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Eco Tourism in Nepal – Making Nepal Unique

An eco tourism based economy features steady, vigorous competition among those who provide the money and take the risks and benefits of ownership. They buy equipment, goods and labor services to create tourism for sale. “Buy cheap and sell dear” is their slogan to increase profits. We have to seldom serious problems like war and economic depressions to interfere with our eco tourism development.
It is also true, eco tourism provides for full and effective participation and viable income-generating opportunities for local people and it may also provide significant opportunities for income-generation and employment.

Some eco tourism based economy will make enormous profits. Thus, in a eco tourism-based economy, money creates greater amounts of money and greater average living standards. What a eco-tourism can provide, if managed and catered for properly, is the utilisation of natural resources to create sustainable income for businesses and individuals.

However, eco tourism based economy produces sustained income and wealth for most of the Nepali citizens, compared with rich nations, and the causes of our success can be summarized as follows: An eco tourism based economy model is the only model that ever shown sustained, if uneven, improvement in living standards for most of its people. It is the economy that reduces the productive efficiency to produce more wealth to the nation so strategies must be economically feasible if private investors are to support the program.

On the other side, it is also true, eco-tourism based economy will reduce conflicts. If the government promotes education and values that emphasize tourism conflicts will diminish, in the long run. The results of reducing conflict are that when people engage in tourism, production than war, then the killing and maiming are reduced and the general living standards are increased and people are more satisfied.

We have some questions now: How continuance of violent activity began to affect both seasoned vacationers and business travelers? How development has not been able to reach many remote and inaccessible areas of the mountains? How tourist arrival in Nepal has declined to some extent due to the increment of the price of trekking permits? How one of the major challenges facing the industry is the need for a professional and skilled work force to meet the existing and emerging needs of the tourism sector? How much it contributes to GNP and how this contribution compares with other countries? Tourism has a great influence on the Nepalese economy but when it goes down, it has an impact on other businesses.

Even, we have failed on the tourism-marketing front, with the result that we have been trying to sell Nepal without a proper focus. We need to develop new approaches to the tourism market. The violence in Nepal and its extensive coverage in the foreign media have hit foreign tourist arrivals to the country. We must get into action now, if we are to make tourism an instrument of economic change. Political violence has weakened Nepal’s largely tourism-based economy, but many hope that the chaos will end soon.

If greater facilities are offered to bring tourists into the country, the flow of investment also increases so safety awareness campaigns should be conducted. There is an urgent need to follow an ‘open sky policy’. Encourage international airlines and hotel chains, to set up shop in Nepal by providing them with land, price and tax concessions. The existing rules and regulations need to be re-looked into and supportive legal framework has to be developed for the success of eco-tourism in Nepal. Several issues have been raised for the development of the tourism sector, but the implementation aspect of the recommendations is not effective in Nepal, so long run planning is required for the revival of the tourism business.

Eco-tourism development requires a partnership between market and state with an appropriate division of responsibilities. The efficiency and integrity of tax collection must be improved. Hospitals and schools must be established immediately. Without such infrastructure development, the development and functioning of the tourism sector will not be possible.

Facilities such as clean drinking water, sanitation, good transportation system, construction of good roadways are prerequisites to attract tourists. It is true, low tourist arrivals result in low occupancy rate and low consumption, and also reveals low production and low economic activity. Recognising the importance of tourism as a significant industry in the promotion of economic benefits and social unity.

Even Nepal’s tourism is affected because tourism in India, the Gulf and Far East are affected because of the terrorism. The number of tourists from the third countries recorded a decline in Nepal because of the high cost of marketing in the international market. The aim is to promote Nepal as a destination for a vacation, and to get more tourists into Nepal; to promote priority sectors of Nepal’s tourism areas, by emphasizing on a high profile, leisure and business quality product that has proved to be a major tourism draw throughout the world.

Although tourism is important to Nepal’s economy, we need more technical assistance. It is true, the government is not spending on tourism development as well as drinking water supply, training and sanitation are also getting less attention. At the same time, there is need to review these programmes, sharpen their focus, improve their system. We must be very careful, of course, to do that in a long-term, dynamic way as well as short-term. If eco tourism-based economy has to be increased, attention must shift to sustained public action. Further reforms are needed in services.

