First and foremost, the term Eco often referring to Ecology or Ecosystem is used to create a travel package attractive, innovative. Wow!
Many travel agents and operators don’t even know what the heck eco-tourism really is, Also this doesn’t apply only to Nepal.
In order to get to the bottom of this, let us a learn something about the EcoTourism in a few elaborated bullet points…
- Any travel company that provides “Ecotourism products” must be responsible to conserve natural assets, create cultural awareness, and improve the welfare of the local people financially. It is there the job of the travel company to ensure that their clients follow the strict rules.
- Most Ecotourism packages are that of wilderness experience and cultural tour.
- Ecotourism travellers must respect local cultures. An example could be a travel package that takes travelers through the forest or village trails, without damaging the environment and equally benefiting the people who live there by using resources such as their shops and hotels.
- Eco-travelers want to see conservation and improvement in the areas they visit.
- Eco-tourism is closely related to Sustainable Tourism. Eco-tourism aims at preserving resources similar to Sustainable Tourism. When you are on this package, ask yourself, Have I or my travel mates contributed to disturbing the animal habitats? Damaged the environment ? Have we polluted areas so much that the future traveler will not enjoy as much as we have ? Have we sustained the environment ? It reminds of a nice phrase placed besides the coffee machine at work, it read… “Please leave everything exactly the way you would like to find it next time!”
- EcoTourism is also termed as Responsible Tourism. Each individual involved in the tourism business has a responsibility to undertake the task; Preserve, Share and Give to the nature.
- Flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions of Ecotourism.
- In business, the shocking truth about EcoTourism is that local communities are at the bottom of the pyramid while the big foreign investors and corporations are on top. So Eco-tourism business hasn’t helped those who need it the most!
- In Nepal, most Holi sites are often termed the EcoTourism Products, for they are in remote places filled with greeneries and beautiful sceneries and travelers find visiting such places enjoyable and refreshing and hence they are the popular choices.
- In Nepal, lack of proper training, poor coordination and communication among organizations, Government officials and travel companies are the result of sluggish performance of Ecotourism business. One of our site visitor sent us an email saying this and thought it should be known to all… “We need a PM who has a TOURISM background” We think he might be right! Perhaps a PM who knows what this country’ backbone is, will do better than those who are into politics.
So the next time you buy EcoTourism package whether in Nepal or other countries, for this matter, see what’s on your menu and also see check with the travel company; does it actually perform its duty or just grabs your green notes!
And lucky for us, Investigation is easy; visit sites, read testimonials and ask all the questions before you sign up. Travel companies should also have money back guarantee as an extension customer service, something that is likely to be seen in our country pretty soon.
Ecotourism lovers love culture, people and heritage, and if you perform bad and turn them down, you are losing your future customers. Please one and you will be please many…
Happy *Tihar* to you all!
p.s. (ha? what? If you are new to the word “Tihar”, just google, keyword : “Tihar Festival”)
See you next time,
— Bhupendra Lamsal Sharma
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