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Hospitality & Tourism Management

Ecotourism: A Panacea For Sustainable Tourism Development

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ABSTRACT

This study examined ecotourism as a panacea for sustenance of tourism development and management on tourism development in Nigeria focusing on three composite indexes: demographic stability, public utilities, and socio-economic sustainability.. The objectives of the study aimed at exploring the relationship between tourist centers in Nigeria and their sustainable development. Four research questions and hypothesis guided the study. Related literatures were reviewed in view of rural tourism being seen during the last decades as a means for economic development of sensitive localities, especially in rural areas. However, little research has been conducted on the sustainability of the development induced by green tourism activities in rural areas, and even so, with contradictory results. Mann–Whitney U test was used to determine the differences on each of the above-mentioned indexes between the rural localities with tourist arrivals and those without.   The results showed that there is a significant positive effect of ecotourism on   rural areas translated into higher values of all the indexes analyzed. This study brings valuable contributions to both academics and policy-makers: on one hand, it provides new insights into the impact of green tourism activities; on the other hand, it offers valuable information to decisional actors regarding development strategies.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the Study

The concept of eco-tourism has evolved over time and is presently used with different meanings. The original one, spread during the 1980s, stands for small-scale tourism which involves visiting natural areas while minimizing environmental impacts. In this line, green tourism has been used interchangeably with such concepts as  ecotourism,  nature tourism, and  rural tourism (Sung-kwon et al. 2003). Businesses have generally adopted a broader meaning for green tourism: any tourism  activity operating in an environmentally friendly manner.

Green tourism, or ecotourism, is a combination of four factors: conservation, community, culture and commerce.

It was only in 1983 that Mexican landscape architect and environmentalist Héctor Cebellos-Lascurain coined the term “ecotourism” and gave this definition: “Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features – both past and present) that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socioeconomic involvement of local populations. The ecotourism label supports appropriate tourism, nature tourism, sustainable tourism, responsible travel and adventure tourism.

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Tourism is a rapidly growing phenomenon and has become one of the largest industries in the world. The impact of tourism is extremely varied. On one hand, it plays an important and certainly positive role in the socio-economic and political development in destination countries by, for instance, offering new employment opportunities. Also, in certain instances, it may contribute to a broader cultural understanding by creating awareness, respecting the diversity of cultures and ways of life. On the other hand, as a tool to create jobs, it has not fulfilled its expectations. At the same time, complaints from tourist destinations concerning massive negative impacts upon environment, culture and residents’ ways of life have given rise to a demand for a more sustainable development in tourism. Different parties will have to be involved in the process of developing sustainable tourism. This section focuses on what the tourism industry itself can do in order to increase its sustainability, defines three major problems, and suggests possible tourism initiatives to help solve these problems. Other problems should also be included in the discussion for it to become exhaustive.

1.2     Statement of Problem

In the past decade, ecotourism has become the largest and most lucrative industry worldwide in terms of employment and share of global gross domestic product. The tourism industry has been growing rapidly as well as changing at a fast pace, as more people are interested in spending leisure time in nature, (ecotourism) it has become one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry. This creates opportunities in areas characterized by natural attractions, wildlife and wilderness habitats. Local communities may benefit in economic terms as well as create a commitment to conservation and sustainable development.

At present, increased demands for ecotourism create pressure on carrying capacity. Greater numbers of visitors makes it more likely that habitats will be at risk and the wilderness and cultural heritage could be ruined. For instance, in China they will encounter many challenges, because they are ranked sixth worldwide in terms of tourist arrivals. In the next twenty years, China is forecast to be the top tourist destination and the fourth largest source of tourists in the world. This prospect for major tourism growth in China makes it important to quickly consider the environmental and social issues that are part of sustainable tourism development. Careful planning and assessment are important parts of sustainable tourism development. Officials responsible for national parks and other nature areas will have a major responsibility for handling the challenges and deciding which opportunities for tourism development can be sustained over the long term. Local communities will also have to participate in planning and assessment when culture and heritage are important parts of ecotourism. It has been noted that the principles for ecotourism have not yet been firmly established in order to guide planning and assessment.

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However they are certain tools that can be used to help achieve balance, such as assessment of carrying capacity, finding the limits of acceptable change and doing cost/benefit analysis. Tourism policy-makers, planners and managers should consider these tools as helpful only if they take a holistic, coordinated approach, especially since benefits and costs in terms of sustainable tourism development are not easily defined in monetary terms. Furthermore, measuring the success of tourism involving nature (for example, national parks) and culture (for example, village-based tourism like Olumo rock) should not just be based on number of visitors or amount of income; rather measurement should include the length of stay, quality of the experience and whether natural and cultural resources have been conserved. Ecotourism can clearly create opportunities for spreading the economic benefits of tourism to villages, remote areas and national parks, as long as the government policy aims to have more tourism in these areas and the local people have participated in the process. Along these lines, policy-makers should be aware that smaller-scale business operators are more appropriate for activities related to ecotourism and government policies need to support this level of tourism services.

1.3     Objective of the Study

This research work is set to explore on the impact of ecotourism and its relevance to sustainable tourism development with other objectives as follows:

  1. To improve the sustainability of tourist centers and its long term survival by short-term considerations.
  2. To examine the relationship between ecotourism and sustainable development in the long term.
  3. To highlight, tourism and give recognition to it as a positive activity with a potential benefit to the local community.

1.4     Research Question

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The research work is guided with same research question, which will be administered and distributed among the researchers area of study. The questions were carefully structured to gather information for better understanding of the research work.

  1. What is the effect of improving the sustainability of tourist centers and its long term survival by short-term considerations?
  2. What is the relationship between ecotourism and sustainable development in the long term?
  3. To what extent has ecotourism been given recognition as a positive activity with a potential benefit to the local community?

 1.5     Research Hypothesis

The researcher formed some of the hypothesis which will be tested to support this study. The hypothesis will be tested at 0.05 level of significance using the chi-square method and percentage analysis.

The research hypothesis are as follows.

Hypothesis 1: There is a significance between ecotourism and to sustainable tourism development.

Hypothesis 2: Long term survival of tourism is significantly related to green tourism and development.

Hypothesis 3: There is no significant value to tourism location to sustainable tourism development.

1.6     Significance of the Study

This research work highlights on the importance of ecotourism and management as a means of sustainable tourism development. It is believed that the findings of this research work should provide detailed information on the how to manage tourist centers for a sustainable development and long term survival. It is also expected that the study will benefit the hospitality industries and management.

The research will also have a significance difference to the researcher. This is because the study will expose the researcher to so many related areas in the course of carrying out his research. This will enhance the researcher’s experience, knowledge and understanding on tourism and management for a sustainable development.

1.7     Limitation of the Study

Due to time constrain, this research work should have covered a whole festive period of the celebration, but was shorten, also this research work is limited to the study of tourist sites and its surrounding in Abeokota along Ikeja road Ogun State of Nigeria. Also,

  • Little materials are also available because the work is relatively new.
  • Financial constrain poses another challenges.

    Pages:  34

    Category: Seminar

    Format:  Word & PDF               

    Chapters: 1-5                                          

    Source: Imsuinfo                                     

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.Project


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