Eco-tourism: An Introduction
|Introduction||Travel Code||Local Initiatives||EcoTourism Links|
Tourism is now the largest foreign currency-earner in Peru, affecting the lives of millions of people. While it can bring benefits, these are seldom spread evenly.
The arguments for mass tourism emphasize the economic benefits, yet the evidence suggests that - while ruling elites, landowners, government officials or businessmen might benefit - tourism can make poorer people even worse off - both materially and culturally. It's only recently, however, that governments, NGOs, communities and environmentalists have begun to wake up to the need for tourism to be developed more responsibly and sustainably.
Common problems caused by mass tourism include environmental destruction, eviction of local people to make way for tourist developments, the commercialization of culture and the lack of local grassroots economic benefit. Andean Travel Web aims to raise general awareness of these problems, as well as bringing specific projects and campaigns to your attention.
Andean Travel Web is not a travel agency - we've set up a travel directory to highlight responsible companies offering tours and treks in Peru. However, you cannot book through us. For bookings, brochures, itineraries, etc, use the contact details supplied.
that benefits local people
Ecotourism is a form of tourism which aims to include and benefit local communities as well as protecting the environment. There are many types of ecotourism project, including many in which the 'community' works with a commercial tour operator, but all projects should give local people a fair share of the benefits/profits and a say in deciding how incoming tourism is managed. Good community-based tours take you beyond mainstream tourism. You'll meet people from different countries and learn far more about them and their culture than on conventional tours. You'll feel better knowing that your visit is genuinely helping your hosts.
Ecotourism (or responsible tourism) should...
Be run with the involvement and consent of local communities.
a fair share of profits back to the local community.
(Ideally this will include community projects (health, schools, etc).)
Involve communities rather than individuals.
Contribute to the conservation of biodiversity
environmentally sustainable and require the lowest possible consumption of
(Local people must be involved if conservation projects are to succeed.)
Respect traditional culture and social structures.
Have mechanisms to help communities cope with the impact of western tourists.
Keep groups small to minimize cultural / environmental impact.
Brief tourists before the trip on appropriate behaviour.
Not make local people perform inappropriate ceremonies, etc.
communities alone if they don't want tourism.
(People should have the right to say 'no' to tourism.)
adapted from Tourism Concern Web Site www.tourismconcern.org.uk
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Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru. Office Address: La Casa Cultural, Avenida Pardo 540, Cusco, Peru (just 2 minutes walk from the Koricancha Inca Temple of the Sun). If you are coming to Cusco please bring a couple of second hand clothes, toys, school equipment and drop them off in our office. We will help distribute the items to people who really need them in small village schools and communities in the Andes. For more details visit our web page www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/projects A map of our office can be found by clicking here. Copyright Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru 2000-2008. All material used within this web site is original work and is subject to international copyright law. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited without prior permission from the editor. This web page was last updated in April 2008. Website designed by AndeanVisionWebDesignStudio