By Siti Suriawati Isa (Malaysia) email@example.com
Feature photos credit: Pixabay
Nowadays, more tourists prefer to get involved tourism activities related to nature. As a result, there are many terms introduced for this type of market such as, green tourism, nature tourism and responsible tourism. Basically, all these terms are closely related to each other. The common similarity between them is their tourism activities involved with nature and the environment. Due to the popularity of tourism activities related to nature particularly for the past 20 years have increased the number of tourists to tourism destinations with nature attractions. Nonetheless, what is worrying environmentalist and nature activists is the behaviour of certain tourists who failed to act accordingly at these destinations. Their action can bring harm and sometimes permeant damage to these sensitive destinations.
Hence, it is high time for tourism stakeholder in nature tourism to impose strict responsible tourism practices at tourism destinations all around the world. Responsible tourism by definition is about ‘making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit” (Goodwin 2014). Responsible tourism practices should be the key towards sustainable tourism, not only for tourists but also to all tourism stakeholders and key tourism players. Activities and programs to promote responsible tourism such as; carrying capacity restriction, conservation (culture, flora and fauna) and tree planting should be introduced at tourism destinations with nature attractions. These activities not only can help to protect the environment and nature but also can sustain tourism destinations longer or forever.
Governments all around the globe should play an active role in promoting responsible tourism for example through conservation activities and programs. A good conservation activity or program at a tourism destination must include tourists and non-tourists. Participation from both tourists and local people can give significant impact to conservation campaign. Also, it is important to give awareness and educate people about the importance of our ecosystem. We must protect and conserve our ecosystem in order to have great surrounding to breath. Without good ecosystem the life of human being will collapse and damage. As Karki (2019) stated during his keynote speaker session at the 3rd. International Conference on Adventure and Ecotourism organized by University Putra Malaysia, we (human) need the environment, but the environment does not need us human. The environment can survive without us, but human being needs the environment to survive.
The beauty of responsible tourism practices not only promoting tourists to become responsible with their action while on holiday. At the same time, to take care of the environment and to educate us wherever we are. By imposing responsible tourism practice strictly at tourism destination not only we can protect the environment or nature, but it can protect culture as well. Hence, responsible tourism should be strictly enforced at all tourism destinations in the world. Importantly, either we are tourists or stakeholders at any tourism destinations or any destinations, we must be always responsible with our action.
Goodwin, H. (2014). What is Responsible Tourism? https://responsibletourismpartnership.org/what-is-responsible-tourism/ (Retrieved on 18 April 2020).
Karki, M.D. (2019). Environment Protection and Nature Based Tourism. Keynote speakers at the 3rd. International Conference on Adventure and Ecotourism (ICAE), Puchong, Selangor.