Ecotourism in Belize

Detailed case study on Ecotourism in Belize.

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  • Created by: Liz Hunt
  • Created on: 07-05-09 14:09
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Belize is a very good example of where ecotourism is being tried. The main aim is to achieve
sustainability, which means that the environment is not in any way damaged by the tourists. Belize
has an abundance of natural and cultural phenomena that attract tourists, including forests,
wetlands, coral reefs, savannahs and ancient Mayan ruins.
An increasing number of tourists are coming to the country as they learn about all the things to see,
and as the government realises the financial benefits of tourism.
However the government has also realised the importance of protecting the environments and has
tried a number of initiatives. They created many National Parks and reserves, banning farming in
many of them. In 1993 the Belize Ecotourism Association was established, it is concerned with
protecting the natural environment and works closely with the Ministry of Tourism and the
Four main factors aim to ensure the sustainability of tourism in Belize:
There is strict planning and control of tourist developments, including where they will be
located, what they will look like, what transport routes are needed and any other regional
planning that might be required.
There is an increasing involvement in all stages of the tourism development by the local
people. The aim is that they will assume almost complete control of the developments.
The tourism that is introduced is aimed at being appropriate and not exploitative. In other
words it is something that suits the local area and helps to enhance that area.
The government aims to strike a balance between development and tourism that would be
mutually beneficial to all involved, and the environment.
People are generally attracted to ecotourism by its remoteness, the small numbers of people and
less sophisticated facilities. If these features disappear then the appeal of ecotourism is lost to many
people, as the area just becomes another mass resort. If this happens then the fundamental
objectives behind ecotourism also will have been forgotten.
All that is being attempted in Belize is building towards the goal of continuing to benefit from
tourism, whilst protecting and nurturing the natural environment.


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