gambia river in niokolo koba national park

Travel and Tourism has been long regarded by environmentalists as a key contributing factor to environmental degredation. Yep!! That's correct!! However, with the new  concept of responsible tourism  the benefits of the  industry in relation to the conservation of our natural environment  cannot be overemphasize. In this article I will take you through some significant points in which tourism  contributes significantly towards environmental preservation and conservation.

1.The proper planing and management of tourism facilities, such as  accommodation providers can immensely enhance the safeguarding of our natural surroundings. However, this requires careful planning for controlled development, based on analysis of the environmental resources of the area. Planning helps to make choices between conflicting uses, or to find ways to make them compatible. By planning early for tourism development, damaging and expensive mistakes can be prevented, avoiding the gradual deterioration of environmental assets important to tourism.

Clean production techniques can be important tools for planning and operating tourism facilities in a way that minimizes their environmental impacts. For example, green building (using energy-efficient and non-polluting construction materials, sewage systems and energy sources) is an increasingly important way for the tourism industry to decrease its impact on the environment. And because waste treatment and disposal are often major, long-term environmental problems in the tourism industry, pollution prevention and waste minimization techniques are especially important for the tourism industry.  

2. Raising environmental awareness: Tourism has the potential to increase public appreciation of the environment and to spread awareness of environmental problems when it brings people into closer contact with nature and the environment. This confrontation may heighten awareness of the value of nature and lead to environmentally conscious behavior and activities to preserve the environment. 

If it is to be sustainable in the long run, tourism must incorporate the principles and practices of sustainable consumption. Sustainable consumption includes building consumer demand for products that have been made using cleaner production techniques, and for services - including tourism services - that are provided in a way that minimizes environmental impacts. The tourism industry can play a key role in providing environmental information and raising awareness among tourists of the environmental consequences of their actions. Tourists and tourism-related businesses consume an enormous quantity of goods and services; moving them toward using those that are produced and provided in an environmentally sustainable way, from cradle to grave, could have an enormous positive impact on the planet's environment.

3.Conservation and preservation: Tourism can significantly contribute to environmental protection, conservation and restoration of biological diversity and sustainable use of natural resources. Because of their attractiveness, pristine sites and natural areas are identified as important and the need to keep the attraction alive can lead to creation of national parks and wildlife parks.

4.Contributions to government income:
Governments collect money in more far-reaching and indirect ways that are not linked to specific parks or conservation areas. User fees, income taxes, taxes on sales or rental of recreation equipment, and license fees for activities such as hunting and fishing can provide governments with the funds needed to manage natural resources. Such funds can be used for overall conservation programs and activities, such as park ranger salaries and park maintenance.

Stake holders in the Travel and Tourism industry from both public and the private sector at global level owe it to the next generation on attaining sustainability. The issue of sustainability has become a prominent topic of discussion at the world center stage  as our wonderful world faces alarming environmental concerns.

Let's travel responsibly!!! 

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