We are using the following definition of ecotourism. Ecotourism is tourism that:
- Involves travel to natural destinations
- Minimizes impact
- Builds environmental awareness
- Provides direct financial benefits for conservation
- Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people
- Respects local culture
- Supports human rights and democratic movements
It’s often difficult to say who is ‘green’ and ‘responsible’, and who is not in the field of ecotourism. In Kazakhstan, the richest country, the emphasis for us lies on providing financing for conservation and building environmental awareness.
In the other, poorer nations, providing financial benefits and empowerment for locals is a key metric to judge ecotourism operators in Central Asia.