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The ecotourists frequently visits environmentally frail areas like alpine and arid areas. In similarity with the natural environment, the sociocultural environment will be serving as an attraction of ecotourism as well as recipient’s of the impact of ecotourism. There exist different stakeholders concerning ecotourism, from operators to natural area managers to domestic communities. The jobs that are related with ecotourism are one of the most tangible advantages offered by these areas. In certain cases, these jobs will be providing direct substitutes toward practices, like poaching of forest products, which is threatening the conservation of the natural areas.

Ecotourism in Gold Coast

Concerning ecotourism, there occurred the growth of ecotourism due to the dissatisfaction regarding the usual kinds of tourism that basically did the ignoring of social as well as ecological components of the foreign areas in respect of a more anthropocentric as well as strict profit centric approach regarding the delivery of products regarding tourism. Ecotourism was observed as a varied outlook by two different schools of thought. One school of thought will be emphasizing on the aspect of bird-watching wilderness, hiking as well as nature-walks that are part of ecotourism. On the other hand, the other school of thought, perceived it as an activity associated with sunbathing as well as white water rafting. The jobs that are related with ecotourism are one of the most tangible advantages offered by these areas.

  • For educating as well as enhancing ecotourism management in respect of the community
  • For introducing new tourist related activities
  • For increasing the interest of the tourists through the introduction of the tour packages
  • For ensuring the sustainability regarding the natural environment

Research Requirements

The requirements for the research will be taking into consideration the aspects of literature review, description relating to the problem of the research, as well as working plan and schedule.

The descriptive element of ecotourism takes into consideration the natural environment as an attraction. The ecotourists frequently visits environmentally frail areas like alpine and arid areas. In similarity with the natural environment, the sociocultural environment will be serving as an attraction of ecotourism as well as recipient’s of the impact of ecotourism. There exist different stakeholders concerning ecotourism, from operators to natural area managers to domestic communities. The jobs that are related with ecotourism are one of the most tangible advantages offered by these areas. In certain cases, these jobs will be providing direct substitutes toward practices, like poaching of forest products, which is threatening the conservation of the natural areas. With the growth of jobs regarding ecotourism, there will be a rise in the jobs that will be supporting the natural areas. The economic influence regarding tourism can be categorised in three segments such as direct, indirect as well as induced. Direct impacts are those that arises from the preliminary tourism spending, like the aspect of spending money at a restaurant. The restaurant will be buying products and services from other businesses, as a result doing the generation of indirect impacts. Moreover, the staffs at the restaurant will be spending part of their wages for buying different products as well as services, as a result doing the generation of induced impacts.

Ecotourism originated in the year 1980, which made the explanation of the elaborate association within tourists, environment as well as cultural aspect in which they are interacting. Four fundamental pillars that are required in respect of an accountable type of tourism are,

  • Minimum impact of the environment
  • Minimum influence as well as maximum respect regarding host cultures
  • Maximum ‘recreational’ satisfaction in respect of the participation of tourists in the activity
  • Maximum economic beneficial aspects to the grassroots of the host country

There occurred the growth of ecotourism due to the dissatisfaction regarding the usual kinds of tourism that basically did the ignoring of social as well as ecological components of the foreign areas in respect of a more anthropocentric as well as strict profit centric approach regarding the delivery of products regarding tourism. Ecotourism was observed as a varied outlook by two different schools of thought. One school of thought will be emphasizing on the aspect of bird-watching wilderness, hiking as well as nature-walks that are part of ecotourism (Lee, 2016). On the other hand, the other school of thought, perceived it as an activity associated with sunbathing as well as white water rafting. The ecotourism proponents will be considering it as a potential strategic aspect towards forming a balance within environmental aspect, development as well as conservation via environmental education programs as well as campaigns. Ecotourism also emphasized upon increased participation of the pubic to plan as well as make decisions concerned with the use of resources.

Objectives of research

The growth in the popularity regarding ecotourism in the last several years has been because of ‘pull’ as well as ‘push’ factors. The pull factors take into consideration a common identification at every level regarding the requirement for protecting as well as preserving the environment. The push factors have been associated with the changing habits of the customers, their demands as well as expectations (Moscardo, 2015).

