ECOTOURISM: Growing With Nature Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Conservation. By: Dr. Mina T. Gabor Chairman , Ecotourism Society of the Philippines Foundation President , Philippine Small and Medium Business Development Foundation, Inc. Honorary Consul , Republic of Maldives.
ECOTOURISM: Growing With NaturePoverty Alleviation and Environmental Conservation
Dr. Mina T. Gabor
Chairman, Ecotourism Society of the Philippines Foundation
President, Philippine Small and Medium Business Development Foundation, Inc.
Honorary Consul, Republic of Maldives
Travel is fundamentally an emotional human experience
MR. S. KAMEDA
JAPAN Airlines, 1975
Ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas that will encourage environment education, appreciation and conservation, in order to sustain and improve the lives of the local community.
Early in 1992 Healey suggested the following clarificatory definitions
Early writings on conservation and travel began to appear in the 70’s. Peter Thresher in 1972 and later David Western and Wesley Henry in 1979 suggested that tourism in national parks need not conflict with conservation uses. These three authors were all working in Kenya where tourism to national parks was already attracting significant foreign exchange.
In 1981 Thresher wrote his groundbreaking article on the economics of a lion in 1981. He concluded that over it’s lifetime a lion will draw US$ 515,000.00 in foreign exchange alive and well for wildlife viewing. In contrast its value was only US$ 8,500.00 as a hunting or sport resource and up to US$ 1325 as a commercial skin.
In 1992 the Philippines recognizing the importance of Ecotourism Bidded to host World Expo 2002 with the theme”Ecotourism Growing with Nature”
In 1998 The United Nations Declared 2002 as the:
INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF ECOTOURISM
The environmental impact of tourism development in natural areas is cause for serious concern. In some popular destinations, the natural attractions of the area- animal habitats, forests, reefs and wetlands – have been destroyed due to overbuilding and irresponsible development.
But today, many tour operators in destinations as diverse as Sabah, China, Philippines, Brazil, Belize and Antarctica are realizing the value of conservation and are working to improve the environment.
Ecotravelers can encourage those efforts by learning more about the environmental impact of tourism and by making informed travel choices that support conservation and preservation of the natural wonders of the earth.
What you can do to help preserve the environment
Choose destinations that are not overcrowded or overdeveloped.
Select responsible tour operators and guides who are aware of
environments concerns and who contribute financially to
conservation and preservation efforts.
Seek out responsible, environmentally-sensitive accommodations
Follow all advisories, rules and regulations regarding
protected areas, water sources or wildlife habitats.
Take nothing in with you and leave behind only footprints.
If reviewing wildlife, never touch, chase or harass animals or marine
Support the work of conservation and preservation organizations.
According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO)
a total of 924 million tourists visited various destinations worldwide in 2008.
Total foreign exchange receipts (excluding airfares) was about US$1.02 trillion.
30% of world export services
Of these numbers, nature travel or ecotourism as it is commonly called now, accounted for 20-30% of travelers.
Stimulus to Travel
Australia - $900 to qualified families,
“AUSTRALIA” movie “Greatest Job in the World”
New Zealand - $5.0 mill for Auz incentives
Vietnam – 50% discounts; VAT reduction;
VOA + exempt
China – Travel Coupons = domestic focus
India – Visit India 2009 = Buy 1 get 1 free
Japan – “Have more Fun” FIT China,
Singapore – “Fly on US” ½ mill free
Chinese Taipei – Free gifts, vouchers,
Thailand – MegaFam trip; “Amazing
Where is the Customer?
National Tourism Policy Act 2009
Source: WTTC Jan 2009
Barriers to Travel
Infectious diseases 1.91
Racial discrimination 2.10
Natural disaster 2.18
Airport delays & hassles 2.40
Travel Survey 2009
Does Not affect
young (89%) 35-54 years old
high income bracket
ASIA IS FIRST AND FOREMOST INTRAREGIONAL
PHILIPPINES: Keeping Pace with Sustainable Ecotourism Development
5th in the world and 2nd in Asia in terms of endemic animals
25th in the world and 8th in Asia among plant-rich nations
17,500 kms. Of coastline
Philippines is part of the coral triangle together with Indonesia and Malaysia
30 million hectares of terrestial and wetland ecosystems
110 diverse dialects
Whale Shark Capital of the PhilippinesTime Magazine: “ The Best Animal Encounter Destination in Asia” 2004
Donsol once a sleepy town from the province of Sorsogon, south of Manila, now registers 11,000 tourists with P50 million in earnings. The main draw to visitors 65% foreigners are the whale shark (RhincodonTypus) locally known as Butanding, (not only to see but to have a chance to swim with the so-called giants of the sea.
First sighting in 1998 President Ramos issued an E.O. banning the taking, catching, selling, purchasing, poisoning, transporting or exporting of the whale sharks and manta rays.
The “Butanding” Ecotourism Development project was soon established.
A New Thriller in Manila