Environmental Phenomenon: Nature-Based Tourism

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2.1 Tourism

Tourism is an important economic, sociocultural, and environmental phenomenon in today’s world (Inskeep, 1991). Over the last half century, the growth and development of tourism as both a social and economic activity has been remarkable. The number of international tourists reached 1138 million in 2014 that is 51 million more than in 2013 with an increase of 4.7%. This is the fifth consecutive year of above average growth since the economic crisis in 2009 (UNWTO, 2015).

Tourism is now a global industry involving hundreds of millions of people in international as well as domestic travel each year (Mason, 2003). Millions of people all around the world involved directly in tourism industry and many more are
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Nature-based tourism is defined as any tourist activity that takes place in natural settings, tourism that based on the specific aspects and elements of the natural environment and tourism that is developed in order to conserve and sustain natural areas (Hall and Boyd, 2005).

According to Goodwin (1996), nature-based tourism encompasses all forms of tourism which use natural resources in a wild or undeveloped form including species, habitat, landscape, scenery and salt and fresh-water features. Nature-based tourism encompasses a board scope including ecotourism, adventure tourism, educational tourism, sustainable tourism and many other forms of non-mass tourism (Mckercher, 1998). Besides that, Hall and Weiler (1992) defined nature-based tourism as a broad spectrum of touristic activities, often commercialized and involving an interaction with the natural environment away from the participant’s home
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The visitors have different motives and interested in doing variety of activities. Table 2.1 illustrates the categorization of nature-based tourism activities.

Table 2.1: Nature-Based Tourism Activities

Activities Example
Adventure Hiking, Orienteering, Backpacking, Mountain climbing, Rock climbing, Caving, Horseback riding, Off-road driving, Rafting
Water based Rafting, Boating, Sailing, Canoeing, Kayaking, Rowing, Floating, Sail board, Wind surfing, Water skiing, Snorkelling, Scuba diving, Swimming
Hard and consumptive Hunting (big and small game, birds), Fishing
Fitness Biking, Walking, Jogging
Viewing Wildlife viewing, Bird watching, Fish viewing, Sightseeing
Snow and ice related Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling
Outdoor Camping, Picnicking
Source: Mirzaei, (2013)

2.3 Nature-Based Tourism

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