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Business and biodiversity :: Ecotourism

The interdependence between tourism and the environment is recognized worldwide. A recent survey by the Industry and Environment Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/IE) shows that the resource most essential for the growth of tourism is the environment.

Tourism has a significant impact upon the physical and social environment, while, at the same time, tourism''s success depends on the continued well-being of the environment. Because the physical and social environment constitutes the resource base for tourism, tourism has a vested interest in conserving and strengthening this resource base. Hence, conserving and strengthening biodiversity can be said to hold the key to tourism''s success.

Tourism that sustains the physical and social environment has come to be known as ecotourism. The precise definition of this term remains ambiguous even within the tourism industry itself. However, ecotourism can be differentiated from traditional tourism in that ecotourism not only attempts to minimize the environmental impact of tourism, but also has as a goal that local communities and the physical environment will actually benefit from tourism. In its ideal form, ecotourism is a philosophy, an activity, a development policy and an environmental policy, all at the same time.

Bulgaria has all the conditions for the development of ecotourism – natural beauties, diversity of the plant and the animal world, rich history and culture. These, in addition to the diverse palette of traditions, cuisine, habits and nature monuments.

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds

Nature Conservation Centre Poda Nature Conservation Centre MajarovoNEOPHRON Company for ornithological tourism

Ecotourism in Bulgarian national parks

Bulgarian National Parks official website. Pirin, Rila and Central Balkan are among the largest and most valuable protected areas in Europe. They contain some of Europe’s remaining, extant, wild regions. Identified as Category II protected areas by IUCN, the Parks are managed in accordance with the latest conservation principles and approaches. National Parks allow opportunities for recreation, spiritual enrichment and contact with nature. Tourists can choose from a wide variety of activities.

See also:

Ecotourism in Central Balkan NP

Ecotourism in Rila NP


Ecotourism programme at Conservation International

By creating direct links between the economic benefits of ecotourism and the protection of biodiversity, CI has found that people who earn their living from ecotourism are more likely to protect their natural resources and support conservation efforts. The United Nations has declared 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism (IYE). CI is supporting the efforts of partners such as The International Ecotourism Society and others to ensure that the voices of those working on ecotourism in the field will be heard at the World Ecotourism Summit, in May 2002, in Quebec, Canada

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