Ecotourism Brings in the Green


Ecotourism Brings in the Green

~ Samantha Lewis

The first report that came out was a harsh one to hear. The number had gone from 40,000 at the turn of the last century to barely 1400 tigers that were roaming India. Poaching had become an astronomical business, and habitats were being depleted rapidly.


Now, however, the word is starting to understand Ecotourism. Yes. This industry and the resurrection of these tigers go hand-in-hand.


Siberischer_tiger_de_edit02For those who are unaware, Madhya Pradesh’s Panna Tiger Reserve has been downtrodden and extremely worried for a long time, as they literally watched the tiger count dwindle to an alarming number. In 2009, a report stated that the tiger count in the forests had actually dropped to 0. Thankfully…this is when things began to change. A special team was brought together that would bring tigers back, reintroducing six of the stunning felines from other reserves into the area. The program began and the result was 32 cubs, with poaching halted completely. Now, in 2015, over seventeen adults and sub-adult tigers are roaming safely. And that number is growing.


To make this clearer to everyone, this is not the only area that had shown a severe panic. The battle to keep tigers alive has gone on nationwide. Not only because of poaching and other illegal killings, but also because of the absolute ruin of forests by both human and climate change (Mother Nature) issues that’d occurred almost everywhere.


‘Project Tiger’ was already in place in India as they attempted to resurrect the amazing animal, and in 2006, The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was amended to “enable provisions for constituting the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Tiger and other endangered species Crime Control Bureau, to hand out punishment for offenses related to hunting in tiger reserves.” In other words, every country jumped on board in order to make sure the roar was not silenced.


It is a known fact that national parks and wildlife reserves are not only protected places for the animals, themselves, but they are also always moving forward in order to stop climate change issues and attempt at all times to use the newest and latest technology and ideas in order to make sure the habitat is as healthy as possible. The maintaining of locations such as these takes money, and government monies do not hack it, so to speak. Independent companies, organizations, people who wish to help by donating time or money – this is where everything good comes into play. Money is always in the spotlight in any industry as we all know. In the 21st century more than ever before the need for money and industry are “must-haves.” So it’s nice to know that Ecotourism has now become a hugely valuable market.


The visits to protected areas. The camping, the hiking – all of the Great Outdoors that is there for people to experience – is actually making money. More and more people not only wish to travel, but they wish to see new things, enjoy new climates, and spend money to see some of the most amazing wildlife on the planet. Ecotourism may have once been a small, niche industry compared to say, oil production, but with groups like the WWF that are continuously concentrating on new projects to save even more species, people are spending money in order to see what’s being done.


The estimates are actually staggering. Protected areas all around the globe are receiving, on average, 8 billion visits per year: with an estimated 2.5 billion visits to protected areas in the United States and over 1 billion to China’s National Parks. Ecotourism numbers have been the highest in North America. And when all of these numbers are run, the calculations for Ecotourism end up to be worth $600 billion per year.


The World Wildlife Fund backs this up by saying: “Our US $600 billion figure for the annual value of protected area tourism is likely to be an underestimate.” Now, what needs to be looked at is the less than $10 billion US that is spent annually when it comes to safeguarding, managing, and keeping these habitats perfect for both the species that reside in them, as well as the human populace that comes to enjoy them.


As the projects continue; as the species come back to life, literally in some cases; and as more and more people get involved with the environment, Ecotourism will be a major source of funds for countries all over the globe.


Which means…the ‘roar’ will never die.



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