Conser­va­tion: Role of ecotourism and the impact of COVID-19

If carried out correctly, ecotourism is a feasible solution for conserving nature and for sustainable economic development. Learn more about ecotourism, conservation and the impact of COVID-19


Ecotourism, also referred to sustainable tourism, is a way of experiencing natural areas in an environmentally friendly way while at the same time promoting local communities and the protection of biodiversity.

What is ecotourism?

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education."

Mass tourism, the effects of which have highlighted the need for alternative forms of tourism in recent decades, can be seen as the starting point for ecotourism.

One of the advantages of ecotourism, which plays a decisive role particularly for species conservation: maximising the benefits for the local population.

Advantages of ecotourism

By promoting ecotourism in respective regions, new jobs will be created for local communities. As a complementary objective, the local people will develop an awareness of the value of natural resources.

By selecting local companies as suppliers or partners, properly implemented ecotourism also strengthens regional value creation.

If local people are consistently involved and energy-saving measures plus sustainable transport concepts are implemented, this will lead to a reduced environmental exploitation – and thus to the protection of surrounding natural areas including the species that live there.

Although ecotourism is not a universal remedy and requires constant monitoring, it is nevertheless a viable option for overcoming poverty and protecting biodiversity.


COVID-19 and its impact

Regions that live mainly from ecotourism are particularly affected by the corona pandemic. A short explanation: lack of tourism = missing income = loss of jobs.

The absence of both staff and visitors also favours the conditions for poachers – a circumstance that could mean enormous setbacks for species conservation and its achievements made so far.

Crisis as an opportunity for ecotourism

However, the corona crisis also offers opportunities for ecotourism. The WWF explains: "If we invade or even destroy ecosystems, pathogens lose their host and look for a new one."

The promotion of ecotourism – as a form of tourism that focuses on the protection of nature and wildlife – could therefore make a significant contribution to preventing further zoonotic pandemics in the future.


Support from Natucate

The Natucate team is also observing the developments with great concern. Financial support for conservation programmes and measures is proving to be more important than ever in the face of corona.

If you would like to support conservation programmes with a donation, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We are happy to provide you with detailed information about ecotourism and conservation and will tell you about how you can support NGOs.


The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
Blamey, Russell K. (2001): Principles of EcoTourism. In: Weaver, David B.: The Encyclopedia of EcoTourism. Wallingford: CABI Publishing, pp. 5-22

Lindberg, Kreg (2001): Economic impacts. In: Weaver, David B.: The Encyclopedia of EcoTourism. Wallingford: CABI Publishing, pp. 363-377

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