An amphibian vehicle carries tourists across the Fazenda Rio Negro in the Brazilian Pantanal.
© CI/Photo by Haroldo Castro
During the past 15 years, CI has supported the development of exemplary ecotourism products by providing technical assistance, capacity building, and funding to communities, entrepreneurs, and our partners as follows:
- Development of viable ecotourism products and services
- Improvement of business management skills
- Design of marketing strategies and creation of market links
- Development of associations, networks, and clusters that strengthen destinations
Strengthening ecotourism enterprises has direct and indirect benefits. Directly, a business adopting ecotourism principles promotes biodiversity conservation at its site and provides income to local people. A business operating inside or adjacent to a protected area will create an incentive among those who benefit from the biodiversity attractions to conserve the attractions on which the business depends. For example, the owners of Chalalán Ecolodge in Bolivia set up their own patrols to detect poachers and loggers, whose activities reduced the attractions of the site. Thus, investing in conservation becomes a business strategy.
IN DEPTH: Learn more about CI's Center for Environmental Leadership in Business.
Indirectly, successful ecotourism businesses has set an example that other entrepreneurs will follow and that will generate growth in the tourism sector overall.
In the mid-1990s, CI supported the creation of a national park in Ghana’s central region by developing a major nature-based attraction – the Kakum Canopy Walkway – adjacent to a secondary forest. Today, the walkway receives more than 90,000 visitors per year and provides resources to support the protection of more than 360 square kilometers of habitat.
LEARN MORE: Ecotourism at Conservation International.