Case Study Galapagos Islands

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Case Study – Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands – there is nothing in the world quite like them. It is a place with a unique and beautiful world of volcanic landscapes and animals only found there, permitted by the isolation of the islands. The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean and approx. 1000 km off the coast on Ecuador.

Since the 1970´s the tourism industry has been increasing continuously ever since. With the increase in tourism also the infrastructure, e.g. boats, hotels, has been expanding. A side effect of the influx of tourists to the Galapagos animal species such as rats and cats are also brought to the islands, creating a risk for the indigenous animals. The home for hundreds of animals is endangered.

The main point is to conserve the unique environment of the Galapagos Islands. But how should this problem been solved? The tourism sector is the main economic activity on the Islands and also very important for the country Ecuador. How many tourists can the Islands handle? Where a limit should be settled without damaging the economy?

Though, the Ecuadorian government and the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS) have done a lot to preserve the unique and special environment.

One of the most important progress was the Visitor regulation: thus this regulation the visitation areas are limited. Only 50 sites in the National Park are open to the tourists and only during the day.

Regarding to the park rules and guidelines all park rangers and naturalist guides have to supervise that no tourist is eating, drinking alcohol or even smoking on these sites. Also hey will insist that visitants refrain touching or chasing (for example the turtles), photographing any animal with flash, removing any item from the islands like mussels or sand from the beaches, leaving the declared paths or the tour groups. Water sports are completely forbidden,...