it was the turn of Germans to be seen as the ugly tourists in Europe and east Africa and in the 90s, the Japanese. The ugly tourism phenomenon, as he indicates, is not based on actual personality traits, but rather is a result of the feeling of invasion by people who are different host community .it does not even require different ethnic groups. It is part of the nature of mass tourism (so is it simply human nature? he question) and it has been accompanied by over development and local disruption of culture values and economies such that tourism has developed a very bad name indeed (butler 1992 as cited by lascuria

As mass tourism exploded in the 20th century ,another type tourist emerged with different reputation .in late 6s public censer about the environment increase particularly in the industrialized countries conversation organizations became active, formed to lobby government to set aside land not just for the tourist but to preserve the natural integrity of the hole ecosystems. The whale watching industry developed in use keeping in view the world with depletion of whale population .consequently in 1966,humpback whale was made a wholly protected species, followed by potion of blue whale in 1967.this period marks the birth of ecotourism(butler 1992)

Thus, it can be said that ecotourism phenomenon: in modern times started by the end of late 60s to early 70s.

Definitions

As far the definitions are conserved, ecotourism is defined different by different scientists and organizations. Over hundred of definitions have be developed, since cembalos lascurain coined it but universally accepted definition has not been stipulated so far scientists are not unanimous on it. However first formal definition of ecotourism is credited to cembalos’ lascurain (1987) according to him ecotourism.

”travelling to relatively undisturbed nature areas with specific objective of studying, admiring and enjoying scenery and its wild animals and plants as well as existing culture accepts found in these areas”

Below are a few prominent definitions put forward by few organizations and individuals that make core of the definitions? Ions ecotourism programmed has defined (similar to that of lascurain) ecotourism as –

“Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features-both past and present) that promotes conservation, has low visitor involvement of local populations”

The international ecotourism society (TIES) has revised its previous definition of 1990.the revised definition is:

“Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment sustains the well being of the local people and involves interpretation and education “with the specification that education is to staff and guest (TIES 2015)

Richardson (1993) defines ecotourism (which is the earlier definition) as

“Ecologically sustainable tourism in natural areas that interprets local environment and culture furthers the tourists understanding of them, fortes conservation and adds to the well being of local community”

In 2002, Quebwc declaration (ecotourism year 2002, UNEP WTO suggested that 5 distinct criteria area be used to define ecotourism, namely:

“Nature based product, minimal impact management, and environmental education, contribution to conservation and contribution to community.

However in all definitions above sustainability, conservation (of both nature and culture) local people are the focus which are actually basic elements of ecotourism.

Lascurain says “ecotourism denotes nature tourism with a normative element (a response to the desire to permit access to area of nature beauty, ecotourism underlying premise is that the enjoyment of the future generations should not be affected negatively by that of today visitors. Meanwhile David western equates ecotourism “as amalgam of ecology and economics” he says ecotourism is really am amalgam of interests arising from environmental, economic and social concerns (David western ecotourism a guide for planning and managers.

Farrel and runyan 1991(cited by lascurian 1996) distinguish between nature tourism and ecotourism by describing the later as more exclusively purposeful and focused don the enhancement or maintenance of natural systems. Thus, we can distinguish between for example traditional tour operators and principled ecotourism operators. The formal frequently show no commitment to conservation by merely offering clients an opportunity to experience exotic places and people before they change or disappear. Ecotourism operators on the other hand have begun a partnership with protected area managers and local people with the intention of contributing to the protection of wild lands and local development, and the hope of improving mutual understanding between residents and visitors. (Wallace 1992, cited by lascurian 1996)

Principles of ecotourism

To streamline the activities of a tourism programmed or destination certain principles have been developed, which act as norms or ethics any activity to be true ecotourism should follow or meet these principles although these principles rather ethical measure more strictly ,but they cannot be define as ecotourism, however, they act as guide lines. The ecotourism principles have been varied widely. Below are three different sets of well known ecotourism principles. The national ecotourism accreditation program (NEAP) Australia recognizes following eight principles as eligibility principles.

