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Ecotourism: a Tool for Community Development - Panacea or Mere Rhetoric?

Andrade Salazar, Mónica M. LU (2008) IMEN41 20081
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
The concept of ecotourism has been widely misunderstood and misused. This undermines some of its aims when it is put in practice. In theory, one of the principles of ecotourism is bringing benefits to the local communities at the destination site. Benefiting the local communities, in turn, offers an opportunity for community development of the local populations (particularly in poor countries). But, in practice, as the concept of ecotourism is misused, it has been documented that the local communities have not always been directly involved and have not benefited from ecotourism projects; consequently, community development has also been undermined.
The present study aims at gaining a deeper understanding of the concept of ecotourism, as a... (More)
The concept of ecotourism has been widely misunderstood and misused. This undermines some of its aims when it is put in practice. In theory, one of the principles of ecotourism is bringing benefits to the local communities at the destination site. Benefiting the local communities, in turn, offers an opportunity for community development of the local populations (particularly in poor countries). But, in practice, as the concept of ecotourism is misused, it has been