In the recent years, ecotourism has increased rapidly. The concept has just become famous, with most of the context becoming globally important within the last twenty years. Ecotourism is known as the areas of tourism having ecological benefit, especially for the conservation efforts and to observe wildlife species having a controlled endangered environment, which has the least possible effect on the speices and environment (Mieras et al., 2017) . Ecotourism was first identified by Megan Epler Wood in 1990, who was the co-founder of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and other relevant books (Mieras et al., 2017) . One of the ecology terms which is now famous is the marine ecotourism. Marine ecotourism is the responsible use of the natural resources for recreational activities. It includes whale and dolphin watching, scuba diving, eco-friendly boating, fishing and other forms of ecotourism. The establishment of marine ecotourism can be perceived as an opportunity to regenerate coastal areas that are having low economic development which might be from the traditional economic divisions like seaside tourism, ecotourism agriculture, and commercial fishing (Mieras et al., 2017) . Now ecotourism is visioned as one of the fastest growing areas in travel industry (5% annually) (Mieras et al., 2017) . Apart from the traditional tourism, UNWTO forecasted ecotourism as the fasted growing industry in the next decade. Same as the ecotourism industry, marine ecotourism has a clear link between the environment and the changes associated with it. Due to changes in the environment, marine ecotourism has a lot of positive and negative effects on it. These effects can range from the habitants destructions, inappropriate areas of tourism, and unstability in using ecological resources. The effects of environment on marine ecotourism will be discussed in the positive and negative aspect, from which the knowledge about the marine ecotourism will be clearly understood. There is a negative influence of the environment on the marine life and ecotourism.
Body Of The Text
Marine ecotourism is an important divison in the tourism industry, as the United Nations has examined that the industry has contributed 25% of the world’s revenue in 2012 (Masud et al., 2017). Ecotourism focuses on taking care for the natural environment and the involvement of local indiviuals in the tourist areas, which has both positive and negative effects.
Effects from natural environment
In marine ecotourism or the wider context of ecotourism, money is generated from the natural resources by attracting tourists to visit the area, and pay for the fees, concessions, and licences (Masud et al., 2017). The stigma here is that the re-casting of the environment to make the local people look after themselves and encourages the people to take care of the tourism area and the species in it. It is also believed that the visits from ecotourists, might also degrade the natural environment, which can lead to pollution and heavily impact the environment in a lot of ways (Masud et al., 2017). A study from Costa Rican park, found that the monkeys in the area were mostly eating the food which was left over by the tourists (Masud et al., 2017). Another study identified, that the marine ecotourists tend to throw seafood for the aquatic life, which was creating pollution in the environment.
Marine ecotourism can also have a cultural effect on the local environment of tourism. Ecotourists are influenced by the chance that they want to visit the ecotourism area and experience culture of the area. The cultural environment can be influenced by involving communities in decision making and improving the safety of the habitants as well (Lu, Gursoy & Del Chiappa, 2016). By creating this link, it might become more effective that the crime rate and robberies in the tourism area can be reduced in a large number. Lu, Gursoy & Del Chiappa (2016)suggested a relationship between tourism and preservation of the habitants which the most important aspect aiding the ecotourism environment. The environmental study aimed at providing knowledge about the tourism’s contribution to the development of outcomes. The awareness of ecotourism has also made a broader issue, which says that the biodiversity or the natural characteristics are becoming commodities and the other areas are going in the past. Recent talks say that ecotourism has not only took over the interest of people, but also aided in the preservation and development of biodiversity of the habitants. These factors can be influenced by a bad cultural environment, which harms the aquatic life by using poor land resources and not using sea as a tourist activity (Lu, Gursoy & Del Chiappa, 2016).
Geographic region of the ecosystems is essential, as an environmental factor which is sometimes not considered as important. Two of the primary factors are considered when looking for a geographical area and its mapping. Zoning is the element which governs the objective that the site should be strictly protected, the tourism zone is free of danger, and there is a moderate zone of tourism (Lu, Gursoy & Del Chiappa, 2016). It means to allocate areas where the marine life is not affected. Having an area, where the people and marine life are not safe, is not considered as an effective zoning. Access to the ecosystems should be environment-friendly. Regarding the roads, and the covers which come over the animals to protect them from danger are not safe for the habitants and harm the animals under water and above sea level (Lu, Gursoy & Del Chiappa, 2016). Noise reduction should be minimal. If some material is to be provided, hybrid or electric vehicles should be used to reduce air, water, and noise pollution. The major cause is the noise pollution caused by the tourists (Lu, Gursoy & Del Chiappa, 2016). The tourists might use vehicles over the sea level, which can disturb the aquatic life.