The economic recovery of Nepal will depend on improved security because it is based upon assumptions of the restoration of law and order. Addressing the underlying causes of the insurgency widespread rural poverty and the failure to spread the benefits of development more widely is critical for Nepal’s tourism development.
The best way to bring the economy back to normalcy is the nation should practice transparency, accountability and give due respect to internal economy. For this Nepal needs a stable government that is accountable. Once security is improved a lot of market growth in particularly tourism and in finance.
If the country’s major foreign exchange earner is to be saved, then peace and security have to prevail. A lot of work needs to be done, and it is vital that all groups in Nepal do everything they can to end the pain and suffering this conflict has caused.

Kamala Sarup, is an editor of, has been published in World Security Network (WSN), World Press, Global Politician, Scoop Media,, Crossfire, Nepal and other publications. She has also been invited as a speaker at a number of peace and women conferences.



Tiger Safaris India


Wildlife Safaris - Tiger Tours

Come October, the monsoon ends and National Parks and tiger reserves open up for visitors. Though the number of tigers in India is constantly dwindling, the animal finds increasing interest among the naturalists and wildlife lovers.

Severely endangered the majestic tiger is World's most charismatic animal. It's aura revolves around mystic charm, abundant fear and intrigue which humans find irresistible. Tourist flock in thousands from every state of India and the World to have just one fleeting glimpse of the big cat. Tigers are shy of humans and contrary to popular belief they fear man. 

Man eating is an aberrant behavior and the cat is literary a gentle giant. It's main purpose is to serve the ecosystem as top/tertiary carnivore in the food chain. It governs the population of herbivores which are it's main prey base. The tiger's presence in the forest acts as an indicator that the ecosystem is intact.

The preferred habitat is dense forest and sometimes tall grasslands like in Kaziranga National Park. Unlike the lion it is not an open country or savanna dwelling animal. Neither does it hunt or live in big prides like its cousin, but is a solitary animal. The pairing takes place for mating after which the two separate. The female rears the cubs, while the male guards from afar rarely visiting the family.

The tigress is fiercely protective of the cubs and does not let the male come near nor share the food. There is no danger to the cubs from the male which has sired them, but other males will kill the cubs instantly. On rare occasion the whole family can be seen together. 

The tiger now survives in protected areas like the National Parks, tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. Outside these areas in the unprotected forests the tiger's survival is uncertain, and it has probably become extinct in many of them.

The protected areas serve many a purpose; one is to conserve the tiger as well as the whole ecosystem. The other is eco tourism which brings in revenue to the locals and the tourism industry including the hotels and wildlife resorts. Subsequently tourism creates awareness among people and encourages them to conserve nature. Tourist also act as an eye on the way things are in the habitat and perhaps help protect the forests in this manner.

In the beginning of the safari season flood gates open up for tour operators in India who get busy selling wildlife packages. Package tourism group are preferred mode of travel for tiger safaris amongst foreign tourists. The Indian tourists prefer family trips or travel independent. The hotel industry is linked with the tour operators in India and abroad. The accommodation is fully booked during the holiday seasons much in advance.

With awareness, tourism has become more responsible. The industry and governance sees the benefit of sharing revenue, jobs and income with the local tribes who are thus encouraged to conserve their natural wealth. Although bit ironical these very people have to be shifted from the core areas of the parks in order to give free space to the wild denizens. This is imperative and the solution is to delivers generous package which justifies the relocation. Proper compensation helps them resettle elsewhere successfully and make a better living.

Responsible tourism is again an imperative in order to make the local endemic tribal communities understand the benefit of conservation and tourism. Many tour operators and hotels employ local people and share benefits with them. In return these very communities strive hard to protect the inheritance. 

Though there is much noise about ill effect of tourism, here it is not justified as wildlife nor has the ecosystem ever suffered from controlled tourism. On the contrary parks like Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh, Corbett, Pench, Ranthambhore and many others have been a conservation success. This in spite of heavy load of tourists every year. 




Global warming is the major issue that has risen higher in the recent few years.  What does global warming mean?  Global warming refers to a usual increase in the Earth’s temperature, which sequentially causes change in temperature. 


With the increase in Global warming, diversion has taken place towards Eco-tourism. It has gain popularity among the tourism sector.


Eco Tourism is derived from two words- Ecosystem and Tourism. Eco Tourism is the best option for the people who love nature and its beauty. India is very well known among nature lovers and tourists from all over the world. Being famous for its enriched culture, beauty and heritage, it is getting well equipped with a number of Botanical and Zoological Gardens that are meant to preserve the nature and environment.


