What is ecotourism?
is often defined quite simply. It is really any visit to a natural
area that leaves behind
some economic benefit for the local people, and, at the same time,
leaves the local environment in a better state than it was before.
is estimated that about 12% of all the world's tourists in 1994
were so-called ecotourists -- people who traveled to the national
parks and nature reserves and other areas of natural importance,
and somehow had a positive effect on local conditions. Given the
fact that tourism is the largest industry (by far) in the world,
with revenues exceeding $5 trillion yearly---and given the fact
ecotourism is the fastest-growing sector of tourism worldwide---it
is only reasonable that people in such natural areas as Lake Baikal
are interested in ecotourism.