Most of the drivers in global change are not influenced from one factor, and most of the authors have aimed on multiple drivers and their combined affects on the tourism. Studying the impacts of global change on species and regions of tourism, may include the climate change, usage of land and biological conquests (Picard, 2015). Regional changes in the protection of living organisms and preserving biodiversity, influences the need to analyze the relation between the two aspects. An inadequacy of climate change is basically the focus on the elements of complex climate effects, causes the risk to act for minimizing the climate change and mitigate alongside its effects (Picard, 2015). Studies from the past two decades have verified that, the diverse biological ecosystems are more productive in nature. There have been concerns about the high rate of extinctions, caused by the habitat loss, human caused environment errors, and overharvesting can lead to a reduced nature’s power to provide the best marine ecotourism and improve its climate (Picard, 2015). Obviously, when there are no marine species to be found in the marine life, there will be less ecotourism culture observed. It might be caused by the improper care of the species and unstable climate. Global change also impacts the life of the species under water, which is influenced by the increase in global climate. Chances of deaths in the aquatic life are increased due to the hot and cold weather variations and other environment changes in different regions. One of the global effect is in the ecotourism fishing. Fishing has affected the marine ecotourism environment heavily, where the tourist migh go for a boat ride, and be entertained by fishing (Picard, 2015). Most of the fish species have been extinct because of it. Major concern lies in the decrease of this issue, which has led to lower percentage of marine tourists.
One of the most important and vital issue in the environmental effects is the lack of support from the local community, towards marine ecotourism. Due to the danger involved in the ecotourism, local residents might leave the area where the marine ecotourism is being started or already is in progress (Hunt et al., 2015). This is the result of lack of interest in the people, as ecotourism is not favorite of every individual. Environment is directly affected from it, which might reduce the economy of the region, as the people are leaving the place. In most cases, people take legal action against it because their personal life is being affected by it.
Marine life disturbance
In the marine life system, it is essential not to disturb a specie/creature due to the tourist activities kept in mind. It is still a big focus that ecotourism, can cause a negative impact on the marine environment. A disturbance can be of any kind, which involves the wildlife to be disturbed and get in a bad situation (Liu et al., 2014). According to studies, it is suggested that a minimum of 43km distance should be maintained by the tourists from the wildlife creatures, to ensure the safety of both sides. Other recreational activities like marine ecotourism has made diversitites, due to the context of the tourism (Hultman, Kazeminia & Ghasemi, 2015). The factor involved in marine ecotourism is in the disturbance created by the tourists, like camping on the shores, standing boats with supports down to the sea bed, and putting up souvenirs and leading to wildlife disturbance. Globally, it is impacting the environment of the marine ecotourism and making bad influences to the ecosystem, due to the lack of knowledge in marine ecotourism sector.
Degradation of ecosystems
People who tend to have interest in ecotourism, also make it their hobby to go four tourism oftenly. It mostly consumes the time of the indiviuals. Leaving the traditional lifestyles and jobs, and moving to become a tourist is quiet changing rapidly (Schofield et al., 2015) . It is good for the ecosystem, but not for the people of the community. Tending to move into a lifestyle which is purely on the basis of tourism having low income at times, makes it a negative effect on the culture and environment.
The fact that the tourism industry is developing, it is also finishing the healthy environment of the community and society. As a result of ecotourism, there are negative results which ranges from littering in the tourism area, to the destructive infrastructure of the ecosystem. Having a bad infrastructure of the ecosystem effects the marine life and tourists both (Blumstein et al., 2017). Humans have made artificial infrastructures in massive quantity which has finished the natural environment of the marine tourism. Pollution in the natural and artificial areas of tourism, have drastically affected the marine life, where a plastic bag might go down to the sea bed and eaten by any creature, which results in death. According to a research, 42% of the litters in the marine ecosystem are wasted to the sea bed (Blumstein et al., 2017). Most of the tourists fail to realize the means of non-renewable energy being wasted due to the increase in tourist activities. A person might be using 100 liters of gas to go 1000 km, which is great for the economy but not for the environment.
