Galapagos Island Ecotourism has bolstered the Ecuadorian economy greatly, and remains the only practical way of supporting the Galapagos National Park.
The model of low-impact tourism developed in the Galapagos has served the islands well. In addition to financially sustaining the islands’ conservation projects, tourism calls greater attention to and educates visitors about the environmental challenges the region faces, teaching them to be more ecologically aware.
Yet there are unwanted by-products from the tourist industry contamination from boat paint and engines, oil spills, overused sites, a drain on the fresh water supply, and introduction of plants and animals from the mainland.
All of these must be addressed for tourism to work. Tourism also needs to be kept to sustainable levels. This means a limit to the number of tourists, restriction on the type of tourism development, and close monitoring of tourist impacts.