Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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eco tourism > factfile

Global tourism: growing fast
Tourism is the world's largest industry, with an annual revenue of almost $500 billion. And it is growing fast, with airline arrivals expected to double by 2010. ... more

Tourism and people
Tourism is now the world's largest employer. It plays a crucial role in world economics and has a significant impact on many people's lives - but this impact has been relatively little studied. It is also hard to quantify less tangible impacts such as the effects of tourism on local cultures. In Thailand, for example, trekkers' desire to try opium in hill-tribe villages has led to addiction among village men who smoke with them. On the positive side, tourism can encourage pride in local traditions and support local arts and crafts. ... more

Tourism and the environment
Perhaps the greatest environmental problem of tourism is the contribution of air travel to global warming. ... more

Coastlines and cruises
The seaside - beaches, coastlines and islands - is the most popular type of holiday destination. ... more

Tourism and conservation
One way that tourism can benefit conservation is by placing an economic 'value' on wilderness, thus providing an economic case against development. Some tour operators donate a percentage of their profits to conservation projects, while 'volunteer conservation holidays' can also provide manpower and income for conservation projects. For example: ... more

Sustainable tourism and ecotourism
Various terms attempt to describe tourism that is low-impact, good for the environment and for local communities. ... more

Ecotourist destinations
Ecotourist destinations are gaining increasing publicity through press and television. The examples provided by British Airways and The Guardian (see links below) vary from the simple to the sophisticated. No judgement is made by this website on the environmental and social credentials of these holidays. ... more

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