Definition of Tourism
Tourism is an economic activity where people travel to visit places of interest either for leisure or for enjoyment.
Online PR News – 27-September-2012 – Nairobi, Kenya – The Tourist may also visit a place o spend their holiday, honeymoon, a business trip, a study tour or to attend a conference.
Definition of Eco-Tourism
The word Eco-tourism is derived from the word of Ecology and Tourism. Ecology is the study of relationships between living things and their environment. Eco-Tourism is therefore and environment, friendly tourism whereby a tourist enjoys watching what nature has provided for enjoyment, while at the same time protects what natures had provided. Eco-tourism is an alternative tourism that aims at correcting and avoiding most of the negative activities of traditional tourism. An Eco-tourist does not pollute the air or litter the parks and beaches. Our tour / guides in the coastal region advice clients on what is expected before they embark on any fishing safari, snorkeling or visits to marine parks.
Characteristics of Eco-tourism
In most of the tourist sites in East Africa, Eco-tourism is being encouraged as the tour guides lead the tourists to drive along marked trails instead of driving to the areas where there are animals for them to watch at close range. Uncontrolled driving may destroy vegetation thus encouraging soil erosion. Driving too close to the animals frightens then and interferes with their habits.
Telescopic viewing of the animals is being encouraged. In some of the game parks, there is a steady increase in the use of camping sites instead of building large tourist lodges. Building game lodges destroys wildlife habitats, destroys the natural charm of the parks and puts pressure on water resources which the animals depend on. Maasai Mara is an example of an overcrowded reserve with lodges. Tented camping is being encouraged in Maasai Mara and Lake Nakuru National Park near Malaika falls.
Eco-tourism is also being enhanced through creating awareness among the local communities to understand and appreciate nature by visiting game parks and becoming custodians of wildlife. It is necessary to educate local and foreign tourist to enjoy the natural variety of life and scenic beauty without causing environmental damage.
Mass tourism is where large institutional groups of students or staff in several vehicles visit the game parks and occasionally surround animals of interest, thereby interfering with their routines. Efforts are being made to only allow small groups tours of tourists to visit wildlife sanctuaries.
Soft or green tourism is being encouraged in some areas where the natural environment has previously been interfered with. Policies and programs are initiated that not only seek to protect the environment but also help to restore the damaged environment. This is done through planting of vegetation and introducing animals in the area. A suitable example is the Bamburi Nature trail in Mombasa.
At the entry point to most of the parks, tourists are warned against dangers of throwing cigarette remains onto dry vegetation. This may cause fires which may destroy the animal habitats as well as killing them. They are also told not to feed the animals, which interfere with the feeding and breeding habits of the animals.
At the Taita Hills wildlife sanctuary only particular types of the vehicles are allowed in thus controlling the number of visitors at each visit. Off-road driving is prohibited and instead, guided foot safaris are provided to tourist who requires a closer view of wildlife.
These measures were taken to protect the park from destruction, as it hosts more than 100,000 tourists in a year. It has more than 50 species of mammals and 300 bird species over and area of 100km². In Kenya, eco-tourism is also encouraging the sharing of benefits accrued from tourism with local communities. Communities living in neighbourhood of the game parks are usually compensated whenever the animals destroy their crops, eat their livestock of the people are injured or killed by animals. Proceeds from the parks are used to build schools, health centers and roads in the neighbourhood. Therefore, eco-tourism supports the efforts of conversation of nature so that the future generations may also benefit from it. It is hoped that they shall do the same for their children and indeed protect the earth and its biodiversity.
Cruzeiro-safaris.com is established in Kenya, incorporated in 2004. Its core business is safari packages and day tours complemented by air travel. It has a well established wealth of experience in arranging memorable tours and safaris and has established a client base who provide with repeat business year after year. Join us on facebook, twitter and youtube. Safaris in Kenya may be tailored to the tourist taste and can extend to Tanzania and Uganda.
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