Can Tourism be Used to Benefit Nature and Wildlife?
Tourism is generally thought of as damaging to the environment because of the huge carbon footprint it has. Proponents of sustainability recommend minimizing travel when possible, but it is still possible to travel and be sustainable. When considering travel and trying to live more sustainably, it’s important to understand how it can be used to benefit nature and wildlife.
Increase Conservation Support
What is happening to the habitats of the penguins or other animals? While it’s easy to read about the destruction impacting animals, actually seeing it can have a bigger impact on people and encourage them to support conservation more. Those who have seen the dwindling habitats of their favorite animals are more likely to volunteer with conservation organizations or donate money through means such as purchasing a penguin bracelet.
Provide Sustainable Living for Locals
Money is often a problem in many locations, but travel can help provide better incomes to the locals. When a destination becomes traveled more frequently, locals can work in the hospitality industry or create and sell trinkets that travelers will want to purchase. All of this helps increase money in the area, keeping the locals in their homes. Though this can mean new hotels being built, with a focus on sustainability, that won’t be as much of a concern.
Keep the Animals in Their Home
Animals are often pushed out of their homes because of expansion. If the animals bring in travelers, it’s less likely that people will take over the area and use it for commercial or residential purposes. Instead, they’re likely to protect the area, keeping the animals in their home, to continue to take advantage of the benefits that tourists bring. Just by visiting, it’s possible to help prevent more destruction of habitats for many animals.
Increase Environmental Awareness
Many people have heard of the damage being done to the world but aren’t really aware of the impact it has on smaller areas. Traveling to various locations helps increase environmental awareness, which can help push more people to try to live more sustainably. This can be a lot better for the environment as a whole as well as help support local areas that may need more awareness. Everyone that travels to the area and then talks about their experience can help spread more awareness, too.
Keep an Eye on Ecosystems
Poachers still exist, and they’re still a huge problem in many areas. However, traveling is helping to combat this and keep animals safe. When an area is visited by travelers regularly, there are more eyes on the ground, which means it’s harder for poachers to work. This helps protect the animals further, which can be incredibly beneficial for species that are endangered or threatened. More tourism can actually help keep them alive since they’re more protected, even without the travelers realizing what they’re doing.
Support Habitat Restorations & sustainable beauty
Habitats that have been damaged can still be restored, but help is needed. When someone travels to an area that has been damaged, they have the opportunity to learn about restoration efforts and what is being done to help the local environment. Many travelers will want to help out, whether that’s through volunteering or donations. Plus, selling items to travelers can help create more money for restoration projects.
Living sustainably may mean reducing traveling or combining vacations to minimize the impact on the world, but it doesn’t mean giving up traveling completely. Instead, it is important to recognize how traveling can help benefit the world and local environments. The next time you’re traveling, consider the impact it has and how you can make that impact a positive one.
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