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A Framework for Eco-tourism


Academic year: 2022

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Dr. Lewis T.O. Cheung (lewis.cheung@cityu.edu.hk) Community College of City University


` Sustainable tourism is tourism attempting to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people. The aim of

sustainable tourism is to ensure that

development brings a positive experience for local people, tourism companies and the

tourists themselves.



` It tries its utmost to maintain the importance of local culture and tradition.

` It is informatory, as it doesn’t only let tourist know about the destinations but also it helps locals knowing about the

culture and civilizations of tourists.

` It is aimed to conserve the resources of destinations where one is visiting to.

` It seeks deeper involvement of locals, which provide local people an opportunity and make their living.

` It stresses pointedly upon integrity of the tourist places.


` Sustainable tourism is a paradigm that evolved as a reaction to criticism of tourism's unprincipled growth in Europe in the 1970s.

` Among the first who wrote about the negative environmental impacts of tourism was a Swiss researcher Jost Krippendorf.

` The researchers Mathieson and Wall (1982) defined sustainable tourism in terms of

economical, physical and social impacts.

` the carrying capacity which will determine the level of impact, e.g. the number of visitors who can visit a

particular area without affecting the area physically


` In 1996,the World Tourism Organization, the World Travel & Tourism Council, and the Earth Council released their own action-plan, Agenda 21

` The focus was in an effort to integrate tourism into broader sustainability discussions


` The Year of EcoTourism

` In 2002 UNWTO had dedicated the year for Eco Tourism.

` Some 500 delegates from 100 countries selected four themes for the International Year of Ecotourism 2002.

` The four themes were

ecotourism policy and planning

the regulation of ecotourism

the marketing and promotion of ecotourism

monitoring the costs and benefits of ecotourism.

` Environmental sustainability and empowerment of local communities were listed as "cross-cutting issues".




This WTO report recommends that tourism needs to be developed to satisfy three

broad principles (Ding and Pigram, 1995):

1. To improve the quality of life of the host community.

2. To provide a high-quality experience for visitors.

3. To maintain the quality of environment on

which both the host community and the visitors depend.

McIntyre, G. 1993. Sustainable Tourism Development:

Guide for Local Planners. Madrid:World Tourism Organization.



` Economic viability

` Local prosperity

` Employment quality

` Social equity

` Visitor fulfillment

` Local control

` Community wellbeing

` Cultural richness

` Physical integrity

` Biological diversity

` Resource efficiency

` Environmental purity

Making Tourism More Sustainable: A Guide for Policy Makers, in September 2005

—— released by UNEP and WTO.



Provinces Central Government



` Oct. 25.1995, the United Nations released Paris

Declaration: In 21 century, the only way for mankind to survive is to learn the essence from Confucius 2500

years ago.

` Government--Official members who involve in policy- setting and planning need to recognize and give equal consideration to both potential positive and negative effects of tourism.

` Private sectors-- consciously balance the interests of profit, environment, and social and culture.

` Community-- Local people must play a key role in

determining the future of tourism in their community.


` Can be traced to the 1970s

Responsible tourism movement

x Reaction to the negative consequences of tourism development

Helped spawn 1980s “environmental tourism”

x Led to eco-tourism


` Hector Caballos-Lascurain

Ecotourism: The Potential and Pitfalls

x Coined the term in July 1983

x Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas

x Low negative visitor impacts

x Provides beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations


` International Ecotourism Society definition:

Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of the host people



Cultural Tourism Green Tourism


Tourism Nature-based

Tourism Ecotourism


A Model of a Sustainable Eco-tourism System


` Interactions between hosts and tourists

Entail more than simple financial transactions

Involves exchange of expectations, stereotypes, and expressions of ethnicity and culture


A Framework for Eco-tourism


` Many year ago, people trespassed into the

mangrove forest and cut the trees for making house and charcoal.

` A lot of them fished with harmful tools which decreased the number of marine life and

destroyed the ecological balance.


` The Thai governors push tourism business into provincial development strategies in order to earn the maximum income.

` Development plans are submitted by local

authorities and if considered useful, they will be approved to be in those strategies.


` The governors do not work alone but in

cooperation with public and private sectors for example:

x Tourism Business Association

x Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) x Department of Fishery

x National Park and

x Prince Of Songkla University, Phuket Campus


` From the interviews with local committee, we learned about roles in tourism development especially in the area of intensive tourism activities where tourist attractions,

accommodation, agencies, shopping areas and pier located.


` Due to lack of planning and management, the environment is at risk. Baan Bang Rong has

its own pier in mangrove forest where tourist can take a boat out for any islands or into the forests and canals for ECOTOURISM.


` There are a lot of houses and properties, golf course and hotel projects and in next 5-10

years the lifestyle of the village is expected to change.

` As a regulation authority; Sub-district

Administrative Organization must work very hard to satisfy everyone in a proper way.



