Paradise at a price

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 18 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:744
  1. Bernard Dixon

    The annual number of visitors to Darwin's Galapagos Islands went up fourfold between 1979 and 1993, when it reached 47000. At the current rate of increase, there will be 82000 visitors by 1997. On the trekking trails in Nepal the lodges in one village alone destroy one hectare of virgin rhododendron forest a year, chiefly for fuelwood. This results in 30-75 tons of soil erosion, causing floods and landslides.

    These two facts, from an admirably concise briefing document published recently by the Panos Institute, tells us much about the real nature of “ecotourism.” It is a sobering document—not least because it speaks mostly in restrained rather than shrill tones about …

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