Chapter 32: Planning and staging ecotourism events
This chapter discusses the meaning and nature of ‘ecotourism events’ and provides guidelines for their planning and staging. It is shown that planned events have multiple roles to play in nature conservation and in realizing the strategies of parks and protected areas. Communities, tourist destinations and protected areas can include ecotourism events within a managed portfolio of events, attractions and services to achieve their aims. But not all events held in natural settings or produced by parks meet the criteria of ecotourism. Hvenegaard and Manaloor (2007) observed that the number of wildlife festivals has grown rapidly across North America, and it is likely that this trend – paralleling the broader surge in festivals of all types – has been global in scope. But festivals and other planned events have not been studied in any detail as ecotourism phenomena; indeed, most texts on ecotourism do not specifically include a discussion of events. There are published articles on birding and wildlife festivals that do indicate their potential economic impacts, and they also generate an awareness of the potential for events to make an important contribution to ecotourism.
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