Eco tourism is a concept that has been promoted for preventing the environment around us and preserving its resources. Apart from providing a pleasant visit to tourists who wish to take a breath from the hasty city life and enjoy in midst of greenery, it also safeguard the environment from getting ruined.

It is a novel section adjunct to the Indian Tourism plan. This is an ideal form of tourism that encourage going back to natural wealth in every aspects of life. The year 2002 was celebrated as the International Year of Eco Tourism


Eco-tourism destinations in India
Rishikesh-  In Sanskrit, Rishikesh means  -he who has conquered his senses. Rishikesh is centered by the Holy River Ganga. This is among the best place for river rafting as here the Ganga is bounded by the green Himalayas from both the sides. Rishikesh is popular center of learning yoga and here we have many of the ayurvedic pharmacies.

Kerala - Kerala is the First planned ecotourism destination in India created to cater to the Eco-tourist and nature lovers. Here Ayurveda found a revolution from an ethnic cure to a luxurious indulgence. Kerala is one of the greenest destinations in India.

Pondicherry - The Botanical Garden of Pondicherry is enormously famous for lot of unusual species of plants. Every year the department of Tourism of Pondicherry organize the annual French Food Festival called Gourmet.Gourmet is another attraction of Tourist in Pondicherry.

Environment has served us the pleasure of relaxing and enjoying the natural wealth. Eco tourism is one of the major steps in saving the nature from global warming. Every tourism sector and tourists should encourage eco tourism for the well being of our surroundings.



Eco Tourism Definitions

Eco-tourism is the latest buzzword in the travel industry. Terms like Ecotourism, ecolodges, ecotravels and just being "eco" have become popular tourism sales pitches. What exactly is true eco-tourism? And why is eco-tourism such a great thing anyway? Let us look at some of the definitions of ecotourism. The definition according to the Ecotourism Society is "responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people". What it means is that a mere visit to a ecologically rich geographical location does not constitute ecotourism. It involves much more on the part of the visitor. For instance a walk through the rainforest is not eco-tourism unless that particular walk somehow benefits that particular environment and the people who live there. To put it in simple words your trip should help conserve and also improve the ecological condition of the place you visit. Needless to say eco-tourism expects the visitors to be responsible travelers who respect nature’s splendors and would be minimally destructive to Mother Nature’s bounty. A true eco-tourist does not mean any harm to the fragile life cycle of nature. Eco-tourism is fast becoming the most preferred form of tourism with increasing awareness on the preservation of nature and native cultures. Eco-tourism also actively encourages and supports the diversity of local economies by making them self-sustained with tourism related income. In order to be successful in a particular destination, eco-tourism needs to be promoted with the following guidelines:


* Arrange and promote meaningful contact between tourists and local people


* Support indigenous people/businesses by buying local goods and services


* Link commercial tourism to local conservation programs.


* Develop sustainable tourist facilities that minimize environmental damage.


* Provide economic support for development and management of natural resources.


Necessities Of Eco-Tourism

The concept of eco-tourism is fast catching up in India, with an increasing number of travel related organizations addressing the needs of eco-tourists. The country is currently witnessing a silent boom in eco-tourism with responsible travelers on the rise.


Why eco-tourism?

* To provide an opportunity for tourists to visit protected and unexplored areas without damaging or changing the original character and appearance.


* To provide economic incentives for local populace to safeguard their unique natural resources


* To increase the chance that money spent by tourists will remain within the local community Although this is the current scenario there are certain basic do’s and don’ts that need to followed. Some of them are listed below.



* Not throwing any non-degradable waster material including tins, plastic bottles and bags, etc.


* To respect other travelers privacy and not to invade it while taking photographs. * Bringing back all waste material.


* To consciously reduce noise pollution, by not playing loud music on tape recorders, radio or any other electronic equipment.


* To respect the sanctity of the local culture.


* To cover up with either mud or sand at places where temporary toilets are set up , after defecation.


* Tourists should make sure that the destination of their visit is at the least 30 metres away from precious water resources.



* Not to use wood as fuel for cooking at the campsite.


* Not to leave waste material in the form of cigarette butts or in the form of open fire, this could lead to ecological damage.


* Not to consume alcohol or any other form of intoxicants.


* Not to throw bottles, plastic bags, etc; in the wild.


