259 pages, Figs, tabs
'Ecotourism' is generally defined as fostering sustainable consumption of natural areas, including educative and conservation-supporting elements. It overlaps with and incorporates wildlife, adventure and nature-based tourism. This book offers conceptual and practical insights into the complex interactions between ecotourism and the natural environment. Drawing on a diverse series of case studies from around the world, a variety of ecotourism activities, ecosystem types, ecosystem components and environmental responses are examined. Both positive and negative tourism-environment relationships are introduced, challenging the inherent validity of sustainable ecotourism and exploring how tourism can enjoy a positive relationship with differing natural resources.
The book also analyzes the environmental impacts of ecotourism outside of destination areas, using the Global Warming Index for Leisure and Tourism (GWILT) and Global Ecological Footprint Analysis. Illustrated by studies of ecotourism in countries including Nepal, China, Peru, Alaska, Antarctica, India, Australia, New Zealand, Cuba and Belize, it looks at the roles of and interplay between tour operators, local resource managers and local communities. In doing so, it builds up a comprehensive and insightful overview of the impacts and mitigation measures which are or could be put into place to ensure sustainability. The book concludes by deliberating on the future of ecotourism and environmental sustainability, including suggestions for best practice.
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