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Ecotourism: Growth and Sustainability

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I. OVERVIEW

ECOTOURISM: GROWTH AND SUSTAINABILITY

Ecotourism is the fastest-developing component of the tourism industry at around 20% per year. Ecotourism have made a great impact to every country's economy as surveyed in Australia. The study shows and concluded that ecotourism is a very good catalyst for economic change and development not just to some countries but of the whole world for it proved to contribute 5% of the world's total industry. Australian tourism is booming and known as a leader in the field and has attracted a very large share of the global ecotourism dollar because of its abundant natural attractions such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree rainforest, Kakadu, Uluru, and the Tasmanian wilderness and whale watching at a number of East Coast Towns. The Australian Tropical Research Foundation estimated that the Daintree rainforest was worth $400 million in 2002.

The Australian tourism industry works hard to maintain and improve its product however; they are confronted with two problems. The biggest challenge confronting the industry is that of the sustainability of the industry in ecological, social and economic terms. First, are the possible damages of the fragile tourist places just as the Mount Everest now that has a sizeable garbage problem from the annual volume of climbers and expeditions and the concern that the volume of tourists might destroy the delicate ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree rainforest and Kakadu. To protect and preserve the pristine environment, tourism operators have developed the NATURE AND ECOTOURISM ACCREDITATION PROGRAM (NEAP),which is seen as a world leader in responding proactively by the challenges caused by the rapid growth of industry. Second, which also arises from the explosive growth of visitors numbers, relates to the parallel growth in the number of tourism operators....

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