* Not to pollute water in springs or streams by using pollutants in the form of detergents or hard soap.


* Not to take away any kind of flora /fauna in the form of cuttings, seeds or roots. It is illegal to do so , especially in the Himalayas. The ecological fragility of the area dictates that we protect this naturally rich area as responsible tourists. Listed below are some golden rules for travelers


* Prepare for your trip by learning as much as possible before you actually get there. Get to know about the local culture, custom and ecosystem through articles, guidebooks or through online resources. Picking up a smattering of the local language also helps.


* Respect the local tradition and be ready to follow certain etiquette. Remember the concept of personal space and time may be different at different places. Try and be an example for other tourists.


* Conserve resources by picking up waste or trash and try to minimize your impact in ecologically fragile areas.


* It is always better to be flexible with your expectations while embarking on a journey through ecosystems.


* Support locally owned business. This ensures that you are contributing towards the upkeep of the local business and helping indirectly in conservation.


* Bridge cultural gaps by getting to know your fellow travelers and local population. Share information on conservation and healthy practices to increase eco-tourism’s potential.


* Avoid overt display of wealth. For instance a camera hanging around your neck may be constituted bad manners by a rural community you are visiting. Oceanic Travel : Oceans play a major role in south Indian ecosystem. The specialty of south India is it is covered by water in three sides. The blue side of eco tourism in south India has some great destinations in Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabic sea. There are number of beaches, aquarium, aquatic research centers to take a visit as a number of species of aquatic flora and fauna could be a great fascination for an eco tourist. Moreover staying in beach resorts and enjoying the sea breeze will definitely e a pleasant moment for a eco tourist. KEYWORDS: "Tourism resorts in India, travel packages, natural areas, tourism activities, cultural awareness, hill tourism, hill station, Water falls, Oceanic spots, Beach resorts, tourist spot India, tour packages, travel guide, India heritage travel, tour, wildlife tour packages."



Ecotourism in India
Ecotourism, also known as ecological tourism, is a form of tourism that appeals to the ecologically and socially conscious individuals. Ecotourism in India has grown significantly in recent years since the country has a diverse geography which led to the development of many tourists destinations. These are the various destinations not only de-stress the tourists but also rejuvenate them:


Jim Corbett National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park
Kanha National Park
Kaziranga National Park
Nagarhole National Park


There are various ways in which tourists can enjoy nature in India. And this has given ecotourism in India a major boost. So come let’s Refresh, Review & Rejuvenate this enthralling experience with the team of Travelife.


Take a tour of Ecotourism in South India

Kerala:The land blessed by the God, is higher in diversity with the climate more humid and wetter. Kerala represents one of India's three richest tropical moist forest areas. This part of the country with wet evergreen forest has the most complex and species rich vegetation assemblage in the country. Some most visited wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala are - Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park, Periyar National Park, Silent Valley National Park. A visit to these parks should be regarded as a memorable experience, as this part of India is the last representative virgin tract of tropical evergreen forests in India.

Tamil Nadu:The sheer diversity of landscape found in Tamil Nadu, and its range of animal and plant life, makes it a favorable destination for people wishing to experience something of the State's natural wealth. Top of the list is the Mudumalai Sanctuary. Situated among the hills, this wildlife reserve covers 321 square kilometres and shelters gaurs, deer, wild elephants, and langurs, and also predators such as tiger, leopard and the Asiatic wild dog (dhole). Nearby to Mudumalai is the Annamalai Sanctuary. This famous wildlife sanctuary is the home for gaur, tigers, panthers, elephants, spotted deer, bears, and a variety of birds. National Deer Park & Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary are the other two destinations in Tamil Nadu.

Karnataka: Karnataka is endowed with most magnificent forests in the county ranging from majestic evergreen forests of the Western Ghats to the scrub jungles of the plains. The Western Ghats of Karnataka are one of the 25 global priority hotspots for conservation and one of the two on the Indian subcontinent. Several economically important species such as Sandalwood, Rosewood, Teak, White Cedar grow naturally in these forests. Karnataka forests endowed with rich wildlife, harbors 25 percent of the elephant population of India, 10% of the Tiger population. The state has 5 National Parks Anshi National Park, Bandipur National Park, Bannerghatta National Park, Kudremukha National Park, Nagarhole National Park the total forest area as protected area for wildlife and biodiversity. The state ranks 4th among all the states and union territories in respect of area under tree cover.