Ecotourism as a major business will be doing the attraction of various propositions regarding investment, offering foreign exchange as well as economic rewards to preserve the natural environment.

Ecotourism has gone through various changing scenarios in the last few years. Ecotourism was primarily seen as an educational desire as well as challenging vacations in combination with a growing awareness level and interest in the natural environment. Then, the economic development professionals will be viewing natural area visitation as an opportunity for providing employment within places that were experiencing decline or absence of economic growth in other economic sectors. Moreover, growing concentration for improving the sustainability in respect of every activities of tourism, especially those that took place in the natural regions. These approaches are showcasing a changing scenario regarding the objectives that different stakeholders are having an attachment with the visitation (Wang, 2016).

Various countries are having serious consideration as well as incorporation of ecotourism in their strategies related to marketing as well as product planning to do the formulation of the policies. Ecotourism is a blend of two components such as ecology as well as economy. The ecology side of suggested conservation benefits in the outline of entrance fee that will be supplementing the governmental conservation budgets that exists as well as providing incentive in respect of conserving the private sector. The economical side of ecotourism promises towards bringing job scopes to remote areas. It is basically assumed that ecotourism is having the requirement of a less investment regarding public sector infrastructure in comparison to traditional tourism (Ritchie, 2014).

Tourism industry did the designing of new tourism forms that is having minimal negative environmental as well as social influences and generating major foreign earnings in respect of the host communities.

Ecotourism is tourism as well as recreation that are both based on nature as well as sustainable aspects. They are emphasizing three traits that will be describing ecotourism such as,

  • Location and customer motivation: It is reflecting the desire as well as needs of the individuals. This aspect is incorporating environmental, experimental, socio-cultural as well as economic aspects.
  • Minimizing the negative impacts: This dimension is minimizing the environmental as well as cultural influences while doing the maximization of positive economic influences and aiming towards actualizing the sustainability
  • Critical assessment regarding ecotourism: Ecotourism is having two elements such as the nature (i.e. descriptive) as well as sustainability (i.e. prescriptive) (Stone, 2016)

Ecotourism is taken into consideration as a strategic aspect in respect of sustainable development. In this context, it can be stated that ecotourism along with safeguarding the environment, is also contributing towards socio-economic growth as well as striving in respect of being sustainable. Ecotourism components can be described with the support of the model that is associated with domestic participation, preserving the natural areas as well as generation of revenue. This aspect is stressing on the education regarding the environment that is comprising of the twin goals relating to the aspect of conservation as well as development towards actualizing complete sustainability (Gould, 2016).

The categorization of ecotourists can be done by,

  • Rough ecotourists – This category is belonging to the young as well as middle-aged tourists that are travelling in an individual or in a smaller group. They are using very limited capabilities in the destination location like travelling by bus as well as eating locally as well as staying in low priced hotels. The major activities of these tourists are considered to be sports as well as adventure tourism.
  • Smooth ecotourists – This category comprises of middle aged as well as old individuals that are travelling in a group whose arrangement is done by a tour operator. They are staying in 3-5 star hotels as well as eating in luxury restaurants, travelling by taxi and their major activity is nature as well as safari tourism.
  • Specialist ecotourists – This category is consisting of young as well as old independent individuals that are travelling as well as are on tours that are considered to be special. They are having a broad range of hotels as well as places for eating. Their focus is scientific investigation or pursuing interests.

There also occurs the classification of ecotourists in accord to the physical vigour in respect of a trip that are considered being ‘hard’ as well as ‘soft’ trip relating to ecotourism. The ‘hard’ ecotourism trip is requiring the tourists for walking miles into the backlands that are undeveloped, sleeping in a crude shelter as well as tolerating primitive sanitary conditions. The backpackers are falling under this group. They are staying longer than ‘soft’ tourists as well as spending money at small, domestically owned as well as functional organizations. A ‘soft’ ecotourism trip will comprise of those tourists that are staying in first-class hotels, eating in better restaurants as well as commuting by comfortable transport (Smith, 2014).

