Tourism to Africa is becoming more and more popular and is expected to continue increasing in the future. Estimates are that tourism will become one of Africa’s best sources of income over the next decade.
This brings up the question of whether the diversity of Africa, its delicate ecosystems and its endangered species will suffer damage because of this large influx of people.
Governments in Africa, including in Zambia, are now developing a model that will cause low impact tourism that has a high yield of responsible tourism and income.
Many visitors to Africa have already been on African safaris or participated in adventure travel in countries such as Zambia and have noted that the areas they have visited have been virtually untouched by tourism.
This leaves a dilemma for Africa because many believe that Africa should be left in its natural state and others feel that these areas offer the greatest potential to produce many tourist dollars from valuable resources throughout the continent.
African countries are very much in need of the income that such travel there would produce. Governments, residents and visitors must all work together to see that if these precious resources are shared, there must be a cooperative effort to conserve the many wilderness areas that exist and still provide the countries with much need income.
Luxury adventure travel may be one solution in limiting impact since less people can afford this type of tourism. This type of travel has a minimal impact but produces a higher income yield. Also, in the current economic market, luxury travel is not being as negatively affected as are other types of travel.
Of course it may be said that it is unfair to exclude those who cannot afford luxury travel from being able to access these unique areas. Perhaps education is the key to having visitors and still be able to keep the impact to the natural areas minimal.
Travel to an area so rich with natural resources could allow people to better understand things which can be done to help sustain the future of the whole world’s ecosystems.
It may be possible to achieve the goal of promoting education concerning the delicate ecosystems and sustainability as well as considering local community needs. It is perhaps not necessary to only open up more African travel to those who can afford to pay high prices and enjoy such extras as wine-tasting and private tours.
Experiences in adventure travel such as camping instead of lodging in a five star hotel could be a very low-impact activity which would allow more people to experience what Africa has to offer in a more economical fashion than with luxury travel.
People who are interested in camping and other outdoor experiences usually have a healthy respect for their environment.
If everyone who travels to Africa will respect what is there including seeing many endangered species, splendid outdoor vistas and community projects that have been partnered between local people and local service providers.
With cooperation, tourists should be able to experience all of the wonders of Africa with minimal impact on its natural environment.