Environmental tourism as a resource for the sustainable social and economic development of regions
The authors note that today, in most cases, protected areas are the only structures in the regions that can take over planning, managing, and monitoring tourism activities, which is an indispensable condition for environmental tourism. It is shown that the territories most visited by ecotourists are situated in developing countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and Australia and Oceania. Social and economic, and political factors significantly impact the geography of demand and supply in environmental tourism. The authors prove that world experience shows that environmental tourism's social and economic efficiency is highest at the local and regional levels. Therefore, protected areas can become a natural source of new jobs and additional sources of income in the local economy. The development of environmental tourism in protected areas will help to attract international attention and investment to the region, which, in turn, will increase the importance of protected areas in the eyes of the local population and change their attitude to environmental problems.