Literature Review

Ecotourism is the dynamic sector of the tourism industry globally. It is being taken into consideration as a kind of speciality travel that takes into consideration travel in respect of varied purposes like birdwatching, assisting scientists conducting conservation research as well as photography. Since, ecotourism is a small category regarding global tourism, there are no consistent estimates that are having availability in respect of global expense regarding ecotourism. The estimation of ecotourism’s magnitude is done through conservative as well as optimistic views. The conservative view does the estimation of the ecotourism growth that ranges from 10-15%. The ecotourism viewpoint does the forecasting of the demand of 30% in respect of ecotourism (Peroff, 2017).

Scale is considered being one of the most significant factors to manage ecotourism that is separating ecotourism from mass tourism. The proper tourism scale regarding an area is the functional aspect of three elements such as the size of the area, domestic population as well as the ecosystem’s sensitivity. Scale is the most significant factors to do the management of ecotourism. There are five stages in the scale of ecotourism, which are setting the standards in respect of the tourists. The fifth level is being taken into consideration to be the final objective in respect of the supporters of ecotourism as well as stakeholders if they are considered being tour operators, the tourists or the agencies that are managing the resources (Higham, 2014).

  • EL 0 – The starting level of ecotourism is requiring that the travellers are getting exposed to or having the awareness regarding the ecosystem’s vulnerability that they will be enjoying. This is the lowest threshold in respect of “awareness”.
  • EL 1 – There is the requirement of ecotourism for having a net positive flow regarding financial assistance that is taking place amongst the travelling ecotourists as well as the visiting of the ecosystems.
  • EL 2 – This level is requiring that the ecotourists are having an engagement in an individual manner to support the environmental condition.
  • EL 3 – This level is having the requirement towards certifying that the particular tour process is benign to the environmental conditions. The process takes into consideration the global air travel and on-site transport as well as accommodation. This level is stressing on the neutral or positive net demonstrating influence regarding the presence of the traveller to the area of visit.
  • EL 4 – This is having the requirement of a positive net impact regarding the travellers. It takes into consideration the on-site efforts for using proper technological aspects, reduced consumption of energy, recycling, as well as agriculture that takes place organically. These technological aspects are using the aspect of balancing the less environmentally benevolent scenario of the larger travel process like travelling by air, staying in luxury hotels as well as excessive consumption of energy.
  • EL 5 – This stage is referring to the appropriate trip regarding ecotourism in which the overall process is functioning in an environmentally effective manner. This process will be taking into consideration the kind of travel advertisement, transportation, accommodation as well as treating the remaining product (Norrish, 2014).

Sustainability is considered being the essential aspect of ecotourism that is necessitating the aspect of considering four varied kinds of sustainability such as economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, social sustainability as well as cultural sustainability (Pforr, 2014). These four sustainability elements will be including the aspect of economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, social sustainability as well as cultural sustainability. These four sustainability elements take into consideration the strategic aspect in respect of  common property resources as well as participation of indigenous individuals regarding the process of making decisions (Ruhanen, 2015).

Ecotourism will be holding a deeper meaning concerning sustainability within itself and it is an essential aspect of incorporating ecological sustainability principles that are provided by the world conservation society. These are considered to be the aspect of maintaining significant ecological methods as well as life-supporting methods, preserving the genetic multiplicity of delicate ecosystem and sustainable use of species as well as resources. In respect of forming an effective ecotourism base, the sustainable growth aspects is required to be viewed as a scope and also a challenging aspect (Connell, 2015). The sustainable development principles do the incorporation of certain principles regarding the development of sustainable ecotourism. These are considered to be associated with the reviving growth. Then, changing the growth quality. After that, meeting the major requirements in respect of jobs, energy, water and sanitation whose incorporation can be made into ecotourism through the offering of hygienic conditions through better standards of destination areas. Moreover, this sustainable development principle that is stating the significance of the sustainable population level that will be a part of the ecotourism growth for ensuring that the capacity to carry regarding the location will not be exceeding and the over-straining of the base of resources will not occur (Fennell, 2014).

Concept of Ecotourism

The principle of reorientation of technologies as well as management of risks will be doing the adoption of scientific as well as eco-friendly technological aspects through the monitoring of the different threats as well as disaster. This will occur with the help of remote-sensing technical aspects, through the use of better practices of management as well as conservation projects regarding risk as well as disaster management (Fletcher, 2016).  

