The popularity of ecotourism is growing in proportion to the deterioration of the planet's ecology

The popularity of ecotourism is growing in proportion to the deterioration of the planet's ecology

Competently built ecotourism in Kenya allows you to enjoy African safari and gives the country almost $ 0.5 billion annually (pictured - Amboseli National Park)

Most of the inhabitants of Russia dream of making an unprecedented journey, relaxing in nature, admiring the beauty of landscapes untouched by civilization, seeing wild animals, breathing fresh air. This is demonstrated by both opinion polls and economic studies of the ecological tourism segment. At the same time, the demand for cognitive, species and specialized (photo, film, children's) ecotourism is growing at an incredible pace.

This segment of the world economy brings in about $ 1 billion a day, and, obviously, its turnover will grow from year to year. And the deterioration of the ecological state of the planet only gives this an additional impetus - people are in a hurry to see the “departing nature”, and many also help her stay. Russia is one of the most beautiful and richest places in the world in terms of the number of protected corners - unfortunately, it still lags far behind many even developing countries. Most tourists will prefer the Australian Cockatoo, American Yellowstone, Tanzanian Serengeti and Limpopo to our Baikal, Kamchatka, Karelia and the Great Arctic Reserve. How ecotourism is developing in the world and in Russia, what are the prospects of our national parks, Profil worked out together with experts.

Ecotourism is not at all a backpack, a tent, a fire and songs with a guitar, although just such associations at first may arise from this phrase. This is not only and not so much tourism as a form of recreation, but a whole economic and ecological direction, which implies the economic development of regions, countries, as well as the preservation and restoration of natural and biological resources.

As a separate segment, it began to develop in the late 80s of the last century, and became fashionable in the 90s, the Minister of Economic Development of Udmurtia Mikhail Tumin told Profil. “It is now one of the most dynamic sectors in the global travel market with 10-15% annual growth,” he says. - The cost of eco-travel is usually higher than the cost of standard tours. Average rates are $ 200-300 per person per day. "

In addition, ecotourism is also a sector of the "experience economy" ("Profile" spoke in detail about this new phenomenon in the issue of July 16, 2018 - "Business selling memories"). Every year the number of tourists preferring such a vacation is increasing by several percent. “Many countries use eco-tourism as a business opportunity, as well as for socio-economic development at the micro-, meso- and macro-levels,” says Konstantin Pozdnyakov, Dean of the Faculty of International Tourism, Sports and Hospitality at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.

The statistics cited by Dmitry Gorshkov, Director of the Biodiversity Conservation Program of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia, is striking. Over the past couple of years, the world has recorded about 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals, which provide 10% of world GDP. And the ecological segment in the total share of tourism takes a quarter - 25%. According to travel service TripAdvisor, 30% of all tourists in the world are ecotourists. And 70% of their total number declare their intention to choose a "safer type of tourism from an environmental point of view" next year.

There are two models of ecotourism. The first is travels mainly into undisturbed nature. It was formed in the USA and Canada, but most fully embodied in Australia, therefore it is called Australian. “The second - Western European - model is implemented in the cultural landscape and supports the same landscape,” explains Konstantin Pozdnyakov.

Countries earn a lot from ecotourism. So, according to the same WWF, in Canada, only direct tax deductions from ecotourism are $ 1.7 billion. "This is five times higher than the state spending on nature conservation, and they amount to $ 300 million," comments the director of the Fund for Support and Development of Environmental Protection and other socially significant projects "Our Fund" Olga Bandalova. The economic model of ecotourism in the United States works on the principle of the so-called satellite effect - when an entire region develops around a national park or reserve.

And it turns out that with annual subsidies from the state budget of $ 3 billion, the total income from visits to specially protected natural areas (PAs) in 2017 alone amounted to $ 14.2 billion. national park, - the expert explains. "Another $ 3 billion a year has a secondary effect associated with an increase in the purchasing power of the population."

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