What Is Ecotourism?
Ecological tourism (ecotourism) is a branch of tourism organized for the purpose of recognizing nature, its components, and historical and cultural monuments.
According to another definition given by a Mexican engineer, Hector Ceballos Laskurein, ecotourism combines travel with caring for nature: that is, to combine the knowledge and study of flora and fauna with a view to preserving them.
This idea, however, is broader: it covers all aspects of life: wildlife, all the diversity of nature, ecology, traditions, customs, culture, society, and man.
Ecotourism needs support in the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, an increase in environmental education, and public awareness. Ecotourism is one of the fastest-growing tourism industries; it does not provide comfortable hotels; quality services are provided by cars, pedestrians, horses, tents, and other facilities. By its nature, ecotourism can be ecological, scientific, cultural, etc.
Armenia is rich in natural, historical, and cultural monuments, recreational resources, which are important prerequisites for the development of ecotourism in Armenia.
Ecotourism can protect national parks and other natural areas, it can increase the level of educational activities among tourists, making them more enthusiastic and influential environmentalists. International experience shows that the use of eco-houses or eco-lodges is very important nowadays. It is no coincidence that hundreds of years ago when building houses, people chose environmentally clean material – wood.
Natural resources and technological capabilities have served as the impetus for one of the centuries-old human dreams of building houses from natural raw materials. Unlike other houses, wooden ones breathe throughout their whole life.
These houses maintain clean air and humidity inside regardless of changes in the external environment, which is one of the guarantees of human comfort. In addition to security, these houses also provide affordable housings. In particular, being made of wood, they transfer a large amount of heat, which helps use other means to provide a warm atmosphere inside, reducing energy costs. These houses are more resilient to various natural disasters than stone houses, which can be easily demolished.
Ecotourism In Armenia
Ecotours are becoming more and more required for touristic destinations in Armenia. And it is understandable that the inhabitants of big cities are tired of constant rattle and harmful environment, preferring to rest in the bosom of nature with all of their soul and body, of which Armenia can be proud.
The country’s potential in ecotourism is very high, it is rapidly evolving bypassing the usual sightseeing tours. Ecotourism differs in that it introduces tourists, not to the sights, but to the nature of Armenia, offers to relax in rural areas – in unique recreation areas with a special attitude to nature, where only ecologically clean products are used; everything is natural and homemade.
Armenia is famous for having clean air, an abundance of the Sun, and beautiful places. There is everything for the lovers of this tourist destination – natural conditions, necessary infrastructure, hospitable inhabitants with a high level of service.
Some subtypes of ecotourism are being developed here, such as sports, adventurous activities which include climbing mountains, long walks, cycling, mountain river rafting.
Armenia is actually a new destination for many tourists who have already visited the most popular places of ecotourism. The country is remarkable in that it has six climatic zones, even though the country is quite small. During one trip, tourists will see completely different reliefs and landscapes, so it seems that the visit was to several countries at once, and not just one.
In addition, tourists can visit small rural hotels, where they will be treated to locally grown national dishes made from natural products.
Tsakhkadzor, Dilijan, Jermuk, are perfect preferable destinations for ecotourism, especially due to their unique and unrepeatable nature.
Tsakhkadzor attracts with its charming mountain beauty, with many unique places to spend time in. This city is also unique in its surroundings, but the main attraction of the city remains the mountain slopes.
Dilijan is famous not only in Armenia but also in the neighboring countries for its forests, national and landscape parks, which are of great therapeutic value and are prescribed for the treatment of a number of lung and respiratory diseases. The clean mountain air, the dense forests make it possible to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the seemingly endless problems of every day.
In any case, the best place suitable for ecotourism remains the rural areas. Each of them has its own unique history, traditions, customs, their own special dishes.
The hospitable locals will make you feel the warmest and most pleasant moments and will help you forget the fact of not being in your homeland for a moment.
It can be said that rural tourism is at the level of development. Armenia is best suited for the organization and development of ecological tourism.
Ecotourism As A Creative And Combining Branch Of Tourism
Armenia is a place of healing forests, fresh air mountains, indescribable sights, wonderful and unique places.
According to Tigran Shahbazyan, President of the Armenian Geographical Project, Head of ArmGeo Camping Club, the first precondition for the development of ecotourism is our nature․
“One of the biggest advantages of Armenia is the change of landscape for tens of km. There is so much to see in our small country that people do not get bored, of course, if the guide is aware of it, he can present Armenia creatively.
Monasteries and churches are very impressive at first glance, but after visiting several historical and cultural monuments of the same type, tourists get tired. We have so many different things to show that the most important thing is that all interests can be combined. The journey starts from the village, they get acquainted with the life of the villager, live in the village house, eat the village dish, they can cook with their own hands. From the village there is a hike to the mountains-canyons, on the way they see historical and cultural monuments, go down the gorge, swim in the cold river, climb the mountains and admire the view from the top, etc.
Armenia is a country of endless discoveries. All these must be served correctly, under the Armenian brand, but without the pathos that only Armenians believe in. We need to show something that everyone likes, and we, unlike many countries, have it. It remains to present correctly.”