What is Ecotourism

Vision for Ecotourism in Himachal

Promoting Environmental Education – raising awareness and appreciation in the people, both within the state and in the visitors from outside, for the diverse biodiversity, culture and unique ecological values; to care for natural heritage and alongside to create an income base for the community—an incentive for the future protection of natural assets.

Decentralized and equitable nature based tourism, avoiding bottlenecks and over development of individual areas, and dispersing the distribution of benefit to the local community. Biodiversity is to be enhanced as also natural asset maintenance and improvement is to be ensured; alongside the conservation areas are protected.

Factoring in participation and partnerships—interdepartmental, public-private, non-governmental organizations/community based organizations, panchayati raj institutions to help generate income through sustainable tourism.

Environmentally benign tourism to be fostered – through recognized standards for rural accommodation provision, minimizing of waste, reduction of pollution and minimizing environmental depleting fuel consumption.

Livelihood opportunities for rural households from home-stays/homesteads and provision of employment opportunities and livelihood enhancement from service provision, whether as entrepreneurs, guides, porters, cooks, etc.

WHAT IS ECOTOURISM

“Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”
[Def: The (International) Ecotourism Society 1990] Ecotourism must contain three basic elements for it to be complete.

It must provide for environmental conservation
It must include meaningful local community participation
It must be viable profitably to enable it to sustain itself