The Ecotourism Game
Don't build a new tourist lodge
Money that might have gone for the new lodge is instead paid
directly to the Quichua, who continue to buy into the electronic age. Several
people have purchased televisions and VCRs, renting videos every week when
they take the canoe into the nearest town. Almost everyone has at least
a radio now, if not a stereo. Every house has music playing.
Tourists look unhappy with the new wealth of the community.
Some complain that the Quichua here are no longer authentic--they don't
look like Amazon Indians anymore. Word spreads quickly. Tourists begin seeking
out indigenous communities deeper in the Amazon. The ecotourism project
begins to decline.
When it becomes obvious that tourism is no longer viable,
the people of the community abandon the project and return to their fields.
Few saved any money frm the brief ecotourism bonanza and almost everyone
has to clear more forest to plant the crops necessary to make a living.
|Most Quichua clear a few hectares of primary forest to plant coffee and rice for the market. Less than 10% of the land remains in rainforest.
||As income from tourism drops, the Quichua focus on agriculture to maintain their standard of living.
This is the end of the ecotourism game.
Would you like to see what happens if you build
a new lodge?