Chapter 8: Complex interrelationships between ecotourism and Indigenous peoples
Proponents of ecotourism have suggested it offers a new way forward for environmentally sustainable development (ESD) (Duffy, 2002). The involvement of Indigenous people in ecotourism can provide positive economic development opportunities for people who are generally marginalized from the broader global economy. In addition, ecotourism can also provide social and environmental benefits for Indigenous people. However, the interrelationships between ecotourism and Indigenous peoples are much more complex and require further investigation. While the consensual involvement of Indigenous people in ecotourism may provide benefits, as discussed in Chapter 24 by Buultjens, Shoebridge and White, there are also a number of Indigenous people who have a non-consensual involvement with the industry. In addition, there are others that have a mindful determination of non-involvement with the contemporary ecotourism industry. There are a number of issues and challenges around Indigenous ecotourism, of which a key aspect is Indigenous ownership and control (Zeppel, 2006) especially relating to Indigenous peoples’ consensual involvement in ecotourism.
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