Ecotourism in Karnataka

Eco tourism - the heartbeat of Karnataka. Pulsating with lifetime experiences, where you can inhale the silence of the moment that brings peace to your soul - twinkling rivers, sweeping landscapes, majestic wildlife, ivory beaches and a rich diversity of flora and fauna.

There is plenty to see and do: Wildlife safaris in open top jeeps, viewing of birdlife, river rafting, angling, organised treks, elephant safaris, coracle boat rides, beach and water sports and much more.

Come, live the experience that goes beyond any other. We assure you that you will return home recharged and revitalized, with a greater love and respect for nature because you will observe how we protect and preserve our environment in small ways and how you could do the same - For our planet, For the future of our children! All this and more just a call away.... 9611196123.


Ecotourism Experienced Best at Bandipur National Park

Located in the southern part of the beautiful state of Karnataka, Bandipur is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India. The Bandipur National Park was made by the Maharaja of Mysore in the year 1931 and was then spread over an area of 90 sq kms. Bandipur Wildlife sanctuary forms the connecting link between the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary in Tamilnadu and the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary in Kerala and thus, is a long beautiful stretch that you would fall in love with.


EcoTourism from 'Travelife'

Ecotourism is entirely a new approach in tourism. Ecotourism is a preserving travel to natural areas to appreciate the cultural and natural history of the environment, taking care not to disturb the integrity of the ecosystem, while creating economic opportunities that make conservation and protection of natural resources advantageous to the local people.
Eco Tourism. In short, ecotourism can be categorised as a tourism programme that is "Nature based, Ecologically sustainable, Where education and interpretation is a major constituent and Where local people are benefited."



Role of Ecotourism in India

Updated: June 9, 2010

Ecotourism differs from traditional tourism in that it is nature-based and ecologically sustainable. Ecotorists travel to natural areas to appreciate the natural history and culture of the environment. Ecotourists take care not to disturb the ecosystems they are visiting. Ecotourism creates economic opportunities that make the conservation of natural resources advantageous for residents. In India ecotourism saves natural resources that without it might be exploited for economic gain in a more destructive fashion.


Supporting Local Economies

Ecotourism in India supports local economies. Tourism-related income is important for India's national and local economies. Ecotourism makes it possible for local services and producers to compete with larger foreign companies, which means the local economy is boosted and local families may support themselves. Revenue produced from ecotourism encourages the Indian authorities to fund conservation projects and training programs. If an area of India is making money from its natural beauty the government is encouraged to conserve it.


Protecting Local Cultures and the Natural Environment

Ecotourism minimizes the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment and local culture. Ecotourism programs in India instill an ethical perspective into their participants. People are taught to enjoy the natural beauty and interesting culture of an area without exploiting or disturbing it. Residents, who might be inclined to sacrifice their own culture and the beauty of their local environment for financial gain, are encouraged against such sacrifice by the relative economic prosperity brought to the area by ecotourism. Ecotourism projects also promote recycling, energy efficiency, water reuse and the development of economic opportunities.


Indian National Parks

In recent years a number of wildlife areas and national parks have been established in India. Restoration of wildlife populations previously reduced through the encouragement of hunting by past kings has begun. India now has many wildlife protection laws. There are 441 wildlife sancturies in India and 80 national parks, many of which are popular destinations for ecotourists. Ecotourism directly works for the protection and conservation of wildlife in India.


Poaching, Tree Plantation and NGOs

Ecotourism in India has encouraged authorities to introduce severe punishments for poachers, hunters and illegal traders of animals. Consequently, poaching has decreased dramatically. Ecotourism has also encouraged tree plantation projects throughout the country. As of 2010, numerous organizations are coming forward to provide residents with environmental education at grass root level.


The Ecotourism Market

According to the International Ecotourism Society, in the year 2000, ecotourism generated 7 percent of all international travel expenditure and ecotourism and other nature-related tourism accounted for 20 percent of international travel. According to the same set of statistics the average ecotourist is 35 to 54 years old, and 82 percent of ecotourists are college graduates who are willing to spend more than the average tourist.



Treading Softly

Just how green is ecotourism in India? Ghazala Shahabuddin reports
Wildlife tourism has boomed over the past decade. Urban families are taking time off to experience wilderness as never before and travelling in numbers not only to well-known national parks but also to lesser-known protected areas. But it’s time to stop and take a look at the trajectory that wildlife tourism has taken. What, really, is the quality of our wildlife experience? What is the impact on local environments and rural livelihoods when we go wildlife-watching?

