Monday, March 05, 2007

What is 'Eco-tourism'?

I do understand the basics. Cycling around a country is a great example of eco-tourism; not just because there is no auto-exhaust involved, but that volume and mass limitations on a bike mean you must buy local. You cannot carry a week's worth of groceries or the like. A big part of eco-tourism ethics is to help local businesses.

In this quote regarding eco-tourism in Gangwon's mountains is an example of mutually exclusive activities being rammed together:
During a conference held at the Yongpyong Resort in PyeongChang, also in Kangwon Province, the organization told local residents that more tourist attractions would be developed in the area, but would be done without damaging the environment.

In the highlands, a kilometer above sea level in Hoenggye-ri, there will be a new tourism complex, a ski resort, golf courses, 52 kilometers of trekking paths and an eco-system tour, it said.

Golf courses, with their heavy loads of fertilizer and pesticides, complete reshaping of the terrain and alteration of plantlife cannot possibly be seriously considered in an eco-resort.

I don't think one can bring eco-tourism to a location, it has to be a grassroots activity. Again, the point is that the locals can support themselves in healthy ways and the money has a chance to circulate locally.


GI Korea said...

Only in Korea is knocking down a mountain to make a golf course considered eco-tourism.

Catherine said...

Just adding my agreement with what you and GI Korea said. A ski resort and golf course that won't damage the environment. Uh, okay...

Even if they somehow managed this. A golf course unlike any other, for example, it's not really eco-tourism. When I think of that term, it is tourism that encourages appreciation of the existing ecosystem and the wildlife already there.