Ecotourism is a popular buzz word, and you can find fine examples of government support for it. (The Calusa Blueway, with its impressive maps and signage, is a great example.)
But this editorial from the Lakeland Ledger takes that support a step further — and I applaud it.
The Ledger calls on the newly elected Florida Gov. Rick Scott to create job and economic vitality via more state support of ecotourism. This editorial lays out a plan based on:
- Funding Florida Forever
- Supporting state parks
- Committing to trails.
The editorial states:
Consider the potential of nature-based tourism — ecotourism — in Florida. In the first half of this decade, for instance, birders and wildlife watchers spent $3.1 billion in Florida. Add the potential economic impact of hiking, camping, cycling, kayaking, fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities, and the potential payback to businesses and to entrepreneurs who cater to ecotourists is enormous.
But in a state that will likely top 20 million people in the next decade, protecting the natural assets that make Florida a nature-lover’s paradise is paramount.
Listen up, Gov. Scott: Preserving the natural Florida and supporting parks and trails is good business.