As we are facing a massive downfall in the economy and adverse effects globally due to the pandemic. However, one thing that is taking advantage of this situation is nature. It is healing firmly in places which have been destroyed since capitalism took place globally. The mountains that have been engulfing a tremendous amount of trash left by the tourists have got some time to heal from the halt in the tourism industry specially Everest region which is popular among many tourists. Travel and tourism contributed to 7.9 percent of its GDP last year, rising from 3.6 percent but it is nil this year since March 2020 in Nepal. Even the most anticipated Visit Nepal 2020 was postponed because of the pandemic which withheld lots of trekking and tourism bookings and faced a loss in promotions too. Now, the lockdown makes everyone limited with supplies and distribution of every goods and services nationwide which leads people to depend on local farming and agriculture. People are realizing that sustainable living is the solution in tough and unprecedented events like this and many people are going back to old lifestyles. Hence, for being a land-locked country, it will be a very wise move to promote agriculture and sustainable ways of living life to get rid of human crisis.For this, Eco tourism is likely one of the best alternatives to recover as it is both relatively easier to start by using local resources and also it could be beneficial for a long run both to the people and the country itself.
What is Ecotourism?
Ecotourism is a form of Tourism that prioritizes the conservation of nature, community development and economic development by low or non-consumptive use of local resources. It is best defined as to run tourism by respecting nature, the communities and their cultures. We can find many kinds of ecotourism such as; community based ecotourism, ecosystem ecotourism, cultural ecotourism, and nature based ecosystem, protected area ecotourism and rural ecotourism to name a few.
In Nepal, Eco-tourism has been flourishing for a couple of decades now because of diverse culture and ethnicity, abundance of nature and wilderness and uniqueness as a whole. Nepal is gaining popularity in ecotourism around the globe and best known for its hospitality and unique culture and tradition . The government officials related to tourism are cooperating with local communities to improve and implement the services in the tourism industry and also helping in research and promotion of sustainable ecotourism development. Here are some of the works that has been implemented in ecotourism industry:
It is one of the main attractions of Community based and Cultural Ecotourism. Community homestay is successful in Nepal because of our diverse culture and ethnicity as well as vivid geographical distribution. Nepal consists of 125 ethnic groups and 123 different languages despite being a small country. Geographically, it is rich from jungle safari in the southern part to the enormous himalayas in the North. Most of the community homestays are allocated according to the natural attraction as well as the cultural values. Visitors not only get an opportunity to stay at the traditional village but also get to explore scenic natural trails full of wilderness, witness and learn the cultural values and performances which is one of a kind experience. For instance, Ghale gaun community homestay and Gre Community homestay from Hilly region has more of a cultural attraction and scenic beauty of mountains whereas Bardia Community homestay from Terai region have nature and wildlife safari as it’s main attraction along with different cultural values than other parts of Nepal.
- Heritage Trail
HeritageTrail is another perfect example of Cultural Ecotourism.Countries like Jamaica, Hong Kong and India have successfully implemented it as a sustainable tourism. Nepal offers Tamang Heritage Trail In Rasuwa district to promote the cultures of Tamang ethnicity and the gateway to the majestic Mt. Langtang Trek. The eight day trek comprises the trail passing through Buddhist shrines, Monasteries, interesting architectures and stay at a traditional home decorated in ancient Tibetan style. The Government of Nepal put forward the Tourism for Rural Poverty Alleviation Program (TRPAP) in Rasuwa to alleviate the cycle of Poverty in 2007. If Nepal could tap more heritage trails focusing on other interesting ethnicity with good research and implementation, it would be a major benefit to the local communities and helps to rejuvenate the Tourism industry post pandemic.
- Domestic ecotourism
Apparently, domestic tourism is taking a big leap in the tourism industry. Many people want to explore new places to explore different ethnicity and culture along with natural exploration. Until there is uncertainty in the tourism industry for international tourists, we can work on promoting domestic tourism with exciting offers and packages to travel in various travel destinations locally. Youths are energetic and excited to travel to new destinations during their leisure and they are always after a place that has good scenery and hospitality. Managing the reasonable packages to them will increase the footfall in all ecotourism business and boost the economy locally. This will also help ecotourism business survive without depending much on international tourists until the right situation arrives. By then, international tourists will be a bonus for the tourism industry and economy.