Eco-friendly tourism management

Eco-friendly tourism management

Tourism and Conservation: Interaction Experience

All over the world, tourism and recreation are developing in attractive (attractive) territories for holidaymakers, including the so-called specially protected natural areas (PAs). In the USA and Canada, Western Europe, national parks are specially designated for tourism. Not very long ago, national parks began to appear in our country. However, until now Russian national parks are very weak "work" on the idea of ​​tourism and many seem to be another bastion of nature protection, and nothing more. Undoubtedly, the combination of the tasks of nature conservation with the tasks of developing mass tourism and recreation can confuse any managers, administrators and managers, but it should also be borne in mind that considerable experience of this kind of interaction has been accumulated in the world, and most of this experience falls on national parks.

Perhaps, first of all, we must recognize the fact that recreation and tourism are vital for protected areas. Contact with untouched nature, the opportunity to feel and study the world around them often turn visitors into active helpers of protected areas (and sometimes into investors). This brings additional funds in addition to direct tourism income (admission fees, various fees for tour services, sale of souvenirs, travel guides, etc.). The latter, with wise management, can be aimed at maintaining the protected area in good condition, salaries for employees, repairing railways and highways near protected areas, providing service at the proper level, etc.

And here we are faced with the main contradiction that hinders the development of the recreational sphere. On the one hand, tourism and recreation are a source of long-awaited and very solid investments for many previously depressed regions, so no one is going to give up tourism today; on the contrary, the revenues of travel agencies are growing, new routes appear, more and more objects of tourist and recreational infrastructure are being built. On the other hand, the uncontrolled development of this field of activity often causes the destruction of unique natural objects, the degradation of the cultural landscape, a decrease in biodiversity, etc. It should be noted right away: this situation manifested itself much earlier in the West - in Europe and North America, since the rapid marketing and promotion of a tourist and recreational product gave a tangible, visible negative effect that caused concern among specialists and the general public.

Currently, we can already admit that it was in the countries of the "golden billion" that the urgent need to reconcile the sphere of tourism and recreation with nature protection and landscape optimization first appeared and was realized by the society. The efforts of theorists, planners, tour operators and tour business managers, undertaken in this direction, led to the formation of the idea of ​​the so-called ecological tourism and eco-friendly recreation, which were developed primarily within the national parks.

So, a tourist and recreational product needs protected areas and protected areas need income and advertising, which are provided by recreation and tourism, but at the same time, in order to avoid serious negative consequences, protected areas and tourism should be appropriately managed.

In this subsection, we will attempt to analyze foreign experience in managing the recreational sphere in order to preserve the cultural landscape and unique wildlife of countries and regions.

The history of interaction between the tourism and recreation sector and nature conservation in the West goes back at least one and a half to two centuries.

The first English travelers who began arriving in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries were interested in both the characteristics of the continent's culture (its cities and villages, architecture and population) and its nature, especially romantic landscapes with high mountains (which they could not see in England) and dense forests. At the time, the Alps were the most popular tourist destination. The Swiss, appreciating the growing influx of English tourists, began to include in their grants a wide range of tourist services (cottages, hotels, open-air restaurants, narrow-gauge railways passing near the most beautiful places, etc.). Soon tourism, based on natural attractions and elements of folklore, became one of the leading sectors of the Swiss economy. To maintain the integrity and attractiveness of natural areas for tourists, all these areas received the status of protected areas, which ensured their preservation.

Likewise, in the United States, in the creation of the world's first Yellowstone National Park, the main incentive for the establishment of a protected area remained to provide people with places to rest and restore creativity. The US Congress, from the very beginning of the formation of the park system, established that they should primarily serve as "recreation areas" for visitors and tourists. Then, over 50 years, 40 more national parks were opened in the United States, but all of them did not have sufficient funding, management system and personnel.

Unfortunately, the European settlers who inhabited the country had a hard time getting used to the idea of ​​the need to protect nature, at least within the specially designated areas. For them, first of all, they represented rich reserves of wood and ore for plunder. No central federal organization could protect parks from such abuse. And until the parks were "moved" away from settlements, poachers, miners and pastoralists exploited these lands with impunity, and (which is indicative) no means like special cavalry units and armed foresters saved the parks from growing poaching and logging the woods; the situation soon began to spiral out of control.

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