Ecotourism and the economic crisis | Sunday Observer

Ecotourism and the economic crisis

8 May, 2022

Seattle, a tribal leader who loved the Earth, the vegetation and the wildlife immensely once said, “Take a deep breath and start counting the wealth you own. You can only count for a very short period. It is the greenery that makes you breathe. A person who enjoys living in such greenery and walking among the magnificent waters is a person who has experienced life to the fullest in the world.”

Eco tourism is one of the main things that can be done to end the dollar deficit chapter of the economic crisis in Sri Lanka. The sea and the beaches around the country, the warm air and different climates benefit the improvement of the ecotourism industry based on Sri Lanka’s endless rural economy and culture.

The repercussions of the economic crisis have started to spread, posing real challenges to how Sri Lanka’s tourism industry functions and delivers on the visitor experience. With the foreign exchange crisis and price hikes coupled with the scarcity of essential resources, the tourism industry in Sri Lanka has yet another challenge to navigate.


However, being in the wake of an economic recession it seems too early to quantitatively assess its impact on the tourism industry and Sri Lanka’s tourism economy. Nevertheless, the future well-being of the tourism industry will depend on the economic and the political stability of the country.

Tourism directed towards exotic, often threatened, natural environments, intended to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving responsible travel to natural areas, conserving the environment, and improving the well-being of the local people.

Ecotourism helps protect natural habitats and pristine environments. The wealth of poorer countries is often tied up in natural resources; for instance, forests, minerals and land that could be used for agriculture.

Exploitation of these resources often leads to altering or destroying wildlife habitats and beautiful natural landscapes. Ecotourism has all been learning about ecosystems, traditions and cultures of destinations without missing out on adventures, excitement and relaxation.

It has been a positive experience for local communities since it provides support through employment and other means, but not at the expense of the local environment.


During a huge crisis in a country, eco-tourism offers local employment providing an income for staff members working at eco-tourism sites and surplus income allows workers and their families to start-up small businesses or to lend the income to other community members by purchasing locally produced goods and paying for childcare and other services available in a locality.

Ecotourism not only benefits a country but also the travellers too even though the benefits tend to be personal, their effects would be widespread. Travelling to areas of natural beauty and conserving resources, eco-tourists are encouraged to live their lives more sustainably, increasing their understanding and sensibility towards other traditions and cultures, which aids in conserving the local culture and biological diversity that promotes the sustainable use of resources and supports local economy including empowerment.

Popular destinations

Most popular ecotourism destinations to visit in Sri Lanka are the Rainforest Eco-Lodge, Galoya Lodge, Flameback Eco-Lodge and Dream Cliff Mountain Resort. Eco-tourism has grown globally three times faster than the tourism industry as a whole. We, Sri Lanka, are home to a whole host of protected natural and cultural sites.

According to Olivia Quincy, “Ecotourism provides any destination with a fantastic way to encourage environmental conservation and with all the fantastic biodiversity; Sri Lanka holds itself as the perfect location for it. The already prevalent growth of the sector in Sri Lanka depicts a real hope for greener, more sustainable travel in the future, fundamentally more enriching for all involved.

Tourists who are willing to experience the joy of the natural environment, traditional food and beverages, and spring water should visit Sri Lanka with an eco-tour to come to the realization that Sri Lanka is a paradise on Earth.