In the past several decades, many resorts/recreational sites, including travel tours and operators, have claimed that they offer ecotourism-related activities, services and experiences. Some are true, but others are less so just to entice tourists to visit their sites. Environment-friendly or ecotourism in nature is typically seen in their advertisements, but in reality, efforts to address these are still not enough.
In the absence of an approved ecotourism guidelines or standards, it becomes difficult for tourism and environment and natural resource authorities to track and monitor the activities of resorts and other tourism destinations operators. And because ecotourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry today, everyone wants to ride on its popularity. Some travel operators only show in their advertisements the positive image of their ecotourism-related activities showing no or less considerations on the environmental degradation, social, and cultural exploitation.
Hence, the Ecotourism Tracking Tool was developed through a research project conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (DENR-ERDB) from 2013 to 2014. This Tool will help concerned authorities monitor and evaluate the real activities of existing resorts/recreational and tourism sites in relation to their “friendliness” to the environment and “adherence” to the principles of ecotourism. Also, this will guide tourists and visitors to select the right places to visit depending on their intention and the nature of tourism activities they want to undertake.