MBA (Travel & Tourism) aspirants and their orientations towards "Ecotourism"
Diversity in the type of visitors and their activities is always there in ecotourism market. There are many aspects responsible for the differences among Eco tourists such as:
- amount of spending;
- desired activities
- personal demographics
- length of stay;
- distance travelled;
- expected level of comfort and physical effort
- desired learning level and;
- value of nature for trip motivation
For an instance, experiences of ecotourism varies from
1) a foreign person visiting Australia by expending huge amount of money for a profitable trip to visit the Wet Tropics rain forests as well as Great Barrier Reef and to
2) a resident of that area go for camping for a weekend in a nearby national park. There are various activities that may engage Eco tourists such as photography, bird watching, climbing, hunting, trekking (bushwalking, hiking), camping, sight-seeing, fishing and whale viewing.
It is indicated by visitor surveys and anecdotal reports (e.g., Eagles, Ballantine, and Fennell 1992) that most of the Eco tourists consider that their visit is significant if they contribute for local area growth and conservation. As all Eco tourists do not necessarily considered it thus government agencies and businesses do not get that motivation for supporting development efforts and conservation.
There are various topologies available, but Lindberg has given a typology of ecotourism/nature types in1991:
- Hard-core: members and scientific researchers of tours are designed particularly for restoration of environment, education or other same purposes.
- Dedicated: those people who plan a trip particularly to visit protective regions and desire to know about cultural history and local nature
- Mainstream: those people who primarily go for the Rwandan gorilla park. The Amazon and other destinations
- Casual: those people, who plan a trip by chance, like a day tour at the time of broader vacation.
Actors in Ecotourism "System"
There are number of actors, which play important roles in ecotourism, they are:
- Natural areas (both private and public areas) as well as their managers
- Businesses comprising of many different groups including outbound and inbound operators, local businesses, hotel providers, food and restaurants provider and many more.
- Government, also play the role of natural area manager; as well as
- NGOs, including rural and environment development NGOs.
Above mentioned actors will be different at every site. For an instance, business are present ate few sites but no role is played by them at other sites. Similarly, local communities are important for few sites but not for every site.
According to a general phenomenon both conflicts and symbiosis could generate among the actors because of ecotourism. Potential for ecotourism, resulting in symbiosis in development (e.g., businesses) and conservation (e.g., natural areas) has been advertized widely, but potential for conflict also need to be focused. Like, for the conservation of natural environment, ecotourism businesses and natural area manager have shared their interest.
Eco tourists like a market segment
Instead of being small in size, ecotourism industry is growing at a fast pace in niche market. However, it is not easy to quantify the market but it is confirmed by the trends that awareness and enthusiasm of consumer for ecotourism experiences are strong. Promotion of tourism is almost similar to the promotion of nature tourism. Ecotourism and adventure tourism are part of nature tourism. Though, it can be noticed that cultural and rural tourism are strongly lined with ecotourism than adventure tourists.
Continued to Part--2