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Rules Laid Down for Local Eco-tourism

Date Posted: 2000-11-10

Eco-tourism, a popular attraction in Okinawa, is encountering some difficulties. Some of the snags are that there are too many tourists entering the habitats where endangered species live. There have also been conflicts between guides supervising the tours.

Okinawa Prefecture Environmental Protection Department has drawn up guidelines for the running of eco-tourism in Okinawa. The new guidelines lay down basic rules so that tourists have a minimum impact on their surroundings. They also stipulate the rules for such activities as hiking in the mountains of Okinawa.

Japanís first eco-tour was in 1996 when the Iriomote Eco-tourism Association was formed. The whale-watching tour in Zamami island is another popular local eco-tour.

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