Profitable Preservation: Eco-tourism

This blog post was contributed by reader Emma Mardle.

Eco-tourism is just such a case. More and more people are drawn to Canada by the stunning natural environment – and they want to experience and enjoy it as a whole, in a sustainable manner, rather than just withdrawing portions of it as the Scottish deer stalking fraternity do. Vacation providers are increasingly learning that the environment is one of their greatest assets, capable of drawing in millions of tourism dollars per annum and, as such, they are making efforts to protect their most valuable resource. Students preparing for careers in the hospitality industry are learning to preserve rather than exploit the environment – yet this preservation will ultimately result in just as much if not more personal gain than the exploitation engaged in by previous generations. “Our students see themselves more as stewards of the environment”, Gwynne Whitby-Thomas, assistant director at the Canadian Tourism College, has said, “As participants in a global industry, it is essential to work towards preservation”. It is perhaps harsh, but unfortunately true – to make people fight for the environment on a large scale, the environment must be made to profit them. Luckily, ecotourism may well provide a solution congenial to all sides.