Sustainable development within an area is seeking towards providing products and services, curtailing the adverse impacts regarding change, holding open the alternatives in respect of recovering the ecosystem, preserving the free services of the natural ecosystems. It als assists in doing all the preceding in a manner that is maintaining the significant traits regarding the area in respect of the usage as well as enjoyment by the future generations (Espinosa Abascal, 2015).

This is an industry having various advantages as well as disadvantages. There is a variety of activities relating to ecotourism as well as influences. Tourists from the industrialized countries do the imposing of a way of life with the very existence as well as a consumption level that might be offending the domestic feelings. The impacts of ecotourism will fall under the category of impacts that are considered being ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ or ‘on-site’ and ‘off-site’ (Zyma, 2016).

The On-site influences are associated with the aspect of soil erosion as well as compaction, disturbing the wildlife, trampling of corals, removing the vegetation, accidental introduction of species that are considered toxic, increasing the frequency of fire, littering as well as vandalism. The off-site influence are associated with the aspect of reclaiming the land in respect of infrastructure, pollution regarding water and air.

The benefits of ecotourism are increasing income as well as employment, generating foreign exchange, encouraging dispersed rural development, stimulating the development of rural infrastructure, providing funds in respect of conserving the natural resources, building political assistance in respect of conserving the nature, increasing awareness regarding the environmental factors as well as attracting the desirable client base (Herath, 2017).

The risks of ecotourism is associated with the degradation of the environment, the pollution of the cultural aspect, the social tensions as well as disruptions, the leakages as well as distortions regarding the economic aspects, trends relating to the seasonal as well as cyclical aspects. Moreover, being sensitive towards the aspect of ecoterrorism, unsteadiness as well as changing taste of the customers (Fatima, 2017).

The aspect of promoting ecotourism in Gold Coast will be having a positive influence on the environmental aspect as well as economical aspect within the country. Moreover, towards the fulfilment of its mandate regarding the promotion of sustainability relating to the environment, ecotourism in Gold Coast also did the generation of major development of the economical aspect in the national as well as domestic levels (Hewett, 2014). In this context, it could be stated that the advantages of ecotourism have not been experienced only at the national level but at the domestic level as well. There has been the spawning of various ecotourism based activities that includes the parks at the adjoining communities (Prideaux, 2014). Therefore, it could be stated that ecotourism is having positive influences that are considered being large as well as small, on the environmental aspect as well as economical aspect of Gold Coast.

Perception of ecotourists and their satisfaction about

Activities related with eco-tourism are bird watching and sanctuaries, farms and farm activities, fruit picking, natural wildlife and glow-worms and glow-worm caves.

It is having the involvement of the application of elementary ethical principles to various subjects that involves research as well as scientific research. The Marketing Research Association’s Code of Marketing Research Standards is designed for promoting an ethical culture in the profession of marketing research in which the principles relating to professionalism, fairness as well as confidentiality get associated for supporting the success of the profession.

The research methodology that will be applied has been selected for acquiring information as well as deducing conclusions regarding the growth as well as function of eco-tourism in the Gold Coast area. The major purpose of this research study is obtaining an insight into the recent growth of eco-tourism in Gold Coast for proposing mitre recommendations relating to effective development of eco-tourism.

Regarding the research purpose and for achieving the goals, there will occur the collection and using of primary data. There will occur the collection of primary data in two methods. At first, a questionnaire survey will be conducted with tourists that are visiting the place. Then, there will occur the carrying out of interviews with the accommodation service providers as well as local authority members.

For collecting primary data, there will occur the use of questionnaire survey technique. In respect of this research study, there will occur the selection of random probability sampling. The size of the sample will be consisting of almost 100 questionnaires whose designing will be done in respect of the visitors at Gold Coast. In addition, there will occur the use of interview survey technique. The sample population in respect of the interviews will be taking into consideration the providers of accommodation as well as local authority representatives.

In respect of the research study, there occurred the designing of close-ended questions. The questionnaire comprised of three parts. The designing of the first part is done for gathering information in respect of the behaviour of the tourists, as well as attitudes regarding the demand and supply of the eco-tourism products. The designing of the second part is done for assessing the experience of the tourists with eco-tourism, satisfaction level as well as the evaluation of the facilities as well as services that are being offered and the third part asked for the classification of data.

