The term ‘ecotourism,’ or ecological tourism, was allegedly coined in the early nineties by Mexican Architect Héctor Ceballos-Lascuráin whilst campaigning for wetland conservation in his native country. He claimed that he was the first individual to define a type of tourism, which specifically benefitted the environment. Some sceptics believe the term was already being used as far back as 1965, when adventure-enthusiast and Californian-born Claus-Dieter (Nick) Hetzer pioneered ecotours in the Yucatán. Fast-forward to the present day, what relevance does this term have to the African continent, and is this form of tourism actually benefitting economies, the environment and local communities? Not only are there mixed reviews about who defined ecotourism first; there are mixed feelings about whether the word itself is an oxymoron, lending to the fact that tourism leaves a human stain on previously untouched and pristine ecosystems. Adventure tourism is the number one motivation for travel. Today, tourists want to explore unchartered territory, to experience new adventures and see unspoilt locations. Ironically, these environments are the most fragile and susceptible to human interference. Further to that, there is confusion about the type of tourism the term includes. Strictly speaking, ecotourism is a type of tourism including travel to natural environments in such a way that minimises the human footprint on the area, travel which actually benefits the local communities and in turn, incentivises them to maintain the condition of the environment. Ecotourism is intended to offer tourists insight into the impact of human beings on the environment,…

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The post Ecotourism In Africa : Truly Beneficial? appeared first on Nomad Africa Magazine | Celebrating the world’s richest continent.

Source: Nomad Africa Magazine