‘Ecotourism’ is not simply about showing tourists attractive landscapes or mega-fauna like tigers. It is about inculcating a deeper love for diverse nature and its mysteries through innovative educational means while providing livelihood alternatives to people who depend on that ecosystem for a living. It is also about producing minimal impact on the environment in remote natural areas. Unfortunately, much of what passes off for ecotourism in India is a sad caricature of what it was originally meant to be.

For one, tiger-centric tourism has become the norm in our national parks. Most nature-lovers are familiar with the experience of over-enthusiastic mahouts chasing and homing in on an elusive tiger so that somehow the beleaguered creature can be sighted on elephant-back. While the experience can be thrilling—especially if one actually chances on the beast—most such rides, by their sheer intrusiveness, detract from the purpose of enjoying nature. Unfortu¬nately, most tourists tip heavily when tigers are sighted in this fashion, encouraging jeep-drivers and mahouts to go on more ‘tiger-chases’. Rare is the tourist who is happy meandering along a forest path, enjoying bird-calls and occasional sightings of mammals, taking nature at its own pace.

Nor is there much hope that ecological sensitivity can be created among the first-time visitor or impressionable young children, so that they refrain from intrusive practices. Few sanctuaries in India can boast of imaginative interpretation centres that can expose visitors to the biological and cultural intricacies of the area.

Some park managers are attempting to break the mould and focus attention on other, equally interesting, denizens of the forest such as small mammals, birds and butterflies through ecologically sensitive means. Take the example of the initiatives taken by the management of Corbett Tiger Reserve to encourage local entrepreneurship in nature-based tourism. The Reserve trains local youths in the science of bird-watching each year through a series of bird-watching camps. Many trainees later work as nature guides under licenses from the department. A few have actually set up their own tourism establishments for bird-watching and homestays. 

But can ecotourism be used as an effective economic tool as well? If we encourage nature tourism ventures that are managed by local people, we have the power to create powerful local allies in the battle for conservation. In India,  most wildlife reserves are surrounded by villages, with large numbers of people dependent on the forest resources. In such a situation, returns from tourism can offset at least some of the losses incurred by locals due to closure of forests for grazing and forest produce collection. But these ventures have to be developed in a way that allows locals to take the management role and, therefore, the profits that are made. It is not enough to provide low-paid jobs or daily wage opportunities to local people in tourist resorts.

There are several sites within India and outside, where promising beginnings have been made in developing wildlife tourism as a livelihood for local people. At Eagle’s Nest Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh, a group of biologists is pioneering scientific tourism on the basis of a unique arrangement with local villagers. Each researcher pays a fixed amount to the local tribal council for the privilege of conducting field research within its forest area. The locals provide accommodation, meals and field assistance at reasonable rates. This fund is used for development of health and educational facilities and other village infrastructure. With an effective Internet-based publicity mechanism, the scheme is attracting an increasing number of tourists each year.

In the surreal landscape of the Venezuelan Tepuis (table mountains), Native Indian guides manage and control the lucrative trekking business through cooperatives. When tourists alight at the local hub, they are taken on backpacking climbing trips by village youth who take turns to work for tourist groups.
The Bagmara Community Forest in the buffer zone of the Chitwan National Park in Nepal generated a total of $2,76,432—as much as $100 per hectare—simply from tourist entry fees in 2003. Visitors flock here to catch a glimpse of the rare one-horned rhinoceros. The revenues generated by this community forest are used for its management and restoration, as well as for developmental works for the village, decided by the Village Development Committee. Loans are also given to villagers for personal use based on group decisions by the Committee. Thus this system of revenue generation has not only led to increased awareness about the need to protect wildlife and forests but has also strengthened local democracy in village society.
In several reserves, the entry of the city-based operator has allowed many more tourists to enjoy the wildlife experience, given the generally poor development of facilities by the forest development itself. However, there are diminishing returns from allowing unlimited mushrooming of resorts and hotels in the vicinity of national parks. The environmental impacts can be huge, especially in the absence of laws governing occupancy and land use. At the same time, entry of such private operators has edged out expansion of village-based ecotourism facilities or even governmental ones. An illustrative example is the Corbett Tiger Reserve. The increasing number of tourist resorts coming up in the villages outside the boundary of the Reserve, on the banks of the Kosi river, is adversely affecting the natural forest corridor between Corbett and the reserved forests to its east. The movement of elephants and other mammals across this corridor is already being impacted and, in turn, will affect the viability of populations.

