Table of Contents

International Handbook on Ecotourism

International Handbook on Ecotourism

Elgar original reference

Edited by Roy Ballantyne and Jan Packer

This Handbook brings together contributions from over forty international experts in the field of ecotourism. It provides a critical review and discussion of current issues and concepts – it challenges readers to consider the boundaries of what ecotourism is, and could be. The Handbook provides practical information regarding the business of ecotourism; insights into ecotourist behaviour and visitor experiences; and reflections on the practice of ecotourism in a range of different contexts.

Chapter 10: Ecotourists and views of nature

Michael Hughes

Subjects: development studies, tourism, environment, ecological economics, environmental sociology, tourism, geography, tourism


Ecotourism is one form of nature-based tourism. It is generally considered a niche market involving smaller groups and specialized experiences. The first part of this book provides a detailed and extensive discussion of the definition, origins and characteristics of ecotourism. For the purposes of this chapter, a brief reiteration of the central characteristics of ecotourism is necessary for context. Defining ecotourism has been somewhat of an academic cottage industry with more than 80 definitions over recent decades (Fennell, 2001; Krider, Arguello, Campbell & Mora, 2010). The idea of ecotourism was popularized in the 1980s, with a growing awareness of concepts such as sustainability. It is intended to provide benefits both to the tourist and the location visited (Gurung & Seeland, 2008). Analysis of the numerous ecotourism definitions by Blamey (1997), Fennell (2001) and Krider et al. (2010) noted three central components.

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