Tourism is one of the vital sectors driving socioeconomic development in the African continent. While Africa may not be the world’s leading region in tourism and there are a lot of mysterious untapped places, tourism has an effect on the natural, socioeconomic and cultural resources in some selected destinations where tourism activities take place.
The effects of these activities can have both bright and dark sides on these tourist sites depending on how we manage the way tourism works. You can be a positive or bright factor to some of these tourist attractions if you focus your traveling expeditions on sustainable tourism or ecotourism. To save nature and sustainable tourism in Africa these things must be noted.
What is Ecotourism?
Before we get into details, consider the whole tourism genre. Inside this genre, we have sustainable tourism, and inside the sustainable tourism we have ecotourism, so ecotourism is a subset of sustainable tourism. Think of it as a responsible traveling or visiting of natural undisturbed areas.
Africa has a large role to play in sustainable tourism and ecotourism in so many ways, especially in its natural reservations and cultural heritage. Though ecotourism is thought of as a very good thing in Africa, there are positive and negative sides to it. Some of the good and the bad sides of the ecotourism in Africa have been enlisted below.
The Bright Side of Ecotourism in Africa
Africa is known to some people as a place to connect with nature, history, and cultural heritage. Tourism in Africa is a beautiful thing. Besides the national monuments, the historic buildings, and the economic tourist sites worth visiting, Africa’s best-known source of tourism is the natural one.
During vacations, holidays or when on traveling expeditions, travelers love to come to some of the various African countries to see some natural wonders of the world and some wildlife reserves.
Places like the Victoria Falls, the Mole National Park, the Etosha National Park and many others are some reserves people come to see and experience the beauty of Africa. In most of these natural reserves, there are tribesmen of different origins who dwell there.
The Positive Effect Ecotourism has on Locals in Africa
In northern Kenya, there is a wildlife reserve in Sasuni Samburu. The beauty of this is that, it was not a conservancy for wildlife before, there used to be people who lived there, but they moved just to improve upon the conservation of the wildlife.
Some of the Samburu people who lived there had some history they were not proud of, but now, these people work in hospitality and dress in cultural garments, sing, and welcome tourists to their wildlife reserve, a scene you should see.
Ecotourism in Africa stops a lot of land and water degrading activities. Because the tourists go to see the natural reserves, the government or various industries are stopped from degrading the land to keep tourism going.
The Negative Effect Ecotourism has on Tourists in Africa
Besides the impact it has it has on the locals; it also has a huge impact on the tourists too. The locals accept the tourists into their own homes to teach them about their cultural heritage and even to teach them some of the skills they possess.
Ecotourism has a bright side that shines on the people close to the wildlife reserves. Simply put, ecotourism improves upon the livelihood of under-rated local communities in some underdeveloped regions of Africa.
The dark side of Ecotourism in Africa
They say to almost every advantage, there is a disadvantage. This applies to ecotourism too. Through tourism, ecotourism especially, has a great positive impact on society, it also has some negative ones.
Just as some people go to the African wildlife reserves, beaches, and the other natural tourist attractions to have fun, some of them cause some negative impacts we may not realize if no one tells us. For example, in Ghana, there is a beach resort called the Kokrobite Beach Resort. Though the local people and tourists go to relax at this beach resort, and though it may seem nothing sad is going on, some things actually do go on behind the scenes.
The people of the Kokrobite town used to use fishing as their main source of income for their community. They had to abandon this source of livelihood to give sea and the beach up to be used as a tourist attraction. Though the beach brings income, still, many of the settlers in the Kokrobite town are jobless since the only thing they knew was fishing.
The only way to improve upon the ecotourism in Africa is to considerboth sides of its effects on communities. Viavii offers more information on what goes on in different parts of the world, keep in touch to be updated.