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Gcse Geography Ecotourism Case Study

Green tourism is tourism which is environmentally friendly. It involves the local people having a say in what goes on in the area. There is a need for tourism to be controlled as growing visitor numbers have led to landscapes being destroyed. An example, of this is the Maasai people helping the Kenyan Government to look after the safari parks.

Eco-Tourism- Tourism that doesn’t harm the environment and benefits the local community.

Economic benefits of eco-tourism:

  • It creates jobs for local people e.g. working as a guide which helps the local economy grow.
  • Local people not directly evolved with tourism also make money by selling traditional arts and crafts to visitors.

Environmental benefits of eco-tourism

  • It encourages people to conserve the environment, rather than using it for activities that could be damaging.
  • It helps protect endangered species so tourists can see them, but no one can hunt or kill them.
  • It uses Renewable energy, like Solar panels which is better for the environment than burning Fossil Fuels.

Case Study:The Galapagos Islands

Background Information:

  • A small chain of Islands found 1,000 km away from the west coast of South America.
  • The islands are famous as they are home to animal and plant species that can’t be found anywhere else on earth.
  • 90 % of the Islands are designated as National Parks

Environmental Benefits:

  • Buildings use local materials and are constructed by locals
  • There is limited transport available which reduces burning of fossil fuels
  • Mostly nature-based activities, rather than recreational activities that can be damaging.

Social and Economic Benefits:

  • Local guides are used which improves their quality of living
  • Tourists only visit in small number which reduces overcrowding and the over-use of Resources
  • Each Visitor has to pay a fee of £25 to conserve Islands, this helps develops the country

Case study: conservation and management in the Serengeti

A lioness stands in front of a safari jeep

Tourism brings income to Kenya and gives tourists a greater understanding of the area's animals and plants. The Serengeti is especially popular for safari holidays, which give tourists a chance to observe the annual migration of the wildebeest and zebra.

Tourism can also have negative impacts on the area. These need to be managed carefully to ensure that the natural environment isn't damaged for future generations.

Positive impacts of tourism

  • Conservation - tourism has supplied the economic incentive to set up national parks and conservation areas which protect wildlife.
  • Employment - tourism has generated jobs, improving the living standards for local communities.
  • Infrastructure - roads, airports and other facilities have been built.
  • Investment profits from tourism have been invested in education and other programmes for local communities.

Negative impacts of tourism

  • Environmental damage - roads and tracks for safari jeeps can erode grass cover, damaging plants and animals and disturbing local habitats. The removal of trees and other vegetation for the construction of roads can lead to soil erosion.
  • Inequality - often the profits of tourism are reaped by wealthy landowners or the hotel and travel companies in MEDCs.
  • Loss of traditional cultures - the Masai's way of life and traditional farming methods have been disrupted by the setting up of the Serengeti National Park.
  • Water cycle damage - diverting water for tourists can exploit local water reserves, leaving local people, plants and animals short of water. Tourist hotels sometimes dump waste into rivers.

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