International Handbook on Ecotourism
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International Handbook on Ecotourism

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.
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Chapter 1: Ecotourism: themes and issues

Roy Ballantyne and Jan Packer


Increasing interest in both tourism and environmental conservation over the past 30years have combined to produce the phenomenon of ecotourism, which at its simplest is environmentally responsible tourism in a natural setting (see Buckley, Chapter 2). Ecotourism has been claimed to be the fastest growing tourism segment around the world, growing at 20–25 per cent each year (Ceballos-Lascurain, 2012). This Handbook explores this phenomenon by bringing together a variety of perspectives on the nature and practice of ecotourism, from a range of authors who have researched specifically in ecotourism, or in fields that have some broad relevance to ecotourism, over many years. Ecotourism is a field rather than a form of knowledge (Hirst, 1974) as it involves the integration of a number of concepts, logic and criteria from different disciplines. This volume thus explores ecotourism from multiple disciplinary perspectives, including business, economics, environmental education, environmental science, ethics, geography, health, human resources management, marketing, psychology and sociology. Inevitably, there are some areas of congruence and some areas where a diversity of views have been incorporated.

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