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Ecotourism Chapter 5 Summary.docx

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Environmental Studies
David Morris

th March 14 Chapter 5: Economic and Sociocultural Costs of Ecotourism Direct Costs of Ecotourism  The Direct costs of ecotourism include: o Start-up expenses  Acquisition of land, establishment of protected areas, superstructure or infrastructure development  Infrastructure development includes trails, visitor centers, parking facilities, etc. o Ongoing Expenses  Maintenance of infrastructure, the promotion/marketing of ecotourism to the public, or employee wages/labour costs  Ongoing expenses can include upkeep and maintenance of land and facilities  Ongoing expenses depend on many factors, such as whether it is a hard or soft ecotourism location, publicly or privately controlled, the market image of the destination, the size of the operation, and many more.  These costs should NOT be considered to have a negative impact, since these are inevitable expenses of any ecotourism activity. Also, these expenses clearly intend to create beneficial outcomes o This is unless the costs of the ecotourism activity are insufficient, too excessive, improperly managed or allocated, or have a long-term dependence on donors. Indirect Costs of Ecotourism  The indirect costs of ecotourism include: o Revenue Uncertainties  There are inherent demand-and-supply-side risks in all tourism  Tourism is a form of discretionary spending that consumers are likely to curtail during times of economic or social uncertainty  On the supply side, political and social unrest are major risk factors in many parts of the world, especially when tourists or ecotourists in particular are targeted by dissidents and terrorists in areas where government control is nominal  Disease outbreaks and seasonality are examples of unpredictable and predictable supply-side factors that can cause significant fluctuations in ecotourism destinations o Revenue Leakage  90% of the revenue derived from ecotourists flows outwards to pay for goods and services. Only 10% of the actual spending is retained to expand or continue environmental sustainability.  Leakage usually isn’t a problem for local economies unless that leakage is going to external or foreign businesses that have no vested interest in the community. Leakage can be either a cost or benefit depending how it occurs. th March 14 o Opportunity Costs  Income that is foregone by not using an area for a particular purpose is an opportunity cost. Doing one activity may produce less revenue than another activity (such as logging versus a protected park. More money would come if logging occurred on this property)  Immediate vs. long term opportunity costs are significant – ecotourism may be beneficial long term but some immediate concerns may take precedence o Damage by Wildlife  Indirect costs occur when wildlife damages community assets, such as farmland or livestock.  There is a danger that inadequate compensation to those who’s property is damaged that negative social and environmental repercussions will occur, such as apathy on the part of the landowners Sociocultural Impact of Ecotourism Direct and Indirect Benefits of ecotourism  Ecotourism fosters community well-being and stabil
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