Tourism is the fastest growing component of the South African economy and South Africa stands tall as one of the leading countries when it comes to tourism. When implementing eco-tourism, one not only attract more tourists but a better life can also be made for the people in the community.
You might ask yourself: “What is eco-tourism and how does it differ from regular tourism?” Below we gathered some information to give you a better idea of what exactly eco-tourism is and how you can be a part of this phenomenon.
One of the best descriptions that I’ve came across is that eco-tourism should unite conservation, communities and the tourist. Eco-tourism is therefore a destination where you can travel to that has natural resources that is being conserved, and by visiting that destination you also improve the lives of the local people.
South Arica is one of the countries where more than half of its population lives below the international established poverty line. By implementing eco-tourism in certain areas, it can have the potential to alleviate poverty in that area by bringing money into that area and creating jobs. With eco-tourism, other than sustainable tourism, the cultural heritages of the specific area are respected and conserved. The goal of eco-tourism is also to include the local people of the area in the planning, implementation and maintenance of that destination.
Eco-tourism provides a big benefit to the people living in the area where it is utilized, is it contribute to job creation, as well as better roads, hospitals, schools and communication means that needs to be implemented in order for the tourists to be attracted to the area.
“Conservation cannot solve poverty, but it can significantly help to prevent and reduce poverty by maintaining ecosystem services and supporting livelihoods” – Naughton- Treves