IND802 Social and Economic Impacts of Ecotourism on Local Communities in NSW Assessment Answer
The social and economic impacts of ecotourism on local communities in NSW
The particular study emphasizes on critically evaluating the economic and financial and social impact of ecotourism on the local communities of NSW. The aspects of ecotourism are deemed to be effective for ensuring sustainable practices and alleviating the negative consequences of mass tourism development. The literature review section drew implications on critically evaluating the preservation of the pristine environment by ecotourism and further evaluated the contribution of ecotourism in preserving the interest of the local communities. The researcher has abided by the use of secondary sources as the method of data collection. The information has been accumulated from credible journals and websites available in the public domain. The finding section critically evaluated the contribution of ecotourism in enhancing the income opportunities, promoting social culture, ensuring intercultural appreciation and establishment of better connectivity amongst the host and visitors within the local communities. The discussion section critically impacted the viewpoints of the researcher based on the triangulation of the literature review and secondary findings. The conclusion section evaluated the summary finding of the entire report.
1.1 Background and problem statement
The industry of tourism has become essential for several nations and it is particularly effective in regards to Australia. It plays a vital role in influencing the economic conditions of the nation. Since Australia has been successful in attracting several visitors over the years, the tourism sector has influenced the lifestyle of the residents in several ways. The surge associated with visiting in the country has affected the environmental, cultural and social aspects effectively. The activities contributing to the development of tourism has negative consequences on the residents. In this context, ecotourism is an essential aspect to be considered for mitigating the issues experienced by the local communities in New South Wales. The Ecotourism takes active participation in catering the needs of the visitors within the natural environment keeping in mind that the habits are not harmed by any means (Backley, Morrison & Castle, 2016. It has been an understandable fact due to the development of tourism, the local products become expensive automatically, as tourists will be paying more. The hotels and holiday homes also become relatively expensive, and local people could not afford such high prices at regular intervals. In this context, ecotourism assists in protecting the pristine environment (Kim & Park, 2017). Owing to the futuristic sustainable developmental strategy, getting a better overview of the societal and financial influence of ecotourism on the local communities is considered to be essential in regards to the selected topic.
1.2 Overview of the literature
Ecotourism contributes towards aspects of sustainable tourism by protecting the natural habitat and conserving the resources of tourism. It seeks a deep insight into raising responsibility within the environment, cultural aspects and society which will be impacting the local communities. The importance of protecting the natural habitat, respecting the local cultural aspects, increasing benefits to the local communities and enhancing the satisfaction level of tourism without hampering the pristine environment are the key dimensions of ecotourism in the competitive market. Hausmann et al. (2017) opined that the conceptualization of ecotourism is often misunderstood in the way, it is being applied. It is not nature tourism but the major cause of ecotourism becoming increasingly popular within the local communities is its contribution to green marketing and enhancing knowledge of the environment which is valuable by nature. It is often served as the small-scale alternative to the mass of tourism, which causes a considerable amount of challenges for the local people. This is because the priority of mass tourism is mainly the international and therefore, their preference level is more prioritized in comparison to the local communities. Furthermore, for developing mass tourism effectively, the natural habitat is getting hampered at regular intervals, as a result of which ecotourism is deemed as a fruitful alternative for preserving the natural resources. The wealth of the nations is often connected with the protection of natural resources such as forests, land etc. The exploitation of the natural resources often alters and destroys the wildlife, scenic landscapes and natural habitat. Shannon et al. (2017) stated that ecotourism takes active participation in building the economies without affecting the environment, thus suggesting that wildlife can thrive and the visitors could be enjoying untouched destinations. Localized jobs are some of the financial advantages which can be associated with ecotourism. Samiya et al. (2017) suggested that that the available income opportunities are one of the major reasons behind companies showing their interest towards ecotourism. The income is considered from several sources such as travelling, accommodating, entertainment facilities etc. Surplus of income facilities is successful in alleviating the negatives consequences of tourism development in the nation, which ultimately affect the local communities at regular intervals. Esposito, Palumbo & Lucidi, P. (2020). Travelling in a Fragile World: Robbins, Robbins & Frailey (2019) stated that while visiting the areas of natural beauty, experiencing wildlife and meeting with individuals staying in the local communities, travellers must be increasing their awareness regarding the conservation of natural resources and avoidance of waste. They automatically tend to become more sensitive towards cultural implications and prefer to lead a sustainable lifestyle for maintaining the ecological balance. Insani et al. (2019) stated that the application of regulations and rules towards the agencies by the enforcement of ecotourism assists in generating a positive response from the local communities. The residents start believing that local development of tourism will be providing financial opportunities and enhancement of needful infrastructures. Stronza, Hunt & Fitzgerald (2019) opined that irrespective of the fact, ecotourism takes active participation in creating several job opportunities, it also takes the initiative of reducing the social relationship and traditional aspects. This is because the local communities are becoming more business-minded for attracting the tourists, however, at times the traditional perspectives are overlooked. Furthermore, the development of ecotourism has also resulted in the creation of confliction amongst the private sectors and residents over ownership purposes. Irrespective of the disadvantages of effective tourism takes active participation in protecting biological biodiversity and takes the initiative of promoting sustainable usability of the available resources (Ghosh & Ghosh, 2019). Furthermore, ecotourism also takes active participation in empowering the local communities to indulge in shared management and environment-related activities for minimizing depletion of the natural resources. While it is deemed that ecotourism is eco-friendly by nature, there has been considerable arguments suggesting the fact that none of the transportation activities can be considered without utilizing the carbon resources (Wu & Chen, 2018). In this context, it can be stated that it is not possible to stop travelling, however, awareness shall be created amongst the individual for preserving the environment, which is often influenced by eco-tourism. If nature is preserved, everyone inside the environment shall be protected from a sudden disaster. In the modern-day situations, it is suggestible for both developed and developing nations to promote ecotourism as it will be having reduced negative influence than the traditional form of tourism. Arze & Holladay (2017) stated that ecotourism will be enhancing the connectivity amongst the hosts and visitors in regards to home staying, experiences of the local foods and learning of new culture. Getting social assistance also enhances the connectivity between visitors and hosts. In this context, it can be stated that a particular local food might become increasingly popular amongst the visitors or cultural diversity can also be attained on closer proximity owing to high-end interaction between the hosts and visitors. Agyeman, Yeboah & Ashie (2019) stated that the social benefits of ecotourism can be attained by intercultural appreciation and effective connectivity amongst the visitors and hosts. When tourists take active participation in visiting local places, they often start learning their language and, in this context, social learning can be attained. However, the social dimensions could be varying in regards to the duration concerning the guided tours. If the duration of the tour is prolonged, there are better chances of creating a stronger connectivity amongst the visitors and hosts. On an overall note, it can be stated that the social and economic impacts of ecotourism mostly work in favor of the local communities in the specific region.
1.3 Research objectives
- To critically evaluate the social and economic influence of ecotourism on the local communities of New South Wales.
- To examine how economic tourism creates income opportunities for the local communities of NSW
- To examine how ecotourism assists in enhancing the connectivity between the visitors and hosts of local communities.
1.4 Research questions
The research questions are evaluated below:
- How does ecotourism matter in creating better income opportunities for the local communities of NSW?
- What is the role of ecotourism in enhancing the interaction level between the visitors and hosts of local communities in Australia?
- How does tourism help in reducing the negative consequences of traditional tourism development in the local communities?
- What the are the challenges associated with the economic and social impacts of eco-tourism in the local communities of NSW
- What are the suitable recommendations that is proposed for alleviating the challenges associated with ecotourism in social and economic sphere?
2 METHODS, DATA AND ANALYSIS
2.1 Data collection:
Collection of pertinent data is very much essential for conducting a successful research project (Orngreen & Levinsen, 2017). In regards to the specific study, the researcher will be considering the use of secondary analysis accumulated from the relevant journals and websites available in the internet. For maintaining the credibility of the information, the researcher has considered considering articles and journals not older than 5 years. The researcher has successfully collected the secondary information from peer-reviewed journals and official websites available in the public domain. The researcher has avoided the use of commercial websites, as it might hamper the quality of the study as some of the information might be generalized and subjected to tampered information as well. Furthermore, the selected method of data collection saves a considerable amount of time and also cost-effective by nature. Furthermore, the consideration of secondary analysis will be helping the researcher to address the issues identified in the researcher specifically by critically evaluating the viewpoints of the authors from several perspectives and angles. The researcher has emphasized the application of boolean operators in the specific study as it assists in searching the desired information with the assistance of keywords (Zhang et al. 2017). The keywords to be utilised in the study are ecotourism, economic, social, life experiences, accommodation, visitors, natural habitat, travelling, accommodation, job opportunities, cultural appreciation, income opportunities, social learning etc.
2.2 Data analysis
The researcher will be using the application of the content analysis approaching as the analytical tool for reviewing the secondary information collected from the relevant sites. With the application of content analysis approach, the researcher will be analyzing the meaning and connectivity amongst the variables of the research in the context of the study (Gaur & Kumar, 2018). The researcher will be considering a selection of 5 online resources for evaluating the social and economic impacts of ecotourism on the local communities of NSW. The researcher will be critically evaluating the selected information for widening the knowledge base regarding the contribution of ecotourism within the local communities of Australia.
