Geographically, the Galapagos Islands participate in The Equator, and are situated on the Pacific Ocean near Central America. Its an archipelago composed of 41 volcanic islands. The islands have a population of slightly over 30, 000 inhabitants.
Historically, the Galapagos Islands were officially found out by the bishop of Panama, Tomas de Berlanga in 1535. Until the 17th century, the hawaiian islands are being used as a natural drinking water tank and food. What folks can find is not only normal water but also pets or animals in particular tortoises. Unfortunately, plenty of animals were used as food plus some species were wiped out off definitely.
In 1835, Charles Darwin explored the archipelago. Shocked by the specific fauna of the hawaiian islands, he studied particularly the geology and the biology on the hawaiian islands. Thanks to his observations made, he publicized his first analysis on the origin of types and the natural selection.
Between the 1920s and the 1930s, a influx of Western settlers arrived in the hawaiian islands. By 1934, regulations on the coverage of the archipelago were promulgated. However, due to World Battle Two, some species were exterminated.
The archipelago officially became a National Playground in 1959. At that period, Darwin foundation was created to be able to get funds for the conservation of the hawaiian islands.
Tourism started toward the finish of the 1960s. Today, thousands of millions of people visit the Galapagos Islands every year.
They are the first site in the world that became a detailed UNESCO World History site in 1978. Furthermore, in 2007, UNESCO position the Galapagos Islands on the list of "WORLD HERITAGE IN DANGER" due to environment dangers (mass travel and leisure, overfishing, invasive types. . . ). This year 2010, they have been removed from this list because of the significant progress created by Ecuador.
The question that could be asked: what role has tourism played out on the Galapagos islands?
This review on the Galapagos Islands is split into three main points.
First of all, it'll be concentrating on the impact of tourism, positive as well as negative, on the islands. Then, it will talk about the management of travel and leisure in that covered area. To finish, it'll be talking about the role of eco-tourism in the Galapagos Islands.
The Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin developed his theory of advancement, are at risk of being ruined by tourists. Indeed, pets or animals are disrupted by large numbers of holiday abandoning their infants and eggs like the famous large tortoises.
It's a disaster for all fauna on the Galapagos Islands but as well a real risk for the flora. There are so many kinds on the hawaiian islands and in the surrounding waters that are actually considered critically endangered, while another ninety have been officially declared as vulnerable. In the last five years, more than 100 new vegetation species have been launched. Some types of the giant tortoise and the Galapagos mouse have vanished completely. When tourists are coming to the island they bring with them spores or bugs, which can be dangerous for native species. For example, they brought the mosquito of Malaria, who is able to get rid of many birds.
People are planning that the Island isn't disfigured by the impact of mass tourism but this is actually the saddening observation of the latest years. Facts are here and nobody can do anything now. The damage is done. The Galapagos need tourism but in once, tourists are damaging the Islands.
Tourists need services such as hotels and resorts. They need a similar thing they can find everywhere with the Galapagos scenery. They ask for holiday information centres and courses on the hawaiian islands. These needs are creating a huge part of employment on the island.
They need transfer and airport, which includes required the setting up of many structures. The land used to be always a magnificent forest and it's really now changing in small urban areas like almost everywhere in South America. The Galapagos were concreted like Benidorm in Spain. The concrete spoiled the Spanish's East coast. For instance forty years back, people could go only by local products motorboat, but today there are up to 5 plane tickets each day or cruise liner.
The government decided to make a highway all around the key island. After a few years of powerful urbanism, traffic congestion and a higher density of people coming to the tourist attractions, tense relationships took place with local people.
Finally in 1997, after many years of governmental mismanagement, crucial decisions were made. UNESCO and all the actors of the Galapagos' political life decided to create several laws and regulations to calm down tensions on the archipelago. They gave concern to the preservation of the ecological system and the biodiversity. The lasting development on the hawaiian islands has been one of the most crucial points of regulations. Rising the standard of living for local inhabitants has been executed. Integrated management's resources have been intended to help people.
The definitive goal of this generating change and legislation was set up to favour a peaceful climate on the Galapagos Islands. We realize a good political situation is vital for the travel and leisure industry. Locals and travelers have to progress a good deal together. Inside the same environment, they need to live jointly and change their brain. That's the real impact of tourism in The Galapagos Island.
The development of travel and leisure in the Galapagos Islands has caused numerous changes both on the economical and on environmentally friendly viewpoint. Over time, the impact of travel and leisure has become progressively more one of the main preoccupations on the future of the archipelago. The level of popularity of the Galapagos Islands appeals to lots of vacationers. However, this considerable influx of tourists is presently a threat to the ecosystem because many people don't have matter for the environment. Therefore, though tourism remains the main financial activity in the archipelago, the implementation of rules was necessary to manage tourism to be able to ensure the preservation of the Galapagos Islands.