Based on the study discussed above, the conclusion on the marine life ecotourism can be made that, marine ecotourism has drastically changed in terms of environment which has negative affects on it. Comparison of the findings in the study, and with the previous research has raised a lot of implications. New aspects of changes in environment have arisen, which is considered as a separate category and is of enormous attention. This does not weaken the study, as it is different from the viable livelihood of being interdependent. The study aims at the negative influences caused by the environment, and which effect the culture of marine ecotourism. Previous studies have also told about the environmental changes aspects of the marine ecotourism, had made an influence on the community-based tourism and its development.
The degree to which people and communities tend to show interest in the ecotourism has made this study indicate that the importance of changes in ecosystem and consistent tourism development. It is essential, because of the external factors involved in it. Ecotourism should not be seen as a commodity which decreases with time but reflects a moderate and vast vision of possibilities of development in the ecological areas. It is often linked with the lack of interpretation, appropriate work, and lack of direction, which is shown in the case.
The environmental changes in the ecosystem and the marine life being effected by it, should be considered as an essential part which needs to be resolved with time and strategies. The factor that there are global changes in the tourism industry, and it changes the environment of the marine ecotourism has diverse effects on the species of the marine life, and it should be changed from negative to positive. Remarkably, species plasticity and adaptability still remains unclear in the global context, and the external environmental factors play a more concerned role in the theme of the study. on the contrary, the notion of ecosystem flexibility should be made a benchmark for the future as a part of visioning system dynamics. Most importantly, ecologists should focus on the part played by humans to effect environmental change and overuse of resources. Measuring the environmental changes and preventing them to affect the marine ecosystem will always be a challenge for the concerned people, but the contributions shown in the study will help in identifying the situation which needs to be controlled for improvement.
Blumstein, D. T., Geffroy, B., Samia, D. S., & Bessa, E. (2017). Creating a Research-Based Agenda to Reduce Ecotourism Impacts on Wildlife. In Ecotourism’s Promise and Peril (pp. 179-185). Springer, Cham.
Hultman, M., Kazeminia, A., & Ghasemi, V. (2015). Intention to visit and willingness to pay premium for ecotourism: The impact of attitude, materialism, and motivation. Journal of Business Research, 68(9), 1854-1861.
Hunt, C. A., Durham, W. H., Driscoll, L., & Honey, M. (2015). Can ecotourism deliver real economic, social, and environmental benefits? A study of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23(3), 339-357.
Liu, J., Qu, H., Huang, D., Chen, G., Yue, X., Zhao, X., & Liang, Z. (2014). The role of social capital in encouraging residents’ pro-environmental behaviors in community-based ecotourism. Tourism Management, 41, 190-201.
Lu, A. C. C., Gursoy, D., & Del Chiappa, G. (2016). The influence of materialism on ecotourism attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Travel Research, 55(2), 176-189.
Masud, M. M., Aldakhil, A. M., Nassani, A. A., & Azam, M. N. (2017). Community-based ecotourism management for sustainable development of marine protected areas in Malaysia. Ocean & coastal management, 136, 104-112.
Mieras, P. A., Harvey-Clark, C., Bear, M., Hodgin, G., & Hodgin, B. (2017). The Economy of Shark Conservation in the Northeast Pacific: The Role of Ecotourism and Citizen Science. In Advances in marine biology (Vol. 78, pp. 121-153). Academic Press.
Picard, D. (2015). Making ecotourism sustainable: refocusing on economic viability. Lessons learnt from the “Regional strategic action plan for coastal ecotourism development in the South Western Indian Ocean”. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23(6), 819-837.
Schofield, G., Scott, R., Katselidis, K. A., Mazaris, A. D., & Hays, G. C. (2015). Quantifying wildlife‐watching ecotourism intensity on an endangered marine vertebrate. Animal conservation, 18(6), 517-528.