This work shall give an overview on impacts that tourism and tourism related industries put on the environment. How can these impacts be localized? And how do they interact with national economy? Out of a macroeconomic perspective we will show how ecologically tourism was and is - and what ecological tourism could be in the future.
Market studies of this type must be based on a coordinated approach concerning similar research methods. More importantly, a common concept of the term ecotourism has to be defined, if it is meant to deliver well-founded conclusions and global recommendations. However, concepts of ecotourism clearly vary, not only from one country to another, but also within the same territory. Likewise, the specific attributes of each of the examined markets do not permit a strict comparability of the different papers researched to underline this work. Therefore readers are asked to consider the results of these studies as general trends relative to the ecotourism market, rather than absolute reference data.
The European Commission determines in its Renewed Strategies for EU Sustainable Development that, in spite of the fact that "unsustainable trends in relation to ... management of natural resources, biodiversity loss, land use ... still persist and new challenges are arising", short term actions are required to face a long term perspective. Having in mind that the planet's natural resources are restricted, the main challenge is to change our current unsustainable consumption and production patterns step by step. In these terms tourism has to reach an economically and ecologically meaningful level of utilization for the benefit of current and future generations.
We will paint the picture of an emerging new tourist that demands for more than sun and beach - vacation. This new species of travellers' requests also fun and adventure in an ecologically intact environment.
In order not to loose important market shares to other regions, tourism management has to answer with new and alternate offers. As Athletic-, Adventure- and Agro-Tourism are more than ever popular upcoming components of recreation, we will put an eye on these ecologically meaningful segments of the tourism industry.
In the recent past several studies of the European Commission showed the need of sustainable development in the environmental sector to consequently gain sustainability in different sectors of economy. Since tourism, especially ecological tourism cannot work outside a healthy environment, this scope achieves special attention.
Exploitation of marine resources goes not only directly. Tourism absorbs a remarkable amount of local fishing industry. Also having in mind the seafood dish that was consumed during their vacations, more and more consumers of inlands request for fresh marine products at home. This growing demand puts an extra pressure on marine ecosystems.
Tourism mainly depends on nature in several ways as the most important resource. Degradation of environment affects tourism more than any other industry. Water pollution - caused from tourism overload or delivery industry that produces goods for this sector - soil damage or air pollution - that destroys important cultural and archaeological sites via acid rain - are maybe not clear sighted yet, but have to be kept an eye on in order not to destroy the most important capital this economy depends on.