Eco Tourism – Kerala
August 16, 2009 Leave a comment
Kerala is the perfect eco-tourism destination with all its greenery and natural beauty. Eco tourism is defined as ecologically sensitive tourism in harmony with nature. In the process making the tourists aware of the protective, productive and regulatory functions of the forests. For tourists, being on an eco tourism holiday means making an effort not to disturb the integrity and sensitivity of the ecosystem. People visit eco tourism destinations for studying the natural and cultural history of the environment and in turn creating and making a stage for economic activities to conserve of natural resources beneficial to local inhabitants.
Therefore, to put it in a few words, eco tourism means environmentally conscious tourism. It involves understanding the ecology of a destination. Eco tourism is mainly nature based, where awareness about the natural resources is an important part and ecosystem has to be maintained besides benefiting the local people. All these conditions should be met to call any tour a successful eco tourism endeavor.
Beaches, backwaters, hill stations, wildlife sanctuaries and culture including festivals mainly comprise the eco tourism products. The main issue is to improve the environmental settings. Kerala has a bounty of all eco tourism products. The Western Ghats, on which Kerala is located, is blessed with a tropical forest ecosystem providing a natural advantage for development of its section of tourism. Enhancement in quality and diversification of tourism is a must to further develop eco tourism in Kerala.
Tourism that is too vigorous disturbs the natural habitat of an area to an irreversible extent. So to prevent this, there must be a well-planned strategy and proper programs. Though tourism cannot be averted and neglected, as this is a major economic activity for locals also, eco tourism is a good way to let make people aware of their surroundings and conscious towards their regionâ??s ecology.
Kerala has many places that can be put under eco tourism category. It has 12 wildlife sanctuaries and 2 national parks, creating a base for planning eco tourism activities. There is large scope for eco tourism activities in Kerala like mountaineering, trekking, bird watching and more. Many water bodies formed within the forest due to construction of hydel projects provide ample space for recreational activities. Moreover, Kerala is well connected and has a long coastline. The forest staff is also well trained for conserving wildlife and ecological balance. Major eco tourism avenues in Kerala are Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary, and many more.