OPINION - TOURISM AND SECURITY: A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP - The Point Newspaper, Banjul, The Gambia
sessions were devoted to the tourism-environment relationship. Also non- Ashworth, G.J. () Culture and tourism: conflict of symbiosis in Europe. Arguably, there developed in the s a symbiotic relationship between The relationship between environment and tourism in Central and Eastern Europe. because of the substantial changes in the environment that are apt to occur with the TOURISM AND THE ENVIRONMENT: A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP.
Dolnicar and Leisch have found these types of travelers to exist and by marketing towards these types of responsible tourists, the destination can not only benefit from the revenue brought in from the tourists, but will also experience less negative environmental impacts than with marketing towards the general traveling public. Isaacs cautions ecotourism enthusiasts that ecotourism can bring with it the negative externalities of wildlife harassment, habitat deterioration, and pollution.
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The multiple interpretations of what constitutes the host community in tourism is precisely why it is important to delineate and define the community of interest. According to this argument, if consumer demand for ecotourism experiences declines, then the money subsidizing environmental protection will be gone and another economic use will likely take over.
This attraction means that the tourism carrying capacity in these areas needs to be keenly observed, so that the scale of ecotourism is appropriate and does not adversely affect the natural resources making it successful in the first place McCool and Lime, This scenario presents the dilemma of ecotourists traveling to sensitive ecosystems and their expenditures being used to justify environmental protection while indirectly their GHG emissions may be causing global climate change that could threaten the very resources that they traveled to see.
This scenario also presents a real conundrum for the sustainable tourism literature over whether it is better to travel or not to travel Boley, In addition to the challenges posed by traveling to these sensitive natural areas, the popularity of using ecotourism as a form of economic development is not shared by all. Dryzek suggests sustainable development and its cousin sustainable tourism have been successful due to their political nature which acknowledge environmental limits, but also allows these environmental limits to be stretched under the right policies so that economic growth can continue indefinitely.
While ecotourism and sustainable tourism are largely consumptive, pro-growth discourses, the important question that remains is what happens to the natural resources in these areas without the economic incentives from tourism to protect them?
Fennell and Smalep. In a time where, intrinsic environmental reasons for land protection are losing their appeal, Shellenberger and Nordhaus suggest there needs to be more anthropocentric reasons to protect the environment.
The proposed model follows their advice by demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between ecotourism and natural resource conservation. The proposed model and discussion above illuminate a long discussed dilemma within the sustainable tourism literature e. Are ecosystems better off with or without the presence of ecotourism? The answer may not be a simple yes or no, because without ecotourism, natural resources may not have enough intrinsic value for protection, and with ecotourism, natural resources face various negative externalities.
The dilemma associated with ecotourism shares many similarities with the dilemma highlighted above. Where some environmentalists would rather have no tourism in sensitive natural areas, realistically the demands for natural resources in the form of other consumptive 21 uses such as real-estate development, poaching, slash and burn agriculture, logging, mining and other environmentally destructive activities may be the only other land use option when compared to ecotourism development.
Middleton and Hawkins write of the complexities associated with natural resource management when tourism is removed from the equation in the following quote: Realistic sustainable programmes need to start from that fairly brutal understanding, not from wistful dreams of community participation in imaginary Arcadias p.
Ecotourists traveling to these sensitive areas could provide an extra economic incentive for local communities to protect their natural resources that may not exist without tourism. Figure 1 attempts to visualize this important relationship between ecotourism and natural resources in order for both ecotourism advocates and environmentalists to see that without protecting natural resources, there would be little motivation for tourists to travel to an area and that without ecotourism, there would also be less motivation to protect natural resources.
In essence, there is the potential a sustainable symbiotic relationship between ecotourism and natural resource protection when the value of natural resources to ecotourism is fully understood. As Fennell and Smale note, the success of this relationship between ecotourism and natural resource conservation hinges on the ability to strike a balance 22 between tourism development and resource protection and the ability for those in control to take a long-term view of success where cumulative profits, resident quality of life, and ecosystem health are valued over short-term economic gains.
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Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 9 5 Journal of Travel Research, 43 2 Tourism security may be viewed from different perspectives but in the Gambian context tourism security may be considered under two broad parameters — security of the tourist the people travelling from one place to another for diverse motivations such as adventure, shopping, vacation, education, research, religion, business and or visit to relative and friends VRF etc, and the security of all the resources invested in tourism.
Personal safety often comes first for any traveler. No one is willing or likely to travel to a country where personal safety and security are compromised. It is generally recognized that the Gambia is safe and secure enough a country to visit, except for a brief period during the post election impasse. This attribute, simply put, is one of our unique selling points USP. But security is not a demand only of tourists, of course, it is vital for locals as well and the recent dramatic events leading to the installation of the current government is a good case in point.
During the political impasse, for a brief period the Smiling Coast turned crying coast, and the people known for hosting tourists and entertaining them for nearly five decades became themselves refugees and hosted in neighboring countries, as the period witnessed the mass exodus of people, only rivaled by the exodus of Moses and his people to the promised land.
However, the major cases are manifested as follows: Given my background international relations and high level of exposure, the mainly security members of the committee learnt one or two things from me as well.
I told the eminent task force members that this was the basis of my fortitude and the main motivation to give my best both as secretary to the high level interface and one of the senior representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to this highly relevant security task force.
He accordingly gave directives for the constitution of a high level task force on marketing and trade fairs in particular, and I was duly selected to serve as executive secretary and lead coordinator. Credit goes to this task-force for laying the ground for the crafting and rolling out of the first ever destination marketing strategy for The Gambia.
The Tourism Security Unit TSU was eventually set up and operational to this date, another brainchild of Minister Touray and has since been serving the tourism industry in providing vital security support and will continue to play a prominent role in tourism given the emergence of various and emerging security challenges both locally and the global level.
Creating an enabling environment through tighter security in TDA and other areas frequented by tourists, to ensure their free movement without fear, harassment and intimidation at all given times. To build visitor confidence and enhance the image of destination Gambia. To deter the illegal activities of undesirable elements in the TDA and other areas where tourists frequent.