What is Nature Tourism?
Nature tourism – responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.
It is tourism based on the natural attractions of an area. Examples include birdwatching, photography, stargazing, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, and visiting parks. These experiential tourists are interested in a diversity of natural and cultural resources. They want what is real, and they want to be immersed in a rich natural, cultural, or historical experience.
From the standpoint of conservation, nature-based tourism provides incentives for local communities and landowners to conserve wildlife habitats upon which the industry depends – it promotes conservation by placing an increased value on remaining natural areas. As nature tourism becomes more important to the local economy, communities have additional incentive to conserve their remaining natural areas for wildlife and wildlife enthusiasts.
The nature-based tourism efforts in Texas will continue to focus on achieving habitat conservation by providing information and assistance to private landowners, communities, businesses, and local community leaders wishing to make nature-based tourism an integral part of their business and community. By empowering people at the local level, we hope to build and provide guidance to a growing industry that holds great promise for sustainable economic development and conservation of wildlife habitat.