Prospects of Sustainable Eco Tourism in Bangladesh
Ecotourism is becoming more attractive because it is believed that it makes it possible to improve income generation without harming the environment. These goals are sometimes not met, however, and environmentally unfriendly or economically unsuccessful ecotourism tends to prevail in many developing countries, questioning the validity of its original concept. Therefore, careful assessment of cultural, environmental, and economic aspects is necessary when introducing ecotourism to a region.
This paper uses choice experiments as a method to find tourists’ willingness to pay (WTP), and it analyzes preferences of tourists to assess the financial potential of the future ecotourism in the CHT area.
In recent year Government interested in developing tourism in CHT and whole over the Bangladesh they also focusing ecotourism. Different hypothetical ecotourism options may develop with input from the local residents, and prices, reflecting potential costs, were developed for each option. The survey was conducted of different international tourists and local tourists.
By capturing a portion of the economic value of the benefits derived from the local environment, ecotourism will be better able to finance management activities to protect natural and cultural resources and fulfill broader social objectives of providing for scientific research and education. Given the current inadequate investment in sustainable ecotourism, reflected by overcrowding, poor infrastructure, and resource deterioration, benefit capture can be effective in aligning social costs with private costs to improve economic decision-making and provide sustained revenues for management authorities.
Benefit capture and market based instruments (MBIs) are reviewed as they apply to the socio-economic and institutional context of different sites. Specific attention is paid to the distribution of the costs among users and non-users, the change in incentives that may result, and the anticipated size of the revenues. The results of separate local use and contingent valuation studies provide guidance regarding the extent of producer and consumer surplus. Key in the recommendations is the provision of information to hotel guests regarding management activities and the benefits of forests, rivers, and coral reef
Purpose of the Ecotourism Plan
The Ecotourism Plan outlines the vision and policy for the future of ecotourism in Bangladesh. Its purpose is to provide a framework for planning, developing, managing and marketing ecotourism industry.
The Ecotourism Planning and developing, taking into account the many values that natural areas hold for the community and the various stakeholder groups with an interest in ecotourism.
We need to do some workshops, Workshops will used to develop a Discussion Paper that summarized the research reviews, presented a snapshot of the state of the industry and proposed Key Objectives and Action Plans for the Ecotourism situation.
Approach to the CHT Ecotourism Plan
The Ecotourism integrates environmental, economic and social considerations in natural areas in ways that ally environmental protection and the commercial viability of ecotourism operations.
Brief Description of Chittagong Hill Tracks (CHT)
The Chittagong Hill Tracks comprise an area of 13,180 km2 in south-eastern Bangladesh, and borders India and Myanmar (Burma). It was a single district of Bangladesh until 1984. In that year it was divided into three separate districts: Khagrachari, Rangamati and Bandarban. Topographically, this is the only hill intensive area of Bangladesh. It is one of the few remaining abodes of Buddhism in South Asia, including Ladakh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
According to the 1991 census the population was 974,447 of which 501,114 were tribals and the rest were from different communities. The tribal peoples, collectively known as the Jumma, include the Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Tenchungya, Chak, Pankho, Mru, Murung, Bawm, Lushai, Khyang, Gurkha, Assamese, Santal and Khumi.
The current population is between 1 million and 1.5 million About 50% of the population are tribals and mainly followers of Theravada Buddhism. 48% of the inhabitants are Bengali Muslims. The remainders are followers of Hinduism, Christianity and Animism. . At the time of the partition of India in August, 1947 non MusIims constituted 98.5% of the population of the Chittagong Hill Tracks Buddhists were 85%, Hindus (mainly Tripuri tribe) 10%, Animists 3% and Muslims 1.5%
The Hanging Bridge, Rangamati
The 1997 Peace Treaty signed between the then Sheikh Hasina Government and the Jana Shanghati Shamiti or Shanti Bahini has been opposed by the opposition parties as well as a fraction of the tribal rebels Opposition parties of the time argued the autonomy granted in the treaty ignored the Bengali settlers. The successive Khaleda Zia government promised to implement the peace treaty, despite their opposition to it during the previous government’s term. According to the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracks Affairs, a Peace Treaty between Government of Bangladesh and Parbattya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti was signed on 2 December 1997.
