Eco Tourism is very new concept in our country. Bangladesh has a great potential for growth of eco tourism. Its geographical location down the highest mountain peak Everest has made this country a subject of interest of people in world. The land is crossed by major rivers and natural lakes. The mangrove forest-sundarbans, the pristine hilly areas of the hill districts are very interesting for both local and foreign tourists. For this, many international experts have commented on the possibility of Bangladesh becoming an affluent country in the near future. In fact one of the sectors where this country has a great future is tourism vis-à-vis Eco-Tourism. Bangladesh is endowed with various tourist attractions, which include archaeological sites, mosques, temples, monuments, modern resorts and a range of tour attraction. River cruises and boating tour in Bangladesh bring tourists to unalterable close of the nature. For example- Sundarbans, the longest unspoiled natural sea beach in the world, the longest man-made lake at Kaptai, and the Hilly Districts of Rangamati, Bandarbon and Khagrachari, and a vast offshore marine environment are situated in Bangladesh. This paper primarily seeks, to analyze the concept of Eco- Tourism. Attempt has been made to identify the major eco- tourism sports. This paper also identifies some problems of eco-tourism and offer suggestions to solve them.
CONCEPTUAL FRAME WORK OF ECO-TOURISM
Eco-tourism is derived from words namely, Ecosystem and Tourism. Together it is form Eco-tourism. Simply eco-tourism means environment friendly tourism. Environmental tourism is grounded in the concept of the nature -based tourism. Eco-Tourism is more than a catch phrase for nature loving travel and recreation. Eco-Tourism is consecrated for preserving and sustaining, the diversity of the world’s natural and cultural environments. It accommodates and entertains visitors in a way that is minimally intrusive or destructive to the environment and sustains and supports the native cultures in the locations it is operating in responsibility of the both travelers and service provides in the genuine meaning for Eco-Tourism. Thus, Eco-Tourism is regarded as an idea of sustainable tourism in order to develop tourism without damage Ecological balance.
DEFINITION OF ECO-TOURISM
Many definitions of “Eco-Tourism” have emerged since the term was coined in 1987. An Attempt has been have made here to come out some definitions, which have been offered by the tourism and concerned experts. For instance:
In 1991, the Eco-Tourism Society (TES) observed that Eco-Tourism is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well being of local people.
International Research Group (1992) pointed out the concept as the travel with a concern for the environment, and with an appreciation of the natural attraction being the prime purpose of the trip”
Tourism Authority of Thailand (1995) defines Eco-Tourism as “A visit to any particular tourism area with the purpose to study, enjoy and appreciate the scenery-natural and social as well as the lifestyle of the local people, based on the knowledge about and responsibility for the ecological system of the area.
Kusler (1990) explained that Eco-Tourism is resource-based and protection of these natural and archaeological resources is essential for Eco-Tourism.
Ceballos-Lascurain (1996) described the Eco-Tourism as an environmentally responsible travel and appreciates, nature that promotes conservation, had how visitor impact and provides for beneficially active socio- economic involvement of local populations.
There are a lot of works on tourism in Bangladesh but there is no specific work on eco-tourism in Bangladesh and especially in Chittagong hill tracts. Some are –
Parbhin (1984) has given explanation on the development of tourism in Bangladesh in her research work. From the benefit of on her survey it is unraveled that, most of the local tourist does not know about tourism clearly. It is said here in this survey that, interim management system of tourism is not functional. One thing gets the prime focus and that is the local tourist organization think of the facilities allocated only for the foreign tourist. It is not applicable for the local ones. Her research proposes the development of tourism by arising core attraction in the local tourist and by setting provisions on tourism in order to have proper management.
Shahabuddin (1986) mentioned many governmental and non-governmental initiatives in the development of tourism in his research work. The research work finds that, only the foreign tourist take the facility to enjoy the tourist sites of Bangladesh. But the local tourist does not take up the venture of surfing the tourist sites in spite of having enough facility. His research work find the reason of this unwillingness of the local tourist and that is their lack of idea and inclination about the tourist sites. Those foreign tourists who come here do have some reasons to take the facility of tourism and the reasons are business, for job purposes and office work. A very few come here to enjoy the tourist sites. One thing is mentioned here that, many glossy activates should be initiated to generate attraction in the local tourist. Because the growth of tourism having depends upon the local tourist. His research work rolls out the tenacious effort of Bangladesh Tourism Corporation which is trying its level best to inspired the local tourist towards local tourist spots.
Saidujjaman (1986) talks about many things in the growth of Bangladesh tourism in his research work. His work emphasizes on the natural environment as the prime component of the development of tourism. This research work observed that, there is no mandatory involvement of BPC (Bangladesh Porjoton Corporation) because of the condition of management in the local tourism sector. Most of the facilities provided by tourism are problem loaded. This research work brings out the problems and possibilities lying in the development of tourism in a criticized manner. This paper considers Coxes Bazar as the only attractive tourist spot of Bangladesh.
Ali (1987) he described about the tourism related problems and possibilities in term of Bangladesh in his research. Despite having all sorts of components of tourism there appears to be no advantage of development in tourism sector. The facility being provided by the tourism corporation of Bangladesh should be upgraded and furthermore it’s worthwhile to mention that, the tourism corporation of Bangladesh circulates attractive and festive publication with a view to encouraging and attracting multitude of national and international tourist. Moreover it is to emphasize on the international issue that, foreign magazines, newspapers, pictorials can play a very decisive role for the tourism corporation of Bangladesh by showing the exceptional lustier of Bangladesh tourist spots and thus enhancing the image of it.
Akhter (1987) in his research, clearly talks about the development of Bangladesh tourism culture its effect on economic, societal, cultural condition. In his research work, he mentioned all facilities and problems and possibilities provided by the tourism corporation of Bangladesh. His research work discovers the waning numbers of foreign tourist because of no entertaining and amusing kinds of aestheticism. Through his research work he propounds the national and foreign tourist be inspired and attracted to the glossy side of Bangladesh tourism. He mentions also here that, Bangladesh do have everything to attract national and foreign tourist but lack only in the managerial issue.
Hoque (1987) in his research analyzes the various aspect of the tourism development of Bangladesh and he also mention that, there needs governmental and non-governmental initiative to develop the tourism sector. In his research he emphasizes on the rules of tourism to develop this sector. He also mentioned in his research that, due to encourage the foreign tourist as well as local tourist and to attract the tourist spots their needs to start the tourist guide and its campaign. In his research he actually emphasizes upon the problems and possibilities of the tourism sector.
Recently there has presented a modern picture of Bangladesh tourism management through a survey on the tourism development in Chittagong hill tract. In this it has mentioned to develop the eco-tourism project in the region of Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong hill tracts and to provide a new material of tourism in those region. There has also mentioned to create standard facilities around the tourism spots to attract the tourist and to survey about the income from tourist.