For successful ecotourism, local beneficiaries must come above purely business interests. In Nepal, for instance, 50 percent of national park entry fees have to go to Buffer Zone Management Committees, a conglomeration of representatives from villages in the buffer zone. Additionally, tour operators utilising park areas have to pay a certain percentage of their profits each year to parks. Back home, such a suggestion was made by the Tiger Task Force in 2005 to streamline the participation of private operators in wildlife tourism, but this sound suggestion was never taken up.

Another area where Indian wildlife tourism is lagging behind is in the promotion of sustainable practices such as renewable power, waste recycling and water conservation. Wildlife tourism resorts, especially high-end ones, should take the initiative to induct power-saving devices, establish garbage recycling and establish renewable energy sources to set examples for other smaller resort-owners as well as visitors. The Annapurna Conservation Area Programme in northern Nepal has set up systems that at least partially offset some of the environmental costs of hosting some 76,000 tourists a year. For instance, every small lodge here offers solar-powered water heating systems. Every village boasts of an ozone-based water purification station that offers a cheap alternative to branded mineral water. There is even recycling of organic waste, glass, paper and metal in the villages along major trekking routes.

Ecotourism lags behind in India partly because of the fact that few tax incentives are given to community-based enterprises. Nor are there any large-scale innovative programmes that could give a boost to developing such entrepreneurship, the way that the Annapurna Conservation Area Project did in Nepal. Such long-term programmes engender a climate of small-scale entrepreneurship in ecotourism along with the appropriate trainings. Ecotourism also requires a strictly implemented regime of environmental laws on land-use zoning, local resource use, garbage disposal and water conservation, without which the growth of tourist facilities can have a counterproductive effect. Above all, nature awareness and sensitivity is needed at the local and urban levels to counteract some of the consumerism and degradation that can be created by tourism.
As numerous examples in India and elsewhere amply demonstrate, there is terrific potential in ecotourism to educate people, strengthen conservation measures and reduce ecological impacts. But only if we design our wildlife tourism with imagination and socio-ecological sensitivity. Otherwise wildlife tourism may very well be reduced to a monster in the green garb of an ecological saviour.

Our Better Natures Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala has a well-developed ecotourism programme that aims to benefit local people. Tourism options range from nature walks and rafting to treks for wildlife observation, led by nature guides from nearby villages. See

Eagle's Nest Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh has an ecotourism programme run by Ramana Athreya in collaboration with a local tribe of Buguns. The proceeds go to the Bugun Welfare Society. Birdwatching tours are organised. See

Corbett Tiger Reserve has a number of ecotourism options run by private operators. One of the best managed is Camp Forktail Creek (, which offers elephant safaris, hiking and intensive birdwatching. For an overview of ecotourism activities in the area see

Manas National Park in Assam, which saw large-scale devastation in the 1980s, is on the mend. Villagers and ex-poachers have formed the Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society and started an ecotourism complex. See or contact Dr Bibhab Talukdar at 

Mangalajodi Village, on the banks of Chilika lake in Orissa, is the centre of an ecotourism project run by hunters turned conservationists. Visitors are taken into the lagoon by guides familiar with the 240 bird species here. Contact N.K. Bhujbal at or the Chilika Development Authority at 0674-2434044.

Advantages of Eco-tourism for Travel Lovers: What Types Are There?
Article by Marina Hanes
Edited & published by Sarah Malburg on Feb 22, 2010

Opportunities for Eco-tourism

When you travel regularly, going to a brand new destination can be exciting, especially when it's considered uncharted territory in your book. The EcoTourism Society has defined eco-tourism as a more purpose driven traveling that doesn't affect the natural landscape and looks to understand the local culture. There are several advantages to eco-tourism including broadening your awareness, and depending on what you're looking to accomplish on your travels, it's beneficial to consider all types of eco-tourism.

There are opportunities for eco-tourism all over the world even in the United States and Canada, so you just have to choose the trips that will interest you the most and fuel your passions. For example, maybe you want to understand the Hawaiian culture, or you can go to a more remote location in Northern Panama where you can get to know the Naso People.

