Ecotourism – conservation of the natural and cultural heritage
Sometimes the concept of ecotourism is widely misunderstood and it is often used as a marketing instrument in order to promote tourism businesses related to nature. Ecotourism means not only nature, it also includes indigenous cultures. It is about fostering respect for nature and for cultures, too. The true ecotourism represents only “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of the local people” (TIES 1990). This paper clarifies the definition of the ecotourism concept versus related concepts as “sustainable tourism”, “responsible tourism”, “nature based travel” or “green travel”, presents the principles and benefits of ecotourism which is seen as a win-win solution and a Business Biodiversity model. We approach also the issue of commodification and ecotourism and the implications for local cultures and people. The key of a successful ecotourism which avoids the risk of corroding local cultures is the incorporation of local cultures and people into industry. Finally, the paper presents Romania case: main stakeholders and projects for Eco-Romania, which gained in 2009 two Golden Apple award for ecotourism, and a short description of two remarkable eco-destinations: Retezat National Park and Hateg Country Dinosaur Geopark, which developed the UNESCO concept of geopark and the European Geopark Network Strategy.
Volume (Year): 1 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
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