Ecotourism – the industry
The Ecotourism Plan numerous competitive advantages in the ecotourism market, including:
• The District’s pleasant climate and diverse natural attractions;
• Sparse population and large range of undeveloped areas;
• Multicultural society with relative safety and high hygiene standards; and,
• Well established tourism infrastructure such as transport and accommodation.
The Plan also recognized the benefits ecotourism could offer that area, such as foreign exchange earnings, economic development and diversification, especially in regional areas, generation of income for conservation and management of protected areas, additional skilled employment opportunities using local knowledge and facilities and local infrastructure development.
The Government will quickly to recognize the potential benefits that ecotourism could offer in tourism industry, environment and communities was the first state to develop and commence the implementation of a comprehensive ecotourism plan. The Ecotourism Plan provided a strong framework for planning, developing, managing and marketing ecotourism.
Ecotourism Bangladesh estimated that Bangladesh had over hundreds of nature and ecotourism operators ranging from high-profile industry leaders to owner-operated companies employing a small number of staff and guides.
Research on visitors to ecotourism attractions indicates that the industry is providing high quality experiences, with certain percent of visitors not looking for any improvement in the attraction they visited.
Ecotourism – the market
Considerable effort has been put into researching the ecotourism market in an attempt to define the “typical ecotourism” or identify a market segment that is most likely to participate in an ecotourism activity or holiday. Research has been conducted with visitors already participating in an ecotourism activity, with broader visitor groups to establish whether they had participated in ecotourism activities, and with the general population to gauge potential interest in ecotourism activities and establish market potential. While the research has shown that there is not one group that can be categorically identified as the “typical ecotourist”, there is clear evidence that ecotourism activities hold great appeal for a range of visitors, and some common characteristics can be found in those participating in ecotourism activities.
The Ecotourism Experience
The nature and style of the ecotourism experience is a product of not only the variety of natural areas in public and private ownership but also a well established industry that is a market leader in providing ecotourism opportunities that realize the potential of these natural areas.
An established method of managing visitor use of public and privately owned natural areas is to categories them in terms of visitor settings. A setting is defined by a combination of physical, social and managerial attributes. The attributes of a site include biogeography features cultural characteristics, infrastructure, accessibility, current site users and the style of on-site management including staff presence, signage and services offered.
Different settings provide different opportunities for users to experience setting-specific recreation and tourism activities. Settings are generally defined across a spectrum of low, moderate, high and intensive recreation/tourism use. In many publicly managed protected areas this spectrum of visitor use is alternatively categorized as Primitive/Remote/Wilderness
– Semi-Primitive/Semi-Remote –Natural – Rural – Urban.
High profile parks – parks strongly promoted domestically, interstate and overseas, with defined, highly developed sites receiving high levels of use especially by large groups.
Popular parks – parks with defined, developed sites receiving moderate to high levels of use and with a range of facilities and opportunities.
Explorer parks – low-key developments, low to moderate levels of use.
Self-reliant parks – few or no developments, low and irregular levels of use.
The setting of a park will determine the style of activities allowed visitor group sizes, the style and amount of infrastructure and the extent and nature of commercial activities permitted within the park. The settings approach to visitor management is equally relevant to privately owned natural areas as it is to publicly managed protected areas. The settings approach provides for effective management of the natural area in terms of environmental and cultural resource protection and the provision of appropriate infrastructure, interpretation and human management presence. In addition, the settings approach provides a clear direction for the marketing focus of the tourism product in terms of the experiences offered and the associated tourism markets that should be targeted.
The ecotourism industry has a wide variety of stakeholders. Each stakeholder group has a role to play in developing and managing ecotourism. Stakeholders and their general areas of responsibility with respect to ecotourism are outlined below with specific responsibilities for implementing the Ecotourism
The CHT ecotourism industry includes ecotourism operators and relevant industry associations. It is the role of the industry to:
• provide high quality ecotourism experiences and support services;
• contribute to the conservation and management of natural areas;
• respect the rights and needs of local communities;
• encourage and apply cultural and ecologically sustainable development principles and best practice;
• promote and represent the interests of operators and their clients;
• ensure staff is properly trained and educated;
• provide a central source of trend and marketing information for operators
• provide industry advice on business practices and environmental education and interpretation;
• develop and implement industry codes of practice and policies;
• undertake research into and disseminate findings on ecologically sustainable development;
• develop visitor and local community environmental awareness; and,
• Work in partnership with governments in the formulation of relevant policies and programs.
