Political and social aspects of marine ecotourism in the US have been discussed in the paper. The positive and negative influences on them have been discussed in detail in the paper. How do they affect ecotourism, and what influences these factors? What people and processes are involved in it?
Body of the text:
To supplement the hypothesis, environmental and geographical factors are discussed, and what impact they have on the ecotourism sector. What aspects are the key responsible factors, influencing the marine ecotourism environment?
The geographical aspects in this study are of the areas of the US, where marine ecotourism is highly visited and practiced. The geographical illustration of US areas of tourism has an influence on how the areas can be made better for marine tourism activities. As one big country, the US has a diverse and vast area of natural resources. The United States has a vast tradition of ecotourism publically and privately. With the growth of the American population, the demand for tourism has also increased. For this purpose, America can invest a lot in marine tourism. According to a survey, 900M people visit parks, monuments, recreational areas, and national parks annually. These visits include wildlife viewing, hiking, swimming, and marine site viewing. The government of the United States has land and water management agencies, that promote and support ecotourism, which include the country’s National Park Service, Forest Service, U.S Marine, and Wildfire Service, US Bureau of Land Management, and Marine US Fisheries Service.
It is acknowledged that the political aspect has a diverse relationship with marine ecotourism. A lot of work has been done to improve the economy of tourism and ecotourism. People need to be aware of the nature of tourism, which is always referred to as the ethics and tourism cultures. People are mostly not aware of the new tourism terms, like ecotourism. Ecotourism is often termed as complex and not easily understood. Most of the time, this is true because of the political influence on it. Its sustainability is an issue nowadays and should be worth arguing.
Lack of Goal setting:
Socially, marine ecotourism has been left behind by people, and do not give importance to it. However, this factor has made a large impact on the development of ecotourism. Steps towards its development have not been of interest to the people, and this leads to a decrease in ecotourism. If society takes an interest in the sustainability of marine wildlife and its development, this issue can be resolved globally.
The environmental factors are creating a serious issue in the coastal areas. When it comes to ecotourism, the environment plays an important part which includes the consumption, depletion of biodiversity, resource use, waste, and pollution. Moreover, mountains, rivers, forests, and other coastal environments are a basis to improve in order to make marine and other tourism a success. When ecotourism is influenced by negative environmental factors, the protection of the environment also comes into the study. This way, tourism, and the marine side environment are interlinked with each other. If they tend to work toward one goal, they could provide efficient economic development. One of the cases in which the environment of ecotourism has been affected is the disposal of toxic materials, such as fuels, cleaning materials, and other toxic substances, into sea beds or oceans. It affects the environment of marine life and tourism. It can include the environmental disturbance from boat and land activities i.e. water, air, and soil pollution. This happens mostly during peak tourism seasons, which is because of the improper implementation of pollution control measures. It also impacts the health of the people around it and the wildlife. The public also plays a big part in this, where they also dispose of the litter in the sea and areas around it.
Another factor is the diverse damage to the near shores of marine ecosystems, especially the coral banks, by the boat drivers and the public. Connectors and the chains connected to them also damage the warm water banks and other mechanisms, damaging the banks with the motors and machines on which they land. Repeatedly, the connectors can break the banks leaving them infected and dangerous. This ultimately affects underwater life. Reducing the variety of fishes, which is important for attracting visitors and ensuring the health of the area. This also results in the extinction of some rare species, which are nature’s phenomena.
Globally, ecotourism societies have been in progress to make betterment in this field. It is also an important part of the economy of the country and tourist attractiveness. The development of social values also relies on the tourism development of any country. The US, in this context, has also made vital steps to improve it.
Community-based tourism is also a more important part of development than the conventional type of tourism. It does not restrict the host communities to any typical tour grasps and the wealthy people of national-based commodities. Researchers have taken more interest in making talks about community-based ecosystems to make a difference between typical ecotourism and marine life tourism. Community-based ecotourism can be defined as the area where a local society has control and involvement in the development and management of the type of ecotourism. In order to enhance and develop the tourist in ecotourism, the industry had to seek an alternative reasons to bring more visitors to ecotourism. These alternatives involved green eco-tourism, cultural eco-tourism, community eco-tourism, ethical eco-tourism, health eco-tourism, and other forms. In all these forms, ecotourism holds much capacity to grow. In the previous years, many people and commodities have taken part in the financing of the ecotourism development procedures. They also invest in alternative plans because sometimes an already formed community cannot be run for a longer term, so people invest in some alternative solutions to it.
Bodowski (1976) suggested a relationship between tourism and conservation. The study aimed on providing knowledge about tourism’s contribution to the development of outcomes. The awareness of ecotourism has also made a deeper issue, which says that the biodiversity or the natural characteristics are becoming commodities and the other areas are going into the past. Recent talks say that ecotourism has on only taken over the interest of people but also aided in the preservation and development of projects related to it.