Eligibility principles

  1. Focuses on personally experiencing nature in way that lead to greater understanding and appreciation.
  2. Integrates opportunities to understand nature into each experience.
  3. Represents best practice for environmentally sustainable tourism.
  4. Positively contributes to the conservation of natural areas.
  5. Provides, constructive ongoing contributions to local communities.

6 Is sensitive to interprets and involves different cultures, particular indigenous cultures.

7consistently meets customer expectations.

8 Is marketed accurately and leads to realistic expectations.

  1. It should not degrade the resource and should be developed is an environmentally sound manner.
  2. It should provide long term benefits to the resource to the local community and industry.
  3. It should provide first- hand participatory and enlightening experiences.

4 it should involve education among all parties, local communities government, on government organizations, industry and tourists (before, during and after the trip)

  1. It should encourage all party recognition of the intrinsic values of the resource.
  2. It should involve acceptance of the resource in its own terms, and in recognition of its limits, which involves supply-oriented management.
  3. It should promote understanding and involve authorships between many players, which could involve government, non- governmental organizations, industry, scientists and local (both befog and during operations)
  4. It should promote moral and ethical responsibilities and behavior towards the natural and cultural environment by all players.

Requirements for Ecotourism

If an activity is to qualify as tourism, it must demonstrate the following 9 characteristics.

  1. If promotes positive environmental ethics and fosters “preferred behavior in its participants.
  2. It does not degrade the recourse in other words, it does not involve consumptive erosion of the nature environment,(hunting for sport, and fishing maybe classified as wild land green tourism but they are most aptly classified as adventure tourism, rather than ecotourism.
  3. It concentrates on intrinsic rather than the intrinsic values facilities and services many facilities the encounter with the intrinsic resource. But never became attraction in their own right. And do not detract from the resource.
  4. It is oriented around the environment in question and not around man, ecotourism accept the environment, as it is nighters expectation it to change or to be modified for their convenience.
  5. It must be benefit the wild life and environment. The question of whether or not the environment(not just people)has received benefit, contributing can be measured socially, economically, scientifically, managerially ,and politically, at the very least the environment must attain a net benefit, contributing to its sustain ability and ecologically integrity.
  6. It provides a firsthand encounter with the natural environment land with any accompanying cultural elements found in undeveloped areas zoological parks do not constitute as ecotourism experience.
  7. It actively involves the local communities in the tourism process so that they may benefit from it thereby contributing to process so that they may benefit from it.
  8. Its level of gratification is measured in terms of education and appreciation rather than in thrill seeking or physical achievement the latter is more characterizes of adventure tourism.
  9. It involves considerable preparation and demands in depth knowledge on the part of both leaders and participants. The satisfaction derived from the experience is felt and expressed strongly in emotional an inspiration ways.

Ties ecotourism principles

Ties has made some changes and additions in its principles 1090 when ties first created the principles .in its clanged ties adds 3 principles: that says ecotourism is non consumptive /non extractive creates an ecological conscience, holds eco centric values and ethics in relation to nature further ties adds, those who implement, participate in and market ecotourism activities should adopt the following ecotourism principles.

  • Minimize physical, social behavioral and psychological impacts.
  • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
  • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
  • Produce direct financial benefits for conservation.
  • Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry.
  • Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries, political, environmental and social climates.
  • Desigh, construct and operate low impact facilities.
  • Recognize the lights spiritual beliefs of the indigenous people in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment.

Ecotourism and other tourism types

Ecotourism has been a global phenomenon and have not been restricted to many particular region of the world .but since the term has been coined by lascurain in 1987 a number of related terms have been coevolved including sustainable tourism nature based tourism, adventure tourism, alternative tourism, responsible tourism, trekking and non consumptive tourism etc and these terms sometimes look similar to ecotourism and are often used synonymously with ecotourism leading to semantics confusion; although some of them mass tourism an 3s(sand, sea and sun)tourism are manually exclusive with ecotourism. it is essential to demarcate the relation of ecotourism with these tourism types. Regarding these relations an attempt is made to depict these relations with the help of venn diagrams (as used by weaver encyclo eco) all the venn diagrams below are based on weaver.

