Ecotourism and sustainable development. Prospects for Ukraine

Abstract

T. V. Kalaitan, V. V. Stybel, B. V. Gutyj, O. Ya. Hrymak, L. P. Kushnir, N. B. Yaroshevych, M. V. Vovk, O. V. Kindrat

The paper analyzes ecotourism's impact on the social, economic, and environmental components of sustainable development. A systematic review of the scientific literature on the topic reveals that the major problem in assessing ecotourism's impact is a lack of a unified approach to methods of measurement and certification in this field. Even approximate estimates show the high economic potential of ecotourism. Processing the data provided by mobile operators, using BigData technologies and the use of electronic visit permits, proves to be the most promising means to record the number of tourist arrivals. This data allows scientists to measure the level of tourism influence on the ecosystem. Studying foreign experience, eco-certification does not cover all objects of ecotourism. Although some countries, notably Australia, already have significant experience in implementing and using national eco-certification programs. In Ukraine, only several hotels and beaches have received eco-certification. Research on the impact of ecotourism on ecology has provided mixed results. We do not practice if ecotourism with caution; it jeopardizes the ecosystems on which its development depends. To promptly identify and prevent all negative consequences of the tourism in Ukraine, it is necessary to create (using foreign experience) tourist observatories. It should integrate the operation of such observatories into the national system of environmental and fiscal monitoring. Further development of this type of tourism in Ukraine requires more investments and support from the government. Therefore, it is necessary 1) to develop and implement a system of tax incentives for small businesses in ecotourism; 2) to enhance fiscal decentralization so that the environmental tax remains at the disposal of local communities and consequently local ecosystems; 3) to adjust the tourist tax base. The paper provides a generalization of the overseas experience, studies by scientists dedicated to the impact of ecotourism on the level of ecological culture of tourists and a local population. It presents conclusions regarding significant potential and opportunities for further successful development of ecotourism in Ukraine.

Keywords: ecotourism, certification, ecological culture, ecology, sustainable development
 

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