The geographic region of the ecosystems is important as an environmental factor. Two of the basic factors are considered when looking for a geographical area and its mapping. Zoning is the element that governs the objective that the site should be strictly protected, the tourism zone should be free of danger, and there is a moderate zone of tourism. It helps in reducing the negative impacts on the cultural and natural environments. Access to the ecosystems should be environment-friendly. In terms of the roads, the covers which come over the animals to protect them from danger should be in such a design that it does not hurt the animals underwater and above sea level. 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.
This geographical measure should also be considered in mind when making political and social aspects. Geographical aspects can also be a disaster if not well managed.
Government and public intervention both go hand in hand; in some places locally formed institutions carry on ecotourism activities of their own accord. This locally raised institution mainly focused on small-scale tourism activities. Funds and support are given by the public. Sometimes these small organizations interlinked with government agencies to carry out their tasks. Public agencies like non-profit organizations involved in the operation of ecotourism activities are fruitful.
Florida key is a famous site for ecotourism; it is also known as the world’s third largest barrier reef. This site belongs to Florida’s key national marine sanctuary (floridakeys.noaa.gov). it comprises more than 600 plants and animal species, which includes five types of marine turtles and endangered Florida manatees. A book receives blue star certification, which recognizes the commitment to conserving reefs. This region is also famous for bottlenose Dolphins.
Such kinds of places are under the focus and concern of government and private agencies. Their aim is to conserve those areas with a strong policy framework and check and balance the activities. The main challenge that arises here is how government and private institutions can consider both the profit and interest of tourists. Somehow there exists a trade between these both. Either you have to leave one for another. But a strong and effective policy, in its sense can deal with them both in a manner that the effects of costs are divided on both in such a way that neither of them is affected strongly.
The way out of such kinds of challenges is to sort out a cost-benefit analysis from where policies and actions can be executed. If available data suggests something wrong in favor of tourists or the institutions, then things can be restored according to the situation. For example, if the fluxes of tourist to the United States are increasing, which cause natural degradation, then the specific level of visitors must be allocated to the considered year. If ecotourists decrease over time, then things can be changed on a policy level as well as the cost and prices of the operational activities can be adjusted. These all problems are deeply rooted in the federal political orientation. For example, any political party came into power with a vision to preserve natural resources, and ultimately, she formulate policies that discourage tourism. Same as if the federal government allocates less budget and raises a small number of funds then the tourism sector will be at a loss.
Anyway, the government has to look at whether to promote ecotourism or not. their policy formulation and institutional strength define the fate of ecotourism. Policy formulation can be incorporated with the task execution and performance of the operational bodies. Otherwise, just raising policies and laws and order means not. The role of government and private institutions is diverse. As (EPA) environmental protection agency has a variety of programs to take on. These programs included data collection, data processing, providing free software, case studies, technical assistance, and the arrangement of guides. It also carries out the task of side protection. Programs like entitled energy star, smart growth, waste wise, water alliances for voluntary efficiency, adopt the division, consumer labeling advantage, green ecotourism partnership, and healthy air transportation communities come under the domain of (EPA).
EPA also has developed a model to assess economic and environmental impact costs which in turn facilitate to analysis impact of tourism activity on the environment. Thus it is a way forward to take managerial decisions in the face of environmental challenges and risks. They prefer such operations through their decisions which are beneficial to the environment and tourists. The model is very, very broad and can be applied anywhere. At the government level, it can be applied to execute the tasks at a higher level, and at local and regional levels, it is applied to promote and monitor the tasks at the local level. Generally, it is used to assess the impact of tourism activities on the environment at the state level. it also holds that efficiency and productivity must be ensured. Efficiency holds that carrying out any activity for a long period of time. It bears the future perspective within. if any task remains for more than a decade by retaining future consumption then that task or activity is called to be sustainable and efficient. While efficient means the net benefits increase while performing any activity. Efficiency can be attained by minimizing costs and increasing benefits.
This model maintains ten leisure activities impact the environment. It analyses their impact on the environment in terms of cost, or any other physical effects. It also bears the concept of natural preservations. These most impactive leisure activities which have a strong impact on the environment are as follows, fishing, skiing, hunting, boating, golfing, casino, gambling, amusement theme park, historic places and museums, conventions and conferences, and waterside recreations. The most striking impact of these ten activities was the increase of waste in water, which endangered some of the marine species. These activities mainly take place around areas where animals and other natural sources are inhabited. While performing such activities, tourists never care about their impacts on nature. Sometimes birds get disturbed from their nest, and dolphins get teased due to over-bloating and unnecessary roaming around the water. These impacts are measured through different indicators, like water use, biological water demand of wastewater, total suspended solids in wastewater, energy use, air pollution, hydrocarbon, carbon mono oxide, nitrogen, greenhouse gas emissions, and municipal solid waste generation. a single indicator can be enough to notice that environment has been affected by tourism activities,