The Galapagos Country wide Park is the key fascination of the holidaymakers but is submitted to strict rules. Created by the government of the Ecuador in 1959, it directed to the preservation of animals from human impact. Currently, one of the key concerns is the move of tourists within the islands. In order to decrease the negative impact on the environment, the federal government has set up a management system in guarded areas.
In 1973, the Management Plan of the Galapagos Country wide Park fixed a restricted number of vacationers to the hawaiian islands but through the years the number of guests has increased. Considering the climb of travelers, that strategy wasn't efficient and so has been researched in 1996 focalizing more on the capacity of a site. The capability is characterised by several variables such as the time put in in throughout a visit, the region available, weather
Before their departure to the islands, visitors obtain information about the conservation of the hawaiian islands and are notified of the appropriate behaviour to look at over there. Once came, tourists are strictly controlled; making sure everything is in accordance with regulations.
During the visit, holidaymakers are along with a certified guide. Manuals play an important role in recreation area management. They have got attributed a small group with a restricted number of individuals (by sail boat or on the terrestrial visitor sites). Their main role is to ensure no person infringes guidelines and respects the wildlife. Tourists are required to stick to marked trails and are not permitted to disturb fauna and leaving trash. Tutorials have to focus on it to avoid damage on the surroundings. Guides have to make the tourists realise the value of such rules by providing home elevators programs carried out by the Galapagos Country wide Park in order to respect the environment.
The Management Plan allows travelers to go to only at determined sites in the National Park and at a tiny capacity. The visit is authorised in small statistics so that the wildlife and the surroundings are conserved. The conservation of the islands involves all travellers; they must pay high fees before entering in secured areas.
In addition, the Galapagos National Park Service handles the number of folks visiting the sites by establishing a specific and "fixed itinerary" for ships which transports 20 customers or more. The control of tourism is done as well on land as on sea. Different standards are monitored: itineraries for sessions, naturalist guide's requirements, the quota of passengers All these factors must be conformed to the legislation.
The role of visitors is a significant factor in the management of tourism. Managing visitors is composed in controlling the identity of each one (once came on the islands, travellers provide their personal information: get older, nationality). Then, the monitoring is also focused on reports made by the manuals about visits (volume of tourists, period of the visit. . . ).
One of the primary challenges for recreation area managers would be to regulate the flow of vacationers by employing a monitoring system.
Tourism in the Galapagos Islands must continue steadily to attract guests in terms of education, personal experience and consciousness. However, it has been necessary to put some restrictions to regulate within an easier way the actions within the islands.
At last, tourism in the islands is recognized as Ecotourism. Ecotourism is identified by TIES (The International Ecotourism Culture: a non-profit organisation focused on promoting ecotourism) as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and increases the well-being of residents. " (TIES, 1990)
The Galapagos Islands have been an ecological vacation spot for 30 years. With hindsight, we can see the benefits of ecotourism in two major domains: environment and overall economy.
First of most, it is clear that people need to work to reside in, but farming and industry have a higher impact on the conservation of the surroundings. Therefore, Ecotourism has been a way to permit people to work while preserving and protecting the type. This sort of travel and leisure is educational: it instructs people how to live a life with and become more alert to the surrounding environmental wealth. As a fact, endangered habitats and biodiversity are conserved because both travellers and residents understand the importance of their impact on the environment. The Ecotourism has allowed tourism to continue and progress in the Galapagos Islands, even if its biodiversity is very guarded, thanks to an extremely strict conservation policy, rules and adjustments. The low-impact travel and leisure developed in the Galapagos has benefited the islands. As a matter of fact, Ecotourism provides financial motivations that encourage residents to protect the surroundings and work for this.
On an economical point of view, Ecotourism has contributed to raising the grade of life of the natives. It allowed that money spent by tourists (around $1000 per traveler for 2 weeks, a lot more when compared to a recreational tourist) goes right to the locals and not to international companies. This money is reinvested to both increase the specifications of living and also to finance the Galapagos National Park, in the manner to save the biodiversity. Generally, in poor countries, the primary resources permit to make it through (normal water, minerals, trees and shrubs) but Ecotourism in the Galapagos Islands has provided an alternative source of incomes. Indeed, tourism expenses encourage local people to get for a ecological job: guide, cleaner, waiter, security, boat owner. Finally, the work generated by the Ecotourism means that fewer people leave for metropolitan areas.
To sum up, the Galapagos Islands example implies that Ecotourism requires a perfectly balance between market and environment.
There is a genuine relationship between conservation and development in the Galapagos Islands. As a matter of fact, tourism has a significant impact on the surroundings, due to entire town planning it needs, the pollution, the noises, and the continuous increase in the amount of tourists. To control this, many guidelines have been settled to limit that. Ecotourism was the ultimate way to reduce the environment damages brought on by the tourism while keeping an important way to obtain earnings. However, Ecotourism should not become an important monetary industry. If so, it will not be called "Ecotourism" any more.
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