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 16: Developing ecotourists’ environmentally sustainable behaviour

Jan Packer and Roy Ballantyne

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

Extract

As noted by Buckley and other authors in this volume, most definitions of ecotourism include some kind of environmental education or interpretation component. In Australia, ecotourism accreditation requires that the experience ‘fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation’ (Ecotourism Australia, 2012). Some form of environmental education has thus become a key component of most ecotourism experiences. It is often argued that increasing visitors’ environmental understanding and awareness will lead to their voluntary compliance with environmentally sustainable practices and thus help to reduce the negative impacts of ecotourism. Not only does the ecotourism industry have the responsibility to minimize its own negative impacts, it also has the opportunity to play a positive role in helping to solve global environmental problems by providing environmental learning experiences that promote positive change in people’s everyday behaviour and lifestyles. Adopting a proactive role, in which environmental responsibility is not only embedded in ecotourism products and services but also actively communicated to tourists and other visitors might be considered a moral and ethical responsibility (Ballantyne & Packer, 2011; Miller & Twining-Ward, 2005).

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