I write this blog about ecotourism because I have a big interest in this topic and I do think it can make a difference. I want to share what I find/think interesting about it.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ecotourism: the Scepticism Threat

Earth Hour March 28, 2009Image by sointula via Flickr

I know it might be hard at the moment to be optimistic with the current economic crisis, but I feel scepticism towards ecotourism and green policies generally is growing.

I could include myself into that as I have been very cynical towards the earth hour initiative. It aims to show politicians our commitment to protect the environment by switching off our lights for an hour from 8:30-9:30 pm (local time). Even if I have lots of respect for the people organizing this event, I just do not see the point of it. What's going to happen after this hour?? Are we all going back to our parties and keep polluting and being lazy, e.g. in recycling?? I know people need striking examples to be shaken, but honestly I prefer "the good old way" of lobbying combined to social media mobilization (but to be honest the earth hour mobilizes social media quite efficiently).

Beyond this initiative I have felt scepticism towards ecotourism becoming stronger (and sometimes for good reasons). With an article called "Can Ecotourism be more than illusion ?" , the Guatemalan Times points the fingers where it hurts: people flying thousands of miles to spend their vacation in a eco-lodge. Not really green. The website Ecotourism Caring for Mother Earth shows with the following video that ecotourism has been perverted as it is not precisely defined, which has enabled some people to call their project eco friendly whereas it does not respect the basic principles of the concept.

For Immediate Release.net goes further then that by asking the question "Can green be good for business?". I am not really a fan of Big Business, put if there is no economic incentive, no one will ever enter the green economy. If our good intentions were sufficient, we would live in a very different world.

However, as we only need one candle to fight the darkness, I have found some good reasons in all these article to keep hope. I could say that it is summarized in the article of the Eco-Club, "Ecotourism in Time of Crisis". As we are rethinking capitalism and what we want in terms of society, this is a unique opportunity to take new directions socially, politically, economicly and culturally speaking. And all these sectors could include a green component that would allow us to put sustainability at the core of our way of life. That might be long. That might be painful. But this is the only way.

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