The term “ecotourism” was introduced in 1983 by the Mexican architect, consultant for ecological tourism Hector Ceballos-Lascurain. There are four general goals of ecotourism.
- Preserving and protection of the environment.
- Improvement of the economic and cultural well-being of the local population.
- Expanding and enriching tourist experience.
- The profitability of businesses and economic feasibility.
So, eco-tourism is one of the types of tourism, the main motivation of which is natural area, responsible traveling, which does not violate the balance in the environment, and promotes its conservation and improves the well-being of local residents.
However, the rapid pace of development of tourism and its mass character have led to negative changes in the environment. Tourism began to destroy the foundations of its existence. Polluted beaches, areas with excessive noise, developed erosion and impoverished landscapes have become unsuitable for relaxation and recreation.
Tourist transport affects the environment through the emissions of harmful gases of vehicles into the atmosphere, the increased noise level and also the construction of new roads, parking lots of gas stations and service stations. The emissions, polluting the air (carbon dioxide, heavy metals, chlorine compounds, fluorine, mercury, arsenic), lead to the disappearance of rare species of plants, a variety of microorganisms, moving to other places of wild animals.
The action of noise violates animal life regime – the amount of milk of mammals decreases, the number of young growth is reduced, even premature births occur due to noise. The jet airplane noise contributes to the death of bee larvae, furthermore, the bees lose their orientation, the shells of eggs crack in the bird’s nests.
The most popular tourist activities are outdoor recreation, active games, friendly meetings in the open air. This leads to:
- trampling and damage to plants, as well as soil, scaring the animals;
- removal (destruction) of mushrooms, berries, flowers;
- nature clogging by organic and inorganic materials (food waste, paper, metal, glass, etc.), by new organic species (seeds, animals).
The presence of even one person does not pass without leaving a trace for the environment. This paper describes the influence of tourism and recreational activities on nature in more detail.