Studies & Degrees in Ecotourism

Choose where you would like to study Ecotourism:

AustraliaChileGuatemalaIrelandNicaraguaSpainThe United KingdomThe United StatesVenezuela

Travellers usually find pleasure and satisfaction in visiting untamed areas, which are blessed with rich culture and natural abundance. They travel to lengthen the list of places they have visited, to add up something new to their experiences, to accomplish a research assignment, to unwind, or to be part of something – a pure fun and adventure or a sincere move for the betterment of the place being visited. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with that. People have the right to the pursuit of their own happiness; but since this world does not exist for the benefit of few, there has to be some control mechanism. This is what Ecotourism is for.

Ecotourism is a complex field of study that faces certain disputes and ambiguity. There is no one right way of defining what Ecotourism is, but the scope is seen to be inclined in travelling responsibly in natural areas – i.e., the travel should positively impact the well-being of people in the area while conserving the environment at the same time. With this notion, it is expected to promote minimization of negative impact of tourism in natural areas; to contribute to conservation effort in the area; to make tourism a means of employing people in the locality; and to educate tourists about the culture in the place. With all these, can we say that a walk in rainforest is considered ecotourism? Yes, IF and only IF that walk actually does something to improve (or at least conserve) that rainforest and to benefit the people of the locality. In the same way that a rafting trip can only be considered Ecotourism if it actually promotes people’s awareness of conserving the watershed and if it becomes a means to raise funds for the protection or improvement of the watershed. All in all, it is about providing positive effect to both the tourist and the host.

Ecotourism specialists are employed by government (Tourism, Natural Preservation, Environment, and Natural Resources sectors) to be the agents ensuring ecotourism is fulfilled, especially in remote and untouched areas. They are also engaged in continuous research in view of finding new ways to balance tourism and concern for social, environmental, cultural, and economic aspects. Aspirants should have genuine concern for the environment, a strong understanding of a vast array of cultures, and a sense of economic improvement. These areas are covered in Ecotourism courses that are offered in major universities and colleges. Students are also exposed to different cultural settings and are taught of deeper notion of humanity and social development.

Hotels near tourism spots, for instance, should make necessary efforts to limit wastes and conserve the environment. This can be done by using alternative energy sources (e.g., solar energy), hiring local employees, buying goods produced in the locality, having low-flow showerheads and toilets, promoting recyclable plastic bags, buying recycled products, and building waste treatment facility (e.g., compost heap). Ecotourism specialists are tasked to watch over these considerations before permit to operate is awarded to the requesting entrepreneurs. With the continuous campaign for protecting our environment, companies nowadays are anxious of being tagged as “environment-friendly” to get into business.

Ecotourism is a means as to how this world can be a better place not just for some but for as many people as it can possibly serve – not just today but in the years to come.