Visitors seeking ecotourism experiences are the reason why there is an ecotourism market. Ecotourism may be their primary reason for visiting or one element of a set of multifaceted motivations. Visitors’ roles include:
• participating in ecotourism activities;
• making informed decisions to purchase responsible tourism operations and products;
• contributing to conservation management directly or indirectly;
• Being involved in the development and management of ecotourism by making known their preferences and participating in surveys and providing feedback on the quality and satisfaction of ecotourism products;
• adhering to appropriate visitor codes of practice and contributing to the protection of the natural, cultural and social environment and the enjoyment and learning experiences of other visitors;
• using skills and knowledge gained from their ecotourism experiences to minimize their impact on the environment in general; and supporting ecotourism as a means of promoting the principles of ecologically sustainable development and the sustainable use and development of natural areas.
Natural area managers
‘Natural area managers’ is a general term for those responsible for the planning and management of lands and waters that are, or may be, used for ecotourism activities. This stakeholder group comprises private landholders as well as public agencies managing terrestrial and aquatic protected areas. Natural area managers are responsible for:
• managing areas under their control responsibly and sustainably;
• consulting with the ecotourism industry when developing plans, policies and guidelines that may affect ecotourism activities;
• preparing management plans that recognize ecotourism opportunities;
• developing guidelines and policies for ecotourism activities;
• participating in ecotourism proactively through establishing environmental education and interpretive facilities and services;
• working with the industry to provide high quality ecotourism experiences;
• ensuring that ecotourism operators have equitable access to natural areas where appropriate;
• recognizing the financial and management benefits ecotourism activities provide natural areas; and,
• supporting ecotourism as a means of promoting the sustainable use and development of natural areas.
Conservation groups often have direct interest in areas utilized/visited by the ecotourism industry. Conservation groups can become involved in ecotourism by:
• working with the ecotourism industry and other stakeholders to develop ecotourism guidelines and promote ecologically sustainable practices;
• providing a source of expertise in the protection of the natural and cultural environments and the sustainable use of natural resources;
• providing guidance and assistance to the ecotourism industry and government on the natural and cultural values of areas which may be suitable for ecotourism;
• participating in ecotourism planning and assessment processes;
• becoming directly involved in providing ecotourism activities;
• participating with their local community in ecotourism; and
• supporting ecotourism as a means of promoting the principles of ecologically sustainable development.
Ecotourism is widely recognized as having the potential to contribute positively to local communities, including regional and rural communities. Ecotourism also has the potential to impact negatively on local communities. Local communities can work together with the ecotourism industry and other stakeholders to maximize the benefits and minimize potential negative impacts of ecotourism in their community. The roles of communities in ecotourism may include:
• becoming involved in ecotourism planning processes and activities;
• Encouraging ecotourism operators to contribute positively to the local community;
• developing ecotourism products and providing complementary services and facilities;
• promoting their community and culture to visitors;
• adopting and promoting ecological sustainability and environmental management practices; and,
• assisting natural area managers to ensure that ecotourism projects achieve their objectives and benefit the local communities.
