Essay: Emphasis of ecotourism
Ecotourism emphasizes on interaction based on the proximity to the natural habitat, for example, watching dolphins in their natural habitat, the ocean, while mainstream tourism does not emphasize on the natural environment such as watching dolphins in an aquarium (Anderson & Beasley, 2002).
The levels of interactions described by Fridell (2003) are different in the two concepts. Ecotourism based activities involve a close interaction with the environment with actions such as species identity and indigenous knowledge on certain phenomena. The level of interaction related with tourism on the other hand is perceived to be shallow as little is learnt from the environment. In some areas, excursions are conducted using vehicles making it difficult for tourists to interact closely with the environment.
Despite the aforementioned differences, similarities also exist between ecotourism and other forms of tourism like sustainable tourism, adventure tourism amongst others. First of all, both recognize the environment as the main functional unit. Activities developed from both are environmentally related as it forms the main feature. Scuba diving, nature viewing, participating in eco-challenge activities are just but a few of the activities environmentally based (Briffa & Lee, 2004).