Ecotourism and natural tourism include both visiting the natural attractions, but there is a difference between the two in terms of intentions and activities offered. Ecotourism is a responsible journey that concerns the preservation of the environment and respect for the culture of the local people. However, natural tourism only refers to traveling to scenic places, especially to enjoy the beauty of nature. Thus, the fundamental difference between ecotourism and natural tourism is in the intention of ecotourism to preserve nature.
What is ecotourism?
Ecotourism is a popular concept in travel and tourism and conservation. Ecotourism is defined by the bonds (The International Ecotourism Society) as “responsible travel in natural areas that preserves the environment, supports the well-being of the local people and involves interpretation and education”. Preserving the environment and improving the well-being of the local population and educating tourists are some of the main objectives of ecotourism.
Destinations with flora and fauna and cultural heritage are the main attractions of ecotourism. Ecotourism programmes will attempt to minimise the negative aspects of traditional tourism and develop awareness and respect for culture and the environment, providing a positive experience for visitors and hosts.
Below are some common features of ecotourism:
- Respecting local cultures
- Creating environmental awareness
- Providing conservation funds
- Minimize the negative impacts of conventional tourism
- Promoting recycling, water conservation and eliminate plastic consumption
- Visiting places with cultural and historical importance and learning of local culture and history, nature-related activities such as bird watching, trekking, going on wildlife tours are some examples of activities that are available in ecotourism programs.
What is nature tourism?
Nature tourism can refer to any trip with a natural area or a feature such as destination or fire. The intentions and activities of natural tourism are different from ecotourism. Nature tourism involves visiting natural attractions that have geographical or biological characteristics that have a specific appeal to the tourism market. Some natural attractions common in tourism include rainforests, rivers, deserts, beaches, caves and cliffs, as well as a flora and fauna unique in these places (birds, reptiles, plants etc.).
Tourists visit these natural attractions to enjoy the beauty of nature, explore different landscapes, escape the busy life, experience outdoor adventures in a natural environment and learn about the environment.
Some natural attractions may be close to cities, while some may be far from cities and cities. Similarly, some sites may have many visitors, while some may be hidden sites, known only to a few people.
Conservation and minimal impact are not associated with natural tourism. So tourists visiting these places may not pay attention to nature conservation. This type of tourism programs can also include a lot of recreational activities that may have nothing to do with nature education.
Some popular destinations for both ecotourism and natural tourism include Alaska, Antarctica, the Himalayas, Kenya, Costa Rica, Dominica, Norway, the Blue Mountains in Australia, the Amazon rainforest and Norwegian fjour.
What is the difference between ecotourism and nature tourism?
Ecotourism refers to responsible travel in natural areas that preserves the environment, supports the well-being of local people and involves interpretation and education.
Nature tourism can refer to any trip with a natural area or a feature such as destination or fire.
Ecotourism The main concern of the program is the conservation of nature.
Nature tourism programs are not overly concerned about conservation.
Ecotourism programs can have many educational activities.
Nature tourism programs can have many recreational activities.
Loss to the environment:
Ecotourism programs attempt to cause minimal damage and use methods such as reuse and recycling, composting and carbon footprint reduction.
Nature tourism cannot guarantee to minimise the damage of tourism.