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Ecotourism – A Platform For Development

591 words - 3 pages

"Naturally Nepal, Once is not enough". This year is introduced as Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) 2011. Nepal is a natural ecotourism destination. Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has aimed for one million tourists through this program. The amazing blend of fascinating landscape, unique bio-diversity and the cultural heritage of Nepal make it into the six most popular ecotourism destinations in Asia and Pacific. NTB is expecting to establish Nepal as a choice of premier holiday destination with a definite brand image. In an area of 147188 km square, the landscape of Nepal changes from the lowlands towards the highest mountains in the world. This is truly a land of extreme diversity. Despite of its relatively small size, Nepal contain significant percentage of wildlife such as 2.04% of the world's flowering higher plants and 8.6% of its birds. it contain some 5833 species of gymnosperms and flowering plants with some ...view middle of the document...

The most common benefit of ecotourism perceived in Nepal is the park fee generated by tourism in the conservation areas and part of it spent for the local community. The exchange of cultures and maintenance of the environment are highly encouraged through these eco-friendly tourism practices. The exposure to the standard life styles of foreign land in a way influence our socio-culture positively. NTY 2011 has targeted to enhance the capacity of service providers. With this introduction of beneficial target, the locals are trying to update their facilities for the maximum satisfaction of the guests. Quality restaurants and clubs are opened with possible quantity. Moreover, this eradicates the unemployment problem among others. Due to conservation activities, foreigners flow funds in local communities. The prominent positive impacts of ecotourism also involve increase in sale of local products which never cease to mesmerize the visitors and local infrastructure development (bridges, trails, airports, alternative sources of energy). In a nutshell, ecotourism is a potential poverty reduction tool.
However, there is nothing like zero impact. Even the most benign forms of ecotourism will still have some negative impacts on environment. To fulfill the needs of growing number of visitors, villagers switch to deforestation. According to a survey, it is estimated that a hectare of virgin rhododendron forest is consumed per year to meet the needs of trekkers by a small lodge in Ghandruk village. Similarly, soil erosion is another environmental problem caused by tourists. It is particularly due to over visitation (e.g. in Annapurna) and using trails other than the destined one. The deposition of garbage/rubbish along the trekking routes and the contamination of water resources are also the common problems faced due to ecotourism. Tourism influences the native culture and can sometimes cause negative changes although for some extent.
Ecotourism work wonders for the development of Nepal. Thus, Nepal Tourism Board should conduct programs like Nepal Tourism Year 2011 time and again so that Nepal can allure much more visitors.

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