Outdoor recreation groups
Outdoor recreation stakeholders include formal associations, interest groups and independent participants. Outdoor recreation groups and individuals often utilize the same sites in natural and protected areas as the ecotourism industry, and many ecotourism activities simply involve a commercial operator leading a group of clients in outdoor recreation activities. As a result, the ecotourism industry and the outdoor recreation community have many potential opportunities to cooperate. There is, however, also potential for conflict between ecotourism operators and outdoor recreation stakeholders through competition for access to sites. Outdoor recreation group responsibilities, in relation to the ecotourism industry, include:
• working with the ecotourism industry to establish appropriate management regimes for sites used by both the ecotourism industry and recreation groups;
• working together with the ecotourism industry to develop an understanding of impacts of outdoor recreation and ecotourism activities on natural and protected areas;
• adhering to agreed codes of conduct and minimal impact practices that apply to ecotourism operations and recreationists; and,
• contributing to protected and natural area management equally with the ecotourism industry
Educational and research institutions
Educational institutions such as universities, colleges, schools and tourism training organizations and specialist research organizations such as the Cooperative Research Centers for Tourism, Reef and Rainforest can make positive contributions to the ecotourism industry by ensuring appropriate training, education and research opportunities are available. Educational and research institutions can make important contributions to ecotourism by:
• becoming involved in the planning, development and management of ecotourism activities;
• ensuring a highly skilled workforce is available to the industry as a result of high quality training;
• providing appropriate environmental education and interpretive education programs;
• identifying and promoting best practice standards; and,
• undertaking research that is industry relevant and addresses contemporary ecotourism
Issues and which will assist industry and other stakeholders to ensure the development of a sustainable ecotourism industry.
Other special interest groups
Other special interest groups that could support and contribute to the development of a sustainable ecotourism industry include:
• Ecotourism Bangladesh – the peak national body for Bangladesh’s ecotourism industry which, in
addition to operating the Nature and Ecotourism Accreditation Program, has the role to expand, consolidate and promote ecotourism to become more sustainable;
• Tourism Industry Ministry – the state peak body for representing the interests of the tourism industry to governments, other industries and the wider community;
• Association of Marine/Lake Park Tourism Operators – the state peak marine/Lake tourism advisory body representing the interests of marine tourism operators with a particular focus on the Great Barrier Reef.
ECO TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
The nature-based tourism industry is growing gradually. Nature-based tourism encompasses commercial recreation including mechanized activities (e.g., four trekking, boating etc), adventure tourism and a variety of nature based activities ranging from scenic flights and submarine experiences to forest and beach walks.
Ecotourism is generally viewed as a subset of nature-based tourism. Ecotourism is a special interest form Of tourism which may be distinguished from other forms of nature-based tourism on various grounds (see Chapter 3, Methodology). Foremost among these are the educational, conservation, low impact and sustainability components of ecotourism (Weaver 2001).
2.2 RESEARCHING ECOTOURISM
The ecotourism sector has been at the forefront of rapid growth in nature-based tourism.
As ecotourism operations have proliferated in Bangladesh it has become more difficult to differentiate the ecotourism segment within the wider tourism market.
“Ecotourism may very well be the leading edge of mass tourism rather than an alternative”.
Studying the diverse and poorly defined ecotourism visitor market in Bangladesh is a research issue that demonstrates many parallels in the international context although international research into the field of ecotourism is well advanced in countries.
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
A mixed-methods approach is taken to achieve the objectives of the research project. The methodological approach was organized into two phases. The first phase employed qualitative methods to provide insights into ecotourism experiences in Bangladesh. The research techniques employed in phase one included participant observations, interviews with visitors to ecotourism operations, and informal discussions with ecotourism operators. These research techniques provided detailed insights into the ecotourism phenomenon in Bangladesh and assisted the researchers to identify critical issues in the field of study, as reported by ecotourism operators, and the visitors to their operations. The qualitative phase of the research also contributed significantly, as intended, to the development of a questionnaire in the second phase of the research. The second phase of the research involved the development of a questionnaire the findings of which are reported in this Research Paper.
3.2 DEVELOPMENT OF A NATIONWIDE ECOTOURISM DATABASE
The initial stage of the project involved the development of a comprehensive database of ecotourism and nature-based tourism attractions in Bangladesh. No comprehensive and up to date database of ecotourism operations was found. The development of an operator database was achieved via Internet searches of web-sites listing ecotourism attractions, requests for information from all Regional Tourism Organizations and Visitor Information Network visitor centers in Bangladesh and content analysis of national and regional tourism directories, guide books, magazines and regional tourism information brochures.
Information was obtained on over 100 operations whose main, primary business was offering general nature-based tourism activities to visitors.
Brochures and other promotional material from all operations were examined (where available) to determine the range of nature-based activities in existence. This exercise provided preliminary insights into the diversity of visitor operations in Bangladesh that are considered to serve the nature/ecotourism market.
