Why is ecotourism so crucial?
Thomas Fuller said: “We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” It’s good advice about not taking things for granted, and it’s true of the limited resources of our planet. Not just water, but clean air and the natural environment, too.
How Does Tourism Harm Our Regions?
The unique biodiversity of the Mediterranean regions are fragile and increasingly at risk from the unsustainable pressure of tourism. It contributes to – and at the same time, suffers from – of a lot of environmental problems.
Just a couple of examples include: droughts, warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, coastal erosion, loss of plant and animal species, and a lack of water.
It’s especially a problem when a large number of visitors gather in the same places and during the same seasons.
The impact of tourism on the environment is devastating right now. The only way to reduce our footprint is simple: we have to consume less.
Ecotourism: How Can We Consume Less?
The tourism industry can do a lot for sustainability in its area, though the main priorities need special attention. Reducing water use, energy use and decreasing the amount of waste are important starting points.
Less Water Means More for the Locals
First of all, to create more responsible tourism, we’ll have to cut down on our water use. It’s made worse by the boost of tourists in the summer; by hotels with swimming pools; and by water-hungry golf courses that use drinking water as a source.
This forces locals to deal with water rationing for themselves to suit the needs of resorts and other tourist facilities.
Instead of drinking water, many tourist facilities would run just fine by using ‘grey water.’ Reusing grey water reduces the use of water, stops desertification and lets local communities actually use their own drinking water.
Less Energy Means More Savings
Cutting back on the use of energy is a must for any sustainable tourism development strategy. Hotels have energy-intensive facilities like restaurants, in-house laundries and swimming pools.
Tourist activities like boat rides, scenic flights and heli-skiing also use a huge amount of energy. On top of that, add gas for heating and petrol for road transport. But a large part of this energy demand is unnecessary and it only drains more of our already drained resources.
Less Waste Means More Beauty
Cruise ships and recreational tourist boats create serious amounts of wastewater and petrol spills get released into our sea.
There’s also the solid waste, which is more problematic because it’s restricted in . The pile up of plastics then threatens marine animals and sea birds, who often die as a result. It goes beyond the managing abilities of local garbage and recycling areas, because of the high seasonal demands.
How Tourism Can Affect the Future
We all want to travel to beautiful beaches and escape to paradise. But the overuse of our natural resources and making too much waste can lead to the end of tourism in the area.
Those areas that don’t have a sustainable tourism development strategy ready will be affected.
This isn’t an imaginary scenario. There are already some world heritage sites (Venice, for example) that risk losing their UNESCO status.
You can prevent this through consuming less.
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