Natural attractions are those with geographical or biological features that are of particular interest to ecotourists. There are countless natural attractions throughout the world, each shaped by the unique natural forces of the environment in which they exist.
The wide variety of natural environments attract people worldwide and the unique life that inhabits them (animals, birds, insects, and plants).
There are many reasons why we visit natural attractions, including:
- Enjoying nature’s grandeur
- To escape the pressures of urban life
- Trying to escape humanity
- Exploring different landscapes
- Exploring nature while experiencing outdoor adventures
- Learn about the environment
- Contribute to environmental conservation
Many natural attractions are close to cities and transportation systems, while others require considerable effort to reach – which may be part of their appeal.
Several natural attractions are highly publicized and attract hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Some treasures are only known to a select few. A few natural attractions offer various ecotourist facilities, such as accommodation, guided tours, cafes, shops, and the like, while others have hardly any such development.
However, it doesn’t matter about an attraction’s popularity, location, or development status, it still should be managed in a way that humans will not degrade the natural ecosystems that remain an intrinsic feature of the attraction and that have taken millions of years to evolve.
Sustainable tourism and ecotourism
Ecotourists are naturally drawn to natural sites by their imaginations of what they can expect from that place. Despite not being exactly what was envisioned, a website should never disappoint and always provide a unique and refreshing experience.
Additionally, the site should be managed to meet at least minimum expectations of a clean, healthy, flourishing environment besides the natural beauty of the place. Ecotourism at that site or in that region will not succeed otherwise. Therefore, protecting and preserving the environment in its natural state, or as close to it as possible, is essential, as is developing sensitively designed facilities, such as paths, picnic areas, accommodations, and service areas.
The success of ecotourism in natural areas and increasingly in urban areas depends on the quality of the environment. To promote ecotourism effectively, the environment must be protected while allowing safe and sensitive access to its attractions. Some trails can be cleared through a rainforest with careful planning and consultation to anticipate and reduce any future harm.
Some environments are just much more fragile than other ones. The environment of a tropical island can easily be damaged, for example, and moderate tourism can have a detrimental effect on a small island more than it would on the mainland.
In addition, some natural sites are located far from accommodation or extensive transportation facilities such as airports, bus depots, or resort hotels on the mainlands. Some airports, however, are located near natural attractions in remote areas, such as the highlands of New Guinea. Several alternatives can be challenging to obtain and may be cost-prohibitive.
It may, however, be worthwhile since these facilities will serve residents as well as they’ll allow them to travel outside of their remote areas while bringing in goods and services more easily. Tourism can become somewhat of a catalyst for development that both benefits locals and tourists alike. Such action can be prohibitively expensive for the local population alone.
Sustainable tourism objectives
The goal of sustainable tourism is to achieve a balance between preserving natural environments and satisfying the needs of tourists. Ecotourism, which emphasizes visitor participation and education, is the most popular form of sustainable tourism. Ecotourism has the following characteristics:
- Resources and attractions are not harmed by it
- Positive environmental ethics are promoted by it
- Rather than focusing on humans, it emphasizes natural ecosystems
- Visitors can experience the environment first-hand
- This attraction provides environmental education
- Environmentally and wildlife benefit from it.
In the special interest tourism industry, ecotourism occupies an important niche. The tourism industry in this area is among the fastest-growing in the world. Ecotourism is particularly important for developing countries with many natural attractions but lacks the resources to establish mainstream ecotourism facilities.
Nature lovers can enjoy and appreciate the outdoors by visiting relatively undisturbed environments through ecotourism. In addition to providing first-hand experiences, most ecotourism attractions strive to provide guests with an understanding of the environment by offering guided walks and wildlife safaris.
It is common for ecotourists to participate in conservation programs to learn more about the environment and help protect it, for example, by assisting scientists to collect field data and samples.
Bright future of ecotourism
Ecotourism can only succeed in the long run by limiting the number of visitors. Otherwise, the attractions will degrade to the point that they will no longer be attractive to tourists. Some areas charge a visitor fee to limit the number of visitors and to help cover maintenance costs.
Accommodations and other supporting facilities may also be regulated. We design those facilities with the most negligible impact on the environment (composting toilets, recycled water, passive solar buildings). The areas subject to heavy tourist pressure may need laws protecting wildlife and sites and tightly regulating the selling of natural objects such as corals, shells, feathers, skins, claws, and so forth.
Managing and planning sustainable tourism development must consider the scale of tourism that is appropriate for the local environment and community. That includes considering:
- The maximum number of ecotourists that an area can handle
- Community’s willingness to accept cultural or social impacts
- The ability of resources to cope or recover
Ecotourism is the practice of tourists visiting an area to observe its fauna or flora. Interestingly, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the rarity of the flora or fauna and its perceived value as an ecotourist attraction. Even though many rare species are brought to visitors’ attention through wildlife protection schemes, others that provide income for the area are accidentally protected. In addition to rare species, wildlife events such as migrating animals and dawn choruses also draw crowds worldwide.
The category of wildlife ecotourism encompasses a wide range of activities and interests. Some are interested in being educated among tourists, while others are merely interested in the aesthetic experience. Day trips and multiweek adventures are among the possibilities.
Dolphin watching, shark cage diving, coral reef snorkeling, safaris, bird watching, polar cruises, and whale watching are all popular activities. The selection of sites should be based on sustainability, biological suitability, visitor facilities, and adequate resource protection.