Foreign Exchange Earnings from Tourism & Other Travels
(2001-2010) (Million Taka)
These included mechanized forms of nature-based recreation physical/adventure experiences (such as hiking, trekking,) and operations that place the main emphasis on observing, learning about or experiencing nature. The purpose of this exercise was to identify the diversity of this sector of the tourism industry, rather than attempt to define the ecotourism phenomenon.
3.3 SELECTION CRITERIA AND STUDY OPERATIONS
From the operations database many businesses were identified that claimed to deliver ecotourism activities as opposed to nature-based adventure tourism or recreational activities. The primary product in these cases was to experience, observe and learn about aspects of Bangladesh’s natural environment (flora, fauna, geology, protected ecosystems, etc). Few study operations were then identified utilizing selection criteria identified in Table 1. These criteria were developed with the aim of identifying a sample of Operations to represent the diversity that exists within the ecotourism sector.
Factors such as type of operation (transport, guiding, observation, and education), core product (native forest, geological, ornithological, marine mammals), ownership, focus on conservation, scale of operation and domestic/international visitor patronage were considered in the design of the cluster samples. Ecotourism operations ranging from small scale (low visitor numbers) and locally owned through to government or corporate-owned operations with annual visitor numbers 1, 00,000 exceeding were included in the research project. Operations recognized in national and/or international ecotourism awards were also considered in the selection of case studies.
Month 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Jan 273.80 297.50 259.00 457.00 450.42 653.71 561.13 749.28 649.24 495.98
Feb 218.10 260.60 327.00 393.70 502.73 554.11 624.04 585.06 579.46 496.98
Mar 196.10 336.20 355.90 425.90 468.50 538.94 471.90 527.79 518.90 565.97
Apr 219.00 312.50 241.10 309.40 335.56 411.62 387.22 459.35 473.85 427.37
May 240.50 282.70 226.30 305.00 347.95 452.02 449.95 423.06 538.21 342.11
Jun 221.70 313.00 288.00 279.70 301.23 394.96 366.17 509.52 417.71 473.03
Jul 207.10 267.50 302.30 303.60 296.98 398.14 346.63 461.98 453.03 320.97
Aug 170.50 251.50 232.00 285.90 354.61 424.16 363.72 417.30 439.32 431.37
Sep 193.40 245.90 217.30 293.10 334.14 362.29 342.54 464.46 350.65 368.06
Oct 187.00 205.00 265.10 247.90 332.67 327.95 359.68 415.67 361.99 525.26
Nov 234.80 277.70 224.20 250.42 324.45 444.50 440.25 519.39 461.28 477.14
Dec 291.80 262.50 371.80 415.94 444.65 568.25 551.96 591.66 518.60 638.46
Total 2653.80 3312.60 3310.00 3967.56 4493.89 5530.65 5265.19 6124.52 5762.24 5562.70
% Change 1.02 24.82 -0.08 19.87 13.27 23.07 -4.80 16.32 -5.92 -3.4
Table 1. Selection criteria employed to distinguish ecotourism businesses that form a subset of commercial nature-based tourism operations
1 Educational component within the product
2 Contribution to conservation
3 Active contributions to research
4 Local ownership
5 Dept of Conservation concessionaires
6 Limited number of visitors on daily excursions
7 Code of ethics identified by operation
8 National tourism award winner, Nature/Ecotourism category
9 International tourism award winner, Nature/Ecotourism category
10 Finalist national tourism awards, Nature/Ecotourism category
11 Finalist international tourism awards, Nature/Ecotourism category
12 Recommended in publications such as travel guides
13 Visits/manages protected species/habitat
14 Trust/foundation status
Twelve companies were selected to represent the spectrum of ecotourism businesses in Bangladesh, as outlined in
Table 2. For logistical purposes case study operations were selected in three regions (Figure1). Operator track record was considered important as qualitative and quantitative data collection required operator viability through to the completion of the research. Two reserve operations were included in the clusters. This was a precautionary measure designed to guard against the possible withdrawal of operators if they were unable to participate fully research.
