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 18: The benefits of ecotourism for visitor wellness

Eric Brymer and Anne-Marie Lacaze

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


Travellers have been motivated by desires to improve their health since the ancient world (Bennett, King & Milner, 2004). In recent times, health conscious consumers seeking to improve or enhance their wellness through travel are increasingly searching for deepening experiential value, more intense experiences and more specific health outcomes (Mihelj, 2010). As part of this change, awareness of wellness lifestyle choices has increased the demand for wellness tourism, prompting the development of new destinations and opportunities. Research validating the integral contribution of nature-based environments and experiences to the attainment of holistic wellness outcomes suggests that some of the most intense and valuable wellness experiences can be found in one of the fastest developing tourism segments: ecotourism. This chapter outlines the benefits of nature-based experiences for wellness.

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