The concept of sustainability, although difficult to define, refers to “development capable of meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the resources for the satisfaction of future generations”.In a broader approach, it aims to promote harmony of human beings with each other and with nature. Using natural and cultural heritage in a sustainable way represents the promotion of tourism that is ecologically sustainable in the long term, economically viable, as well as ethically and socially equitable for local communities. It requires integration with the natural, cultural and human environment, respecting the fragility that characterizes many tourist destinations”.
Incentive to the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage and search for an environmental awareness through the interpretation of the environment
This type of tourism presupposes activities that promote reflection and the integration of man and environment, in an experiential inter-relationship with the ecosystem, the customs and the local history. It should be planned and oriented aiming at the development of the tourist in issues related to the conservation of resources that constitute the natural and cultural heritage.
Promotion of the well being of the population
The distribution of the benefits resulting from ecotourism activities must contemplate, mainly, the receiving communities, in order to make them protagonists of the development process of the region.
The establishment of this conceptual cut in view of the amplitude of interactions between environment, society and tourism is primordial for the direction of integrated public policies between the sectors. Such a cut out delimits what is understood by Ecotourism, whose analysis of the theoretical and practical development over the last decade allows us to make considerations based on aspects that refer to the nature of the tourist activity, to sustainability, to the territory and to the motivation of the tourist.
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