3 DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS
The finding section evaluates the aspect that travelling mentality of the tourists has increased over the years, which is indeed having a significant impact on the environment. In this context, ecotourism has gained importance amongst the individuals of the local community. In this context, it can be stated that ecotourism has become increasingly popular amongst the local Australian community. In this context, eco-tourism primarily takes active participation in ensuring eco-friendly practices for the protection of the natural habitat (Ivanov, 2020). It also takes the initiative of conducting those tours which might be affecting land and another kind of living things. It takes the initiative of honouring communities by promoting sustainable practices. The sustainable practices ensure limited depletion of natural resources (Lee & Shon, 2017). Apart from the aspects of sustainable tourism, it ensures a considerable amount to economic benefits to the localized communities. Since ecotourism takes the initiative of supporting the local people more, they are subjected to a high level of income. The incomes start coming from several benefits available to the tourists visiting the local places of New South Wales. In regards to the financial contributions, the tour operators of ecotourism take active participation in generating financial benefits to the local communities through the localized form of the employee, activities of tourism and expenditure of tourism.
When sustainable development is attained through the involvement of the local residents. The local residents are subjected to different kinds of job opportunities. Creation of job opportunities by ecotourism activity often ensures the fact that it can take active participation in reducing the unemployment issues in Australia. A lot of talented individuals will tend to get jobs and therefore, ecotourism has flourished effectively in the context of Australia (Walker & Walker, 2017). Various kind of accommodation and transportation is often associated with an increased level of income for these activities. Application of Ecotourism activities has become successful in neglecting the negative impact of mass tourism which by making the overall approach sustainable by nature.
In addition to the economic benefits, eco-tourism has successfully contributed to the notion of cultural perspective. When the tourists meet the local hosts, they start slowly get accustomed to the lifestyle, practices, food facilities, and local aspects of social learning, while sharing experiences. The visitors often cherishing the culture of the localities and likewise, intercultural appreciation comes into existence (Agius et al. 2018). It indicates the aspects of social learning as well because individuals have the capacity of learning several languages in the context of ecotourism. On an overall note, it can be stated that ecotourism not only results in managing the diversity effectively, but it also takes active participation in influencing the financial and social status of the local communities. The increasing importance of local communities are ensuring the fact that individuals for more comfortable in adopting a approach which is sustainable as well as advantageous from several perspectives
While interpreting the finding section, it can be stated that ecotourism has been increasingly popular amongst the local groups and communities. The financial benefits of the ecotourism are very keen in reducing the unemployment rates in Australia. The literature review section suggested that ecotourism has been associated with a considerable number of income scopes as it is a total package-oriented activity (Ghosh & Ghosh, 2019). A tourist will be requiring various kind of facilities and it indeed opens up the scope of earning opportunities. The economic development of the local communities keeps the individuals immune from the challenges posed by traditional mass tourism. Since, international visitors are the primary target for mass tourism, the overall pricing involved in the tourism activities are considerably high. Therefore, it is not always possible for the local residents to pay increased amount of pay to the respective tour operators. In this context, the rapid expansion of the ecotourism tends to provide facilities at affordable tour packages. The literature review section also stated that cultural implications of the local communities can be enhanced owing to the meeting between the host and visitors. The intercultural exchange tends to bring people from different culture in one frame, so that they can easily communicate with each other and cultural resistance is automatically checked. The financial and cultural aspects of ecotourism will be improving further in the latter years when more individuals will be motivated to understand the environmental impact of ecotourism. Furthermore, it can also be seen earlier in the literature review section that green marketing has been useful in promoting ecotourism effectively (Shannon et al. 2017). Considering this aspect, it can be stated it is essential to increase the level of awareness amongst the local residents so that they effectively participate in tourism activities. On an overall note, it can be stated that ecotourism is not only environment friendly, but it provides prospective options for societal and financial benefit.
The researcher could not consider in-depth handling of the selected work on certain parameters due to less availability of time and resources. The researcher was unable to get accessing to certain information as they were paid version and not affordable by the researcher. Furthermore, it can be stated that lack of time available and less financial reserves restricted the researcher to conduct primary analysis of data. Use of statistical data interpretation of interview sessions along with secondary data reviewing would have enhanced the credibility of the study.
4 CONCLUDING REMARKS
While concluding, it can be stated that ecotourism takes active participation in addressing the economic and social interests of the local communities. In comparison to mass tourism, ecotourism helps in preserving the natural resources better in comparison to the mass form of tourism which mainly favors the international tourism visit. The literature review findings considered critical evaluation of the economic and financial implications of the ecotourism for the local communities. The researcher has considered the use of secondary analysis in the specific study where valuable information have been interpreted from the selected news articles and journals. The findings section critically evaluated how ecotourism contributed to increasing job opportunities, better connectivity amongst the hosts and visitors, cultural appreciations, lifestyle learning and other forms of income facilities. The discussion section triangulated the findings with the literature review section for justifying the relevance of financial and social influence of ecotourism on the local communities of NSW. Ecotourism have been ever developing and it will be one of the most prospective areas of business practices in domestic as well international market.