Table3. Twelve participating ecotourism operations (and selection criteria that applied) organized into different geographical clusters
Cluster Company name Selection criteria*
Bengal Tours Ltd. 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14
River & Green Tours Ltd. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 13
Journey Plus 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14
Sureswar Travels 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13
The Guide Tours Ltd. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13
Time Travel & Tour 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13
Discovery Tours & Logistic 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13
Riverain Tours 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13
Entourage Ltd 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
Safari Plus 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14
Ananash Travel Related Services Ltd. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 13
Galaxy Travel International and Galaxy Holidays 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13
3.4 PHASE ONE. QUALITATIVE PHASE (1999-2000): OVERVIEW OF RESULTS
The first phase of the research employed qualitative methods including participant observations
(Appendix A) and interviews (Appendix B) with visitors to selected case study operations. The researchers conducted over 80 personal interviews and undertook participant observations on between three and eight tours/excursions per case study (tours/excursions varied from fourteen daily tours of one hour duration, to weekly tours of 3-4 days duration). The researchers completed this task working in pairs to mitigate observer bias. These techniques were deliberately broad ranging to provide detailed insights into the scope of ecotourism, the environmental values held by visitors to ecotourism operations in Bangladesh and aspects of visitor behaviour. Phase one field work was intended to provide guidance for the development of the questionnaire that took place in the second part of the research project. This provided valuable insights into ecotourism operations, management techniques, visitor profiles and behaviour at selected case study sites.
Observations confirmed that all twelve case study operations received both specialists (experts) and generalist (novice) visitors. All indicators that could possibly be observed confirmed the existence of a broad spectrum of visitor profiles at ecotourism operations in Bangladesh. These key indicators included aspects such as group size and composition, visitor interaction with guides, carrying and use of personal equipment (e.g., binoculars, sketch pads, microphones, and identification books), specific subjects of visitor interest, on site behaviour, and Compliance with guidelines. The personal interviews with visitors that followed were designed to provide insights into visitor experiences at selected ecotourism operations and the environmental values held by visitors. Again, it was apparent that visitors to the study operations sought a variety of experiences and held a wide range of environmental values. Interviews confirmed that some visitors had planned, often months in advance, and anticipated specific ecotourism experiences.
For many international visitors this was a primary motivation behind their visit to Bangladesh. Many others, however, were casual visitors for whom gaining experiences in natural environments was not necessarily due to specialized interests in ecotourism, but rather a consequence of their decision to visit Bangladesh where natural attractions are central to the tourism product. These visitors reported that they were travelling primarily for reasons such as to visit friends and relatives, as part of a cruise, or, in the case of many domestic travelers, to socialise with friends or acquaintances (e.g., as part of a family outing, or Senior Citizen group excursions). Insights into the environmental values held by visitors were achieved through the interview process.
Visitors were asked to consider environmental issues relating to their ecotourism experience, their responses to visitor interpretation programmes, awareness of local, regional or national environmental issues in Bangladesh and/or their country of origin, environmental group membership, and global environmental issues of concern to them. This process provided valuable qualitative insights into the widely varied environmental values and behaviours of visitors to study sites.
3.5 PHASE TWO. QUANTITATIVE PHASE
The second phase, field season involved the design and distribution of a questionnaire which is the subject of this Research Paper. The researchers aimed to achieve a sample of more than 100 respondents. The questionnaire was pilot tested (n=77) at the four operations that comprise with a travel community (Travelers of Bangladesh) and open platform (Bangla trek org) (Figure 1). Quantitative data collection took place during the second field season from June 2011 to July 2011 employing a personal administration technique. At the completion of the field season a total of 200 responses had been received (Table 3). Of these valid responses were entered on the database due to partial non-response invalidating eleven returned surveys.
Table 3. Frequency and percentage responses from participating businesses
Cluster Company name Frequency Percent
CHAPTER 4: DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILES
Various attempts have been made to segment and profile visitors to ecotourism attractions to achieve insights into the types of visitors who are often referred to generally as ecotourists. The following profile is generated from primary quantitative data (n=**) collected. Data presented in this chapter draws from Section Three of the questionnaire (see Appendix C)
Table 4. Nationalities of visitors to Bangladesh ecotourism operations (n=***)
Nationality Frequency Percent.
