The heavy reliance that communities in developing countries have on animal tourism makes them economically vulnerable. As ecotourism rises in popularity, inhumane animal practices give countries bad reputations and discourages individuals from visiting at all. And even areas with responsible animal tourism practices are subject to crisis like natural disaster or a war. These situations may inhibit tourists from entering the country, causing economies to lose the necessary support generated by tourism.
By inviting tourists to experience their cultures through animal tourism, local communities put their values and traditions at risk. Because tourists are constantly traveling to communities in search of unique foreign experiences, the local culture is often commercialized and commodified to bring in more money. And if cultures remain authentic then they could be disrespected by ignorant foreigners. For example, the two men pictured below offended Buddhist individuals worldwide for exposing themselves at a Thai temple.
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Litchfield, C. A. (2008). Responsible Tourism: A Conservation Tool or Conservation Threat?
Conservation in the 21st Century: Gorillas as a Case Study,107-127.
Schaul, J. C. (2014, July 1). Conserving Wildlife Through Responsible Tourism: An Interview With Dr.
Michael Hutchins – National Geographic Blog. Retrieved from https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2014/07/01/conserving-wildlife-through-responsible-tourism-an-interview-with-dr-michael-hutchins/
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