Role of Tourism Sector in Conservation of Coral Reef Ecosystems
Coral reefs are diverse underwater invertebrate organisms which provide habitat to a number of other marine species. They are a significant revenue source for tourism businesses and for the local communities in reef bearing regions of the world. In the recent decades though, coral reef ecosystems have been under stress due to human induced climate change caused by the release of greenhouse gases. Tourism industry is one of the contributors of these greenhouse gases which makes it responsible for the conservation and preservation of coral reefs. With this in view, the aim of this study is to understand the involvement of tourism industry in conservation and restoration of coral reefs. The critically analyzed a number of secondary sources to achieve its objectives. The results indicate that tourism destinations which offer coral reefs as one of its attractions have associated with Non Governmental Organizations, Local communities, Tourists, researchers and other stakeholders to develop strategies, policies and practices aimed at conserving and preserving these coral reef ecosystems. To a great extent they have also been successful at creating a mutual benefit for all the stakeholders involved. In spite of these efforts to protect coral reef habitats, it is difficult to be optimistic about the health of reefs globally over the short term in the context of increasing human populations and economic growth.
Keywords - Coral Reefs, Reef Tourism, Reef Conservation, Marine Tourism, Climate Change