Table 5. Regional origins reported by respondents resident in Bangladesh (n=***)
Bangladesh region of residence Frequency *
Table 6. Age distribution of visitors to Bangladesh ecotourism operations (n=***)
Age category Frequency Percent
Table 7. Employment status of visitors to Bangladesh ecotourism operations (n=***8)
Definitions of two opposing paradigms relating to environmental values
Ecocentric / Philosophy that all things in the biosphere have an equal intrinsic value and an Biocentric equal right to exist. Advocate practice of little intervention, placement of high Philosophy values on natural resources, no use or responsible use and very small numbers of tourists.Measures of natural value related to undisturbedness, naturalness
and completeness. Ecocentric philosophy complies with preservationist view of resource protection.
Anthropocentric Dominant philosophy of the Western world. Implies that nature can be Philosophy conceived only from the perspective of human values. Humankind determines the form and function of nature within human societies. Anthropocentric philosophy may support views of conservation or exploitation, intervention in the management of nature and high levels of access to natural areas.
Table 9. Responses to variables listed to describe the environmental values of visitors
NEP variable 1 2 3 4 5 n Mean Std.
1. Humans must live in harmony with nature in order to survive
2. The balance of nature is very delicate and easily upset
3. Humankind is severely abusing the environment
4. The earth has limited room and resources
5. When humans interfere with nature it often produces disastrous results
6. To maintain a healthy economy we will have to develop a ‘steady state’ economy where industrial growth is controlled
7. We are approaching the limit of the number of people earth can support
8. There are limits to growth beyond which ur industrialized society can not expand
9. Humans have the right to modify the natural environment to suit their needs
10. Humans need not adapt to the natural environment because they can remake it to suit their needs
11. Plants and animals exist primarily to be used by humans
CHAPTER 5: ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES
Tourism Bangladesh’s promotion focuses on the portrayal of a clean, green ‘100% Pure’ destination image and experience. The environments that international visitors and the Bangladesh public encounter have in many regions been the focus of development, extensive usage of fossil fuels, agricultural chemicals and haphazard commitment by local and national governments to mitigating the impacts of pollution and wastes. The possibility that the environmental history of Bangladesh is detrimental to the ‘clean green image’ that is perpetuated for tourism purposes remains an issue of great relevance to the ecotourism sector. This section examines the environmental interests associated with visitation to ecotourism operations in Bangladesh. It is organized into two sections which firstly profile the environmental values held by visitors to ecotourism operations, and secondly, report on visitors perceptions of the environmental performance of ecotourism operators in Bangladesh.
Table 10. Environmental group/organization memberships reported by respondents (n=***)
Environmental group/organization Frequency of responses Percent
Various local conservation groups 76 14.7
Table 11. Environmental issues identified as causes of concern among visitors to ecotourism operations in
Environmental issues Frequency of responses Percent
Loss of habitat
Waste management issues
Loss of endangered species
Depletion of natural resources
Car use/fossil fuels
Genetic modification (GM)
Lack of biodiversity
Appendixes – REGIONS
OBSERVATIONS GUIDELINE (PHASE ONE)
Research Paper Number Ten 43
Observation category Observations
Codes of conduct/Guidelines
Printed materials provided
Site use and development
Design and materials
Development of facilities
Vehicle use-impacts and emissions
Noise (eg engine revolutions)
Speed/directions of movement
REFERENCES AND CONT ACT D E T AILS
• Cooperative Research Centre s– Sustainable Tourism Bangladesh
• Cooperative Research Centre – Rainforest
• CHT Department of Natural Resources and Mines
• CHT Environmental Protection Agency and CHT Parks and Wildlife Service
• Bangladesh Parjatan ministry www.mocat.gov.bd
• CHT Ministry www.mochta.gov.bd
Local authority http://www.parjatan.gov.bd/
INTERNATIONAL for study
• International Union for the Conservation of Nature – The World Conservation Union
• The International Ecotourism Society www.ecotourism.org
• United Nations Environment Programme www.uneptie.org/pc/tourism/ecotourism
• United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization www.unesco.org/whc
• World Tourism Organization www.world-tourism.org/frameset/frame_sustainable.html
• Pacific Asia Travel Association www.pata.org