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Ecological Tourism

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Have you ever heard of the term "ecological tourism?" It's a concept that encourages people to visit remote, unprotected areas, but to do so without damaging the environment. Such tours make people more aware about the beauty and fragility of nature. People take only pictures and leave only footprints.

In reality, though, ecological tourism has negative effects. It generates a lot of money, which fuels greed and more growth. Additional areas open for tourists. Tourists need facilities too, such as water, lodging, and roads, which harms the environment. And of course, more and more tourists, scare away animals, cause erosion, and damage plants. Thousands of people with the best intentions can still have a major impact.


Preview the lesson material:

Warm Up: Discuss the question with your partner for five minutes.

  1. What do you think about traveling to Africa to see elephants or apes? Please explain.

Comprehension Questions: Answer the questions before/after your read the article.

  1. What best describes "ecological tourism?"
               a. people respect nature
               b. it damages the environment, but not so much
               c. people really leave more than footprints
               d. a lot of people cause damage
  2. Why is ecological tourism harmful?
               a. it brings money from tourists
               b. people take lots and lots of pictures
               c. thousands of people have a great effect
               d. thousands of people leave lots and lots of footprints

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. Should ecological tourism be banned? Why/not?
  2. What could be done to limit the damage caused by this sort of tourism?
  3. Are there any areas in your country that face similar threats from ecological tours?

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