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Ecotourism is a form or a type of tourism industry in which travellers cover natural geographical areas and conserve them. The main aim of the study is to review all the aspects of tourism including its key facts, customer profile, key trends and statistical impact.
The tour operators generally organised the tour where tourists participate in travelling in exchange for money or charges. As per the view of Azis et al. (2018), there are few organistions in different sectors of ecotourism where that organise a different tour to different geographical locations. Service providers in this segment are generally from the small business and local providers who involve in setting the tur plans with reasonable rates. Eco-tourism developments are mainly planned by the five stated organistions that are “governments, tourists, host communities, tourism business and other sectors”. As per the author Blanco-Romero et al. (2019), with the help of these organistions, sustainable developments are done in the destination’s places, where the local people or inhabitants are mainly benefitted. Sustainable management, environmentally educated, and nature-based are the three principles of ecotourism.
The key players in the tourism sector are service providers, customers and the organisation or the company that offer the tour. Environmental integrity and voyage development are the main scopes of these industries (Çakmak et al. 2021). Eco companion and tours and travel company basically regulated this sector, they also offer various offers and discounts to attract more no. of customers to avail the tourism services.
In the year 2019, the eco-tourism industry market size was at $181.1 billion, with a view to achieving the stated target within the year 2027. From the statical data, it has been observed that the tourism sector has earned 8.32 crore revenue in the year 2021. Despite having COVID, the revenue rises to a great extent. There were 415 million tourists across the world in the year 2021. The no. shows a 4% increase in the tourist rate compared to the pre-COVID times.
Global tourists travel to different destinations and eco-space to get natural access to nature. As opined by Carrascosa-López et al. (2021), the traveller from different regions establishes their culture and social impact on their destinations to a great extent. The underdeveloped group who lives in coastal areas and far away from the city can get the access to the modern culture from the tourists. In exchange, the tourist can get a natural experience.
The local people can get to know the different cultures and social integration among them. As mentioned by Dima et al. (2020), through these, they can earn their revenue by offering services to the tourist's people. By promoting cultural understanding, the local community can raise funds to develop their living means. Ecotourism is been raised by 3.2% between the years 2014 and 2019.
The influence of ecotourism has reduced the hunting of animals for earning livelihood for the local communities. This created a huge environmental impact in saving the animals and endangered species.
Renowned or famous Destinations for ecotourism are Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica and Hawaii. As stated by Eluwole et al. (2022), these places are stated as the most visited place in the last two years. These dream destination places have a unique natural environment that attracts tourists to visit the place. There are several activities that are engaged in ecotourism such as trekking, sailing, Kayaking, snorkelling and visiting the “national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, homestays, and eco-tours”. Spectacular trips are the outcomes of the tourism activities where the visitors visit different places and involve in their regional activities. As per the author Gursoy et al. (2022), the sub-type of the eco-tourism industry is classified into three groups hard, soft, and adventure ecotourism. These components contain various benefits and costs where the tourist spend more money to visit different exotic places to get adventure trips, natural experiences from mother nature and other activities.
The tourism industry has many segments to provide a memorable and useful experience to visitors. As per the view of Han et al. (2020), several places have their own unique system where they need to cover all the places within a specified time zone. Different climate conditions, cultural aspects and sustainable impacts are the main elements of the eco-tourism concepts.
In the ecotourism sector, different kinds of visitors visit the places who have different demographic aspects, geographical origins and other motivations. As stated by Karunakaran (2018), Middle-age people with high-income levels (age group 28-40) and has higher education levels are the target market in the ecotourism sector. This age group are the general population involved in visiting different places to take a long vacation with natural amenities. The relationship between guests and the host of the community or company is determined by the customer profile because the interaction of different people made numerous remarks in generating the income. Old age people ate also attracted to limited zones as high altitude is not applicable for visiting. As opined by Kummitha et al. (2021), it causes health issues among old people. Male and female both genders have equal partnership in travelling. Mostly teenagers and middle-aged males opt for travelling to the stated destination over females.
Generally, the visitors are from the cities who are engaged in a lot of work to earn their livelihood. In order to remove their stress, they visit random places to get fresh environment. As per the view of Li et al. (2020), there are a group of people who like to visit different places in different corner of the world, also interested to see different lifestyle. The above-mentioned customer profile assimilates different ventures by enrolling their names in the eco-tourism.
Other (motivations and behaviour)
The motivation that is required for the above-listed age group is to see the unique and natural inhabitants. As mentioned by Mondino and Beery (2019), the middle age group share a “common interest but enjoy slightly different flavours of green travel as well as levels of exertion”. This shows the demand of visiting exotic places by the age group with reasonable amount.
The main strength of ecotourism is that it facilitates environmental and cultural awareness among the people. Crete many job opportunities for the local and backward communities. Sensitivity toward different cultures can be understood by visiting different places.
The main drawback of ecotourism is that it ruins the natural habitat. It disturbs the natural and wildlife of animals by poking their personal spaces. Discretion among animals and people led them to leave their homes.
It has many opportunities to make a huge difference in wildlife and the local community by establishing modern standards. Alternate sources for living and sustainable development can hence their standard of living.
Threat to the natural wildlife and indigenous culture. Damage the natural species and tribal cultures (academic.oup.com, 2022). The exploitation of natural and habitat resources.
New hesitations are being evolved by many researchers for the visitors and interested parties. The new places such as the “underwater world of Palau, and the rainforest canopy in Panama” and Iceland. As per the view of Sönmez et al. (2020), these places create subtypes in the environmental segment by developing the resources. The current or future trend in the environmental sector is zero waste, where minimization of the waste related to plastic and garbages are restricted.
The targeted market share is $333.8 billion within 2027 (active-tourism.com, 2022). Gearing towards improvisation in the companies facilitate providing confront to the visitors in the rural areas by minimizing the waste materials.
Increased in voluntarism, effective communication between the visitors and the people of the natural destinations implies a new segment in the social segment of the ecotourism industry. “Improved regional identity and community participation” enables social integrity among the visitors and the people reding on the spots. Effective services must be provided to this backwards community to raise their livelihood standard by providing monetary support.
Emerging technologies are made for the tourism industry which can ease the transportation and cultural barriers. Miscommunications and distance among the peoples can be reduced with the help of different technologies. The technologies are voice search, facial recognition, IoT, and AI implementation. Virtual tours are the upcoming versions of the tourism industry in which people can sit in a hotel and enjoy the places through virtual technologies.
Based on the above context it can be stated that ecotourism has enough space to restore the livelihood of the tribal people. It has good scope to expand its resources, to attract families for a good vacation. The company who are engaged in providing the tours must incur sustainable development to save the natural habitats. Cultural erosion must be stopped by the visitors. Growth in facilities and ensuring a profitable industry for the local community by the key organizations of the eco-tourism industry.
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