Ecotourism and nature based tourism

Ecotourism something earlier litersture)is indistinguishing with nature tourism this is due to unspoiled undisturbed natural environmental and close association of ecotourism and same sort environment (weave in encyclo )but the basic difference between nature based tourism and ecotourism is that former is leisure tourism having no component of sustainable tourism and later contains essential sustainability component.

This destination between ecotourism and NBT too, is more normative. As Goodwin 1996 ceballos lascurain(cited by weaver)are of thee view that ecotourism is a subset of nature based category NBT as distinct in the venn diagram.but the basic distinction between two is that NBTis not nessary to be sustainable while ecotourism always contains sustainability element.

The venn diagram (depicted in fig) puts the view that ecotourism is a subset of NBT. but the fact is that ecotourism is not subsumed under this category due its cultural attraction which is the secondary component of ecotourism.

Types of Ecotourism:-

The word” ecotourism” did not exist before a couple of decades since, the term came’s into existence during the mid 1980s and semantic debate still continued. Similarly a great variety of definitions have been so far proposed and every countryman evens a single ecotourism operator having its own definition of ecotourism. Due to lack of unanimous definition a unanimous typology could not be developed. However on the basic of behavior of ecotourism and definitions adopted by operating agencies some authors have attempted to develop typology of Ecotourism.

Since, there are a great number of tourism operators and agencies that have adopted label of ecotourism and operating Ecotourists in that label. It may be argued that these agencies should not use the term that” ecotourism” to describe their actives, but the reality is that they are using the label and they cannot be prevented from doing so. There is no copy right on the term. As a consequence it is meaningless to debate over who has the right to call themselves an ecotourism operator and they cannot be prevented (orams 2001)what can be done, however is two review the range of ecotourism types and to categories them according to nature of their operation other definition they subscribe. a number of others have attempted to do just that and ecotourism actives have been categorized as below.(Oramsin Encircle eco)

Ecotourism and Adventure tourism

The term “Adventure tourism “was initially used interchangeably with ecotourism as like NBT(kutay 1989 in weaver).although adventure tourism .it is considered to be associated with natural setting, this form of tourism has setting with non-nature based venues(weaver2001)

On the nature side, adventure tourism associated activities includes, white water rafting. wilderness hiking, skydiving, sea kayaking,caving,mountain climbing, diving and hand gliding(sung et al 1996-1997 encycloneco)despite being such association with natural setting the fundamental reason, not to include adventure tourism with ecotourism is the nature of interaction with the surrounding natural environment e.g. educative interactions Since ecotourism places the stress on an educative of appreciative interaction with that environment. adventure tourism are primarily interested with desired level of risk and physical exertion, valid primarily for the personal thrills and challenges that they offer not for their sciencefic interest or associated species of wildlife. they lake educative part

However there are of course many situations where the adventure tourist is equally interested in the above qualities and there are amny Eco tourist who are willing to incur and element og risk in order to experience a particular natural attraction. e.g. wilderness hiker who takes physical risk in order to observe a rare bird of prey in its high mountain habitat.the relationship between ecotourism and adventure tourism is one of partial overlap.

Ecotourism and trekking

Trekking is however the tourism form that is very ear to ecotourism. Trekking activities is usually associated with mountainous regions(e.g. Himalayas).a trekking activity is actually a combination of visits to local villages, adventure experiences(such as rope bridge to cross streams)and natural scenery appreciation. In renascence trekking incorporates the amalgam of adventure tourism, ecotourism and cultural tourism. It contains the elements of all 3 forms this type of tourism, fennel(1999) describes it as ACE tourism(adventure, culture and ecotourism)also preferred over the term ecotourism.(weaver in encyclo eco)as weaver is of view there are two factors account for this popularity. firstly there are many circumstances where it is virtually impossible differentiate in a meaning full way among the three components distinctions are not likely to be maybe by the tourist themselves as they simultaneously engage in cultural, nature based and adventures activities, secondly such says thesis tourism product may be popular among consumers seeking a diversified and more holistic experience of tourists as opposed to be overly specialized one.

Another example of such an acronym, coined as a result of similar concerns and also appreciable to trekking is the concept of NEAT tourism (Nature, Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism)(Ralf Buckley 1999 as cited by weaver Encyclo eco).