The personal interviewing technique has been considered for reaching the goals since it is considered being the most resourceful as well as effective communication method as well as enabling spontaneity.

In respect of this assignment, semi-structured face-to-face interviews will be conducted having the involvement of two interest groups such as local authorities as well as providers of accommodation.

The intention of the findings regarding the research project will be used by the local as well as regional authorities for assessing as well as evaluating the present eco-tourism growth as well as gaining the information relating to the perception of the tourists regarding their experience during their visit to the Gold Coast. These findings will get used to improve the present eco-tourism development in the Gold Coast.

Conclusion: 

In this assignment, the benefits of ecotourism are increasing income as well as employment, generating foreign exchange, encouraging dispersed rural development, stimulating the development of rural infrastructure, providing funds in respect of conserving the natural resources, building political assistance in respect of conserving the nature, increasing awareness regarding the environmental factors as well as attracting the desirable client base. It could be stated that the advantages of ecotourism have not been experienced only at the national level but at the domestic level as well. There has been the spawning of various ecotourism based activities that includes the parks at the adjoining communities. Therefore, it could be stated that ecotourism is having positive influences that are considered being large as well as small, on the environmental aspect as well as economical aspect of Gold Coast.

Reference: 

Connell, J. (2015). Understanding tropical coastal and island tourism development.

Espinosa Abascal, T., Fluker, M., & Jiang, M. (2015). Domestic demand for Indigenous tourism in Australia: understanding motivations, barriers, and implications for future development. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 10(1), 1-20.

Fatima, J. K., Khan, H. Z., & Halabi, A. K. (2017). Ecotourism Participation Intention in Australia: Mediating Influence of Social Interactions. Tourism Analysis, 22(1), 85-91.

Fennell, D. A. (2014). Ecotourism. Routledge.

Fletcher, C., Pforr, C., & Brueckner, M. (2016). Factors influencing Indigenous engagement in tourism development: an international perspective. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24(8-9), 1100-1120.

Gould, E. A. (2016). Ecotourism: Conserving biocultural diversity and contributing to sustainable development (Doctoral dissertation, University of the Pacific).

Herath, G. (2017). Sustainable Tourism Development in Asia: Evaluation of the Potential and Challenges. In Tourism and Opportunities for Economic Development in Asia (pp. 118-141). IGI Global.

Hewett, P. (2014). Cooper Creek Wilderness: perspectives on maintaining a successful ecotourism-driven private protected area in Australia. Journal of Ecotourism, 13(1), 64-70.

Higham, J., Bejder, L., & Williams, R. (2014). Tourism, cetaceans and sustainable development. Whale-watching: Sustainable tourism and ecological management, 1.

Lee, J. H., & Son, Y. H. (2016). The recent research wave in ecotourism research using keyword network analysis. Journal of Korean Society of Rural Planning, 22(2), 45-55.

Moscardo, G., & Benckendorff, P. (Eds.). (2015). Education for Sustainability in Tourism: A Handbook of Processes, Resources, and Strategies. Springer.

Norrish, L., Sanders, D., & Dowling, R. (2014). Geotourism product development and stakeholder perceptions: a case study of a proposed geotrail in Perth, Western Australia. Journal of Ecotourism, 13(1), 52-63.

Peroff, D. M., Deason, G. G., Seekamp, E., & Iyengar, J. (2017). Integrating frameworks for evaluating tourism partnerships: An exploration of success within the life cycle of a collaborative ecotourism development effort. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 17, 100-111.

Pforr, C., Dowling, R., & Newsome, D. (2014). Geotourism: A Sustainable Development Alternative for Remote Locations in Western Australia?. In Resource Curse or Cure? (pp. 153-162). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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Ruhanen, L., Whitford, M., & McLennan, C. L. (2015). Indigenous tourism in Australia: Time for a reality check. Tourism Management, 48, 73-83.

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Stone, M. T., & Nyaupane, G. P. (2016). Ecotourism influence on community needs and the functions of protected areas: a systems thinking approach. Journal of Ecotourism, 1-25.

Wang, C. C., Cater, C., & Low, T. (2016). Political challenges in community-based ecotourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24(11), 1555-1568.

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