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Old 02-12-2009, 11:07 AM
 
Location: in the southwest
13,395 posts, read 42,703,271 times
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Tourism growth threatens the origin of Darwin's big idea 2 centuries after his birth
In 2007, just two years before Darwin's 200th birthday, UNESCO added the Galapagos to its list of world heritage sites in danger. This past December, travel publisher Frommer's named the islands one of their "11 places to see before they disappear."
This really saddens me.
I really love to travel, but there are some places that I think should simply be left alone. Biologists and ecologists are one thing, but must boatloads of tourists descend on such a special place?
To me, they are a special place, much more than just a destination to check off on your must-see list.
What do y'all think?
Does it sound too elitist to keep a place clear of too much human interference?
What is the solution for the Galapagos?
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:14 PM
 
14,493 posts, read 21,096,342 times
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Man, one of the last places I haven't been to yet that I really want to go to - and it's already being spoiled. But I guess if I see it I will be just a part of the problem.

They have any number of very expensive cruises that go to the Galipagos. It's not tough to get to now, just a willingness to take a $10,000 vacation, which is expensive but not outlandish. Maybe they should have a lottery or waiting list of only a certain number of visitors a year. The management is really up to Ecuador, and for them the Galipagos is a money maker in tourism and I am sure a country like that is more interested it toursit dollars than conservation (although naturally the won't get tourists anymore if it's spoiled).

The article mentions just Santa Cruz which I think is the only inhabited island. But the rest of them are uninhabited and strictly controlled except for tourists who I am sure still take there toll on the fluara and fauna.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Sputnik Planitia
7,240 posts, read 10,143,727 times
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they should really put a cap on how many permits can be given in a year for people to visit. That will acheive some amount of stability since they can work around providing services to a fixed number of tourists in a way that doesn't damage the environment.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 23,226,947 times
Reputation: 20115
I was lucky enough to visit 23 years ago but we went by sailboat and our tour was composed of 8 people 2 of which were Ecuadorian biologists.

It is the most extraordinary place on earth and like standing facing the origins of the world. Simply stunning.

I was afraid even then that tourism might spoil it. I think they should severely restrict the numbers of people allowed and the perimeter that any motorised ships can enter.

It would be an utter tragedy if this unspoilt naturalist's paradise was to disappear because cruise ships feel it their right to despoil it.

Ecuador must realise it is a world heritage site and as such must not be turned into a tourist attraction.

I still hope to return one day . It is on top of my must see list anywhere in the world. But if to preserve it I must stay away then so be it.
Some places are just too precious for us to play around with.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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This is really sad. The problem is that some tour operators have no consideration for the environment.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:14 AM
 
37,498 posts, read 37,794,715 times
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I visited the Galapagos Islands while I was working in Ecuador. I would say the best way to travel there is to fly down either to Quito (the capital of Ecuador) or Guayaquil (the largest city & business center) of the country and from there book a tour to the Galapagos Islands via a local tour operator. You don't have to take cruise to the Galapagos. You can also book a tour that you sleep at hotel on one of the main islands and take day trips by boats to the other islands. (This is especially good if you are prone to seasickness.) You can't go to any of the uninhabited islands without a registered tour operator as there are strict laws on how many boats can come & go in the area in order to protect the environment.
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