Borneo Eco Tours - Code of Practice

„ Environment

„ Education

„ Culture

„ Safety

„ Promotion



Sukau Rainforest Lodge - Green Policies



1. Electricity and Lighting


2. Water usage


3. Disposal System


4. Noise


5. Safety and Cleanliness


6. Design and Construction


7. Local community participation



` Recycled cooking oil

` Solar and rainwater harvesting

` River boats and electric motors

` Sukau rainforest lodge

Environmentally Responsible



Ecologically Sustainable

` Hornbill boardwalk and elephant passes

` Kinabatangan Wildlife Corridor Regeneration Project (KWICORP)

RM33,487.58 raised from donors

RM53,584.43 spent on the project * Jan 2000 – Dec 2007



Visitor Handbook on Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain


Saving Paradise – The story of Sukau Rainforest Lodge


Hornbill boardwalk handbook


Benefits to local community

` Water tank projects

` Medical projects

` Bavangazzo Longhouse

` Mompilis Longhouse

` Terongkongan Church, Kudat



Book reading


Book summary


Book presentation


Weekly skills training




NAC conferences








Tourism which is developed and maintained in an area (community, environment) in

such a manner and such a scale that it

remains viable over an indefinite period and does not degrade or alter the environment (human and physical) in which it exists to such a degree that it prohibits the

successful development and well-being of other activities and processes.

—— Butler (1993)





Three main principles (McIntyre, 1993):

` Ecological sustainability

` Social and cultural sustainability

` Economic sustainability



Ecological Sustainability



` First, prior to departure, tourists purchase travel- related clothing and equipment.

` Second, when tourists travel long distances to tourist destinations, they create considerable atmospheric pollution and other impacts on the global environment.

` Third, upon arrival at the tourist destination,

tourists often continue their accustomed habits of consumption



` High altitude emissions from long distance air travel


x Air Travel: 3-5% of Carbon dioxide emissions

x Air transport is set to become the world’s largest single contributor to environmental damage and global warming.

x Waste generation



` Car travel is the next worst offender



` Mass transport is the most climate friendly method of travel, and generally the rule is

"the bigger the better" - compared to cars, buses are relatively more sustainable, and trains and ships are even more so



` Marine dumping of wastes from cruise ships

` Other pollution



` Tourism development requires a foundation of infrastructure and superstructure



` Degradation of local water and soil quality into a vicious circle

` Reduced access by local residents to land, housing and marine resources



` Green tourism & eco-tourism

` Solutions to tourism-related pollution in the travel and tourism industry are technologically available.

` The industry has every opportunity to institute voluntary initiatives and self-regulation to address green tourism advocates and those calling for government regulation.

` The establishment of formal environmental management systems (EMSs) in each business establishment



` The establishment of waste reduction programs

` Appropriate waste management systems and infrastructure

` National governments and tourism businesses maintaining



Cultural Sustainability ----Positive




` Disrupt the original lifestyle.

` The different cultural background may result in a misunderstanding between visitors &

local community.

` Leading to the increasing rate of crime, decrease the public morality.



` According to the USA website: www.MSNBC.com, under the destruction of improper tourism

developing, the Great Wall is disappearing at a daily-growing speed. Without effective

protection, we won’t see it in the next century.

2. Damage the historical heritages



` See traditions in the light of development

‡ Keep the essence, discard the dross

‡ Treat cultural differences with acceptance

` Education

‡ Emphasize the importance of treasuring the heritages

‡ Cultivate experts, protect the historical sites with up-to-date theory

` Balance the development and protection



Economic Sustainability



Positive Effects Negative Effects Increasing foreign

exchange earnings


Increasing income Enclave tourism (cruise line)

Increasing employment Infrastructure costs Stimulation of

infrastructure development

Increase in prices

Economic dependence of the local community on tourism

Seasonal character of jobs Other industry impacts affecting tourism

(economic crises)




` Modes of Travel


x Flying is really not the best way to travel. If air travel is required. Please consider to select airlines who are

adopting environmentally friendly operation practice.


x Consider renting a hybrid vehicle to minimize pollution and fuel usage.

x Car pooling


x Traveling by train is probably the most eco-friendly way to cover a lot of ground.


` Most eco-friendly airlines Virgin Airlines

x They are dedicating themselves to recycling everything they can company wide.

x They are striving to have a paperless operation, and will reduce their paper usage by 25% over the next two years.

x They are committed to using less fuel with their aircrafts.

x They are doing this by using as much biofuel as possible.

x They are also phasing in the new Boeing 787-9

Dreamliners, which use 20% less fuel than any other jumbo jet on the planet.


` Accommodation

Selection of green hotels, B&B or eco-lodges

Third Parties Green Certification may be the best way to help visitors to select environmentally

friendly hotels.

E.g. Green Globe Certification, ISO14001, Green Key, etc.



` Green Globe is a global

benchmarking, certification and management system that is based on Agenda 21 and principles of sustainable development endorsed by 182 Heads of State at the

United Nations Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit.

` It provides companies and communities with a path to sustainable travel and



` Visit eco-friendly destinations

` Using eco-friendly tour operators


` Book your ticket with Eco-friendly airlines or eliminate your carbon emission by offsetting.

` Book green hotels with green certification which was done by third parties auditor.

` Reduce waste production while your stay in hotels

` Bring your own toiletries

` If you feel the need to buy souvenirs, try to make

your purchases from local craftspeople or businesses.

Buying imported, plastic trinkets or commemorative T-shirts does not help out the local economy.




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