Other examples of places you can eco-tour include Mexico and Ladakh. In Mexico, you can explore the Yucatan jungle and learn about the Indian villages. Ladakh is near the Great Himalayan Mountains and the Karakoram in India. At this high altitude location, you can increase your knowledge of natural health, herbal plants, geology and metrology. When you're traveling with a purpose, you can stick to more commercial areas or go deeper into a country where not many choose to go.


Sometimes the best ways to find eco-tourism opportunities would be to contact conservation organizations or at least read their websites.


Types of Eco-tourism

The main advantages of eco-tourism are environmental preservation and global awareness. Without these advantages, eco-tourism wouldn't be what it is. In addition, eco-tourism can also enrich your body, mind and soul, especially when you share the experience with a friend or family member. Below are some types of eco-tourism that you should consider checking out.


Agro-tourism (rural communities and agriculture)

Local tourism (local culture and heritage)

Pro-poor tourism (improving developing countries)


Whichever type of eco-tourism you decide to pursue, it's important that you remember the main purpose behind this type of traveling. Whichever adventure you decide to go on, plan your trip so that your impact on the environment is minimal. You don't want to pollute or contaminate the place you are eco-touring. Also, remember to keep an open mind throughout your travels so you can get to know your hosts and develop an appreciation for the new region and culture you have experienced. Although there are some disadvantages to eco-tourism, the advantages can really go the distance, particularly when you spread your positive eco-tourism stories with friends and family.




David Thyber: Advantages of Eco-tourism -

EcoTourism: A Review on the Different Types of Ecotourism -


Article by CreativeWorks
Edited & published by Niki Fears

Environmental Effects of Tourism on Mt. Everest
Mt. Everest is the Holy Grail for mountain climbers. Once a destination for only the rare and intrepid climber, Mt. Everest now is littered with oxygen tanks, debris and the bodies of failed climbers. Never meant to sustain heavy human impact, Everest needs attention and help.


Ecotourism and Everest

A Google search for "eco-tourism" or "eco-tourism to Mt. Everest" returns pages of hits for eco-tours to Everest. However, a claim of eco-tourism does not guarantee sustainable travel. Eco-tourism should abide by principles of sustainability for local cultures and low-human impact on the natural environment. According to TED Case Studies: Everest Tourism, Mount Everest and the Nepal side of the mountain are environmentally degraded as the result of increased tourism to the mountain and the wider region. Responsibility for the situation at Everest lays on many heads. The Nepalese government encourages increased tourism to Everest and Nepal. Mountain climbers with varying degrees of expertise now attempt to ascend the ultimate pinnacle of mountain climbing achievement. The challenges climbers face lead to environmental problems on Everest.



Everest trekkers regularly encounter rubbish. Deforestation, the result of tourism, has led to monsoonal soil erosion. Most visitors to Nepal are hikers and climbers. Nepal's government continues to encourage tourists to Everest for economic reasons. Tourists and climbers to Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest National Park are no longer allowed to burn wood because of deforestation. According to Mt. Everest Cleanup (.com), robust tourism in Nepal, has caused tons of garbage to accumulate on the South Col (Camp IV). As climbers ascend to higher altitudes, lack of oxygen causes impaired brain function. In stark survival mode, climbers are less likely to be concerned with more mundane, albeit essential, garbage collection.



Specific to Mt. Everest, climbers come together to help clear both ascents to Everest. In 2002, a team of climbers cleared two tons from Everest's south flank in two weeks. (See References "Mountaineering Team"). Many climbers feel a responsibility to the mountain. Clearing rubbish from a mountain so high requires seasoned climbers who can function in the low-oxygen environment. Climbers align with other initiatives to clean up the highest mountain on earth. More controversial, only the most experienced climbers should attempt to scale Everest. Climbing expeditions should only be led by companies committed to Everest’ environment above profit margins.

Generally, travelers can commit to the principles of eco-tourism. When tourists to Everest or any other destination educate themselves about responsible and sustainable travel, they can make reasoned travel decisions from the planning stage forward. The Ecotourism Explorer on the The International Tourism Society (TIES) website guides prospective travelers to make informed travel decisions for global destinations. Consult respected travel guides to learn about culture and environment in advance of travel. TIES recommends Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, and Moon guides. Research each destination's accommodations on the Internet. Gather as much information as possible. Select travel agents wisely. Only use agents committed to sustainable travel principles.