Ecotourism: planning for rural development in developing nations

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'Roy and Jan have assembled a timely snapshot of our current understanding of ecotourism, both as a concept worthy of scientific inquiry and as an increasingly significant segment of global commerce and industry. A terrific piece of work!' - Sam Ham, University of Idaho, US 'In the 30 or so year since it became established in the tourism literature and in tourism practice, "ecotourism" has attracted as many proponents as opponents. This Handbook now brings together some of the leading scholars worldwide in this field, to explore the current position of this form of tourism. In doing so, it offers serious critiques, it explores meanings and paradoxes, it offers best practices and it looks to the future. It is the Handbook for one of tourism's fastest growing and controversial sectors.' - David Airey, University of Surrey, UK 'This is a most welcome and needed book. With a very strong editorial team and contributing authors, the Handbook covers all the key issues of ecotourism. It cuts through the confusion surrounding the much-misunderstood concept of ecotourism, clearly dealing with definitions, concepts and research issues. The Handbook is particularly welcome for its focus on the visitor experience, a strength of the editors, and for clearly linking the theory of ecotourism with practice in the field.' - Christopher Cooper, Oxford Brookes University, UK

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... Such absence of linkages is detrimental to the region (Cater, 1994;Salafsky & Wollenberg, 2000). Therefore, to increase the multiplier effects of ecotourism (Cater, 2003;Mitchell & Ashley, 2006;Spenceley & Manning, 2013;Trejos & Chiang, 2009;UNECA, 2011;UNEP & UNWTO, 2005), forming and strengthening inter-sectoral linkages between ecotourism and other local economic activities such as agriculture and trade is instrumental (Chan & Bhatta, 2013;Murphy, 1985;Stem et al., 2003;Timothy & White, 1999). ...
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Ecotourism has been widely championed by academics and practitioners as a potential contributor of conservation and development. However, others have questioned whether sustainability goals can be achieved through this form of tourism. Of the various factors reported in the literature as hindering the success of ecotourism, the lack of effective stakeholder collaboration features prominently. This study draws upon stakeholder and collaboration theories and on triple-bottom-line principles, to investigate the contributions of stakeholder collaborations to sustainable ecotourism. The researchers adopted an exploratory research design and conducted stakeholder in-depth interviews and focus group discussions between 2016 and 2018. The findings revealed poor interactions and collaborations amongst ecotourism stakeholders. Consequently, ecotourism in Southern Ethiopia accelerates the degradation of natural resources, neglecting communities while benefiting other ecotourism stakeholders. Therefore, in poorly resourced and remote destinations, failure to empower and participate communities undermines ecotourism and jeopardizes the long-term survival of ecosystems and communities themselves.
... Finally, the present study reveals that the ecotourism sector is currently operating in isolation from the local economic activities what is referred as no linkage according to Salafsky and Wollenberg (2000) and los/lose scenario according to Cater (1994). Thus, to boost the spillover and multiplier effects of ecotourism (Lacher & Nepal, 2010 Spenceley & Manning, 2013;Trejos & Chiang, 2009;UNECA, 2011;UNEP & UNWTO, 2005) creating and strengthening intersectoral linkages between ecotourism and other local economic activities would be tremendous. Presently, ecotourism is operating in isolation. ...
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Ecotourism has emerged within the umbrella of alternative tourism development in the 1980s. Since its emergence ecotourism has been championed as a tool to achieve the dual aims of conservation and development. However, ecotourism is criticized for not attaining the objectives it purports. In contrast to a self-fulfilling prophesy research approach whose intent is to prove something with preconceived assumptions, this study seeks to explore and better understand the reality on the ground under the lenses of stakeholder and collaboration theories and the principles of triple bottom-line predominantly from participants point of view. The study argues that in destinations of developing countries where there are limited livelihood opportunities, failure to meaningfully participate ecotourism stakeholders, especially host communities accelerates not only the demise of ecotourism but also jeopardizes the entire ecosystem. Based on the findings, recommendations are made for the various stakeholders to redress the current situation and develop the ecotourism sector in a more participative and sustainable manner.
... There are many academic papers that discuss factors required in the development of a sustainable tourism destination. These factors include political stability (Brown and Essex, 1997;Ritchie, 1999), sound planning (Spenceley and Manning, 2013); codes of good practice, local participation, and competitiveness (Ritchie and Crouch, 2003); visitor satisfaction, resource sustainability, improvements to the local economy and businesses, and effective integration of tourism into the destination economy and communities (Gunn, 1994;Mbaiwa, 2005a&b); management of tourism demand (Kastenholz, 2004); the role of destination management organisations, branding (Jamaroy and Walsh, 2008); and monitoring and evaluation (Faulkner and Tidewell, 1997). However, to date, none appear to have looked at the influence that a private sector tourism company can have on the sustainable development of a tourism destination: a gap that this paper seeks to fill by considering Okavango Wilderness Safaris (OWS), and in particular, Mombo Camp, in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. ...
The evolution of tourism destinations is influenced by a range of factors including the policy and planning framework, the role of destination management organisations, and integration of tourism into the local and national economy. The aim of this paper is to describe how the private sector can influence destination development, by considering a luxury safari lodge (Mombo Camp) and its holding company (Okavango Wilderness Safaris) within the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Through a series of stakeholder interviews and literature review, the research found that Mombo had influenced the destination’s quality standards, how it is marketed and promoted, and also in the conservation of endangered species. Over the course of 30 years, the holding company has also been influential in the development and implementation of tourism and conservation policy, environmental awareness among youth, and also conservation research. The findings of this study suggest that destination planning authorities should encourage reputable private sector operators that have a long-term interest in the destination and promote sustainable tourism practices, including those that can mobilise a network of facilities and attractions, can collaborate with their competitors, and can support and advise government on policy and its implementation.
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Nature-based tourism is often perceived as one of the easiest and readily-available tools for regional development and diversification of rural economies, and Sweden is not an exception. Successful tourism development, however, depends on various amenities, which vary with region. This article, based on a national survey among nature-based tourism service providers in Sweden, discusses general characteristic of Swedish nature-based tourism supply, reveals the most important natural amenities from the supply perspective and discusses the patterns of their regional variation. It is further investigated how distributions of various amenities is related to the density of nature-based tourism operations across regions. The scope of the analysis includes three levels: country, land and county. Results show that nature-based tourism in Sweden is a highly diversified sector, which demonstrates significant north-south variations, visible on the level of the three lands. On the level of counties, natural and human-made amenities are comparable in their power to predict distribution of NBT operations, suggesting that the border between NBT and other forms of tourism is not as distinct as is often imagined.
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