Author: Debate_Guru

Ecotourism Does More Harm Than Good

PRO (4 arguments)


The Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people

1. Ecotourism only hurts the environment

Look to our definition of ecotourism – “previously conserved areas”. So, human interaction can no possibly do better for the environment than humans not interfering with the environment. There is no way human interference in an ecosystem can possibly aid the environment more than leaving the environment alone. Think of ecotourism as an oilrig. An oilrig that has supposedly a “minimal impact” on the environment. So, people claim that this oilrig benefits the environment. But this a fallacy. What about an oil rig with absolutely no impact? Wouldn’t that be better? Of course it would. This no impact oilrig is no ecotourism. Ecotourism cannot possibly help the environment more than no human interference.

2. Ecotourism is not a way to protect the environment; it is a way for large companies to gain more profits

False ads and fake corporate “greenness” are all products of ecotourism. These companies only care about the $$. They would definitely rather get millions of $$ than to save a species

Evidence: A May 2009 poll taken by CNN showed that out of 1500 ecotourism companies, 85% of the companies didn’t even have a recycling program. This is sad. Even companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have recycling programs, and they aren’t even tourist companies! Ecotourism don’t care about the environment. All they care about is the environment.

3. Ecotourism scars environments that should be protected

Humans change environments no matter how hard we try to keep them pristine. Feeding habits change for animals that live in these areas, bugs become adapted to humans. The animals become used to humans and are no longer in their natural state.

Tapanit National Park in Costa Rica has monkeys that before tourism were afraid of humans and shy around predators. After 10 years of tourism they went out into open spaces, unafraid of humans and were then hunted massively by humans and predators, nearly making them extinct all because of human interaction.

4. They will always be people who do not follow rules or conduct in ecotourism

We have nobody to constantly look over these people to make sure they do not ruin the environment. The people who watch them are the same people who don’t care about the environment and are willing to destroy the environment in order to reap in large profits. People by nature will make mistakes and break rules set by ecotourism.


There are not enough people to make sure that people don’t litter or even go off the trail. This alters the conditions of these places greatly. The only way to protect these previously conserved areas is to leave them alone, which is another way of saying conserve them.

CON (2 arguments)


Ecotourism: any tourism that involves going to a previously conserved or a fragile environment for only economic benefits.


Harm than Good: whether it harms or benefits the environment more

1. Ecotourism helps to save the environment

Ecotourism raises public awareness about endangered species and threatened lands like the Amazon Rainforest and the Galapagos Islands. Without ecotourism, many people would have no clue as to the scarcity and rarity of these protected species. Ecotourism helps to save the environment by educating the public and raising awareness.

In the U.S.A a few years ago, there were many ecological movements due to ecotourism. These included movements like “Save the Pandas” and “Save the Whales.” This was mostly due to ecotourism. For instance, whale watching has drastically increased public awareness for whales. According to a poll conducted by Associated Press, only 34% of the people polled expressed concern or even knew about the plight of migrating whales. However, after this same large group of people was taken on whale watching tours, a poll was taken 3 months after the tours. Amazingly, over 85% of the people interviewed stated that in the past months since whale watching, they had either looked up the issue and done research on it or even took part in groups and clubs for whales.

2. Ecotourism helps to provide an economic boost to regions that are normally not tourist destinations

Ecotourism gives villages and other less-developed areas in the world a chance to earn money through the beauty of nature around them.


Impact: Over 10% of jobs in the world are generated by ecotourism_ Kenya made over $500 million alone just for letting people into its country to see the wildlife that call it home. There is little to no cost for the hosts with plenty of profits_Galapagos Islands- 80% of residents on the island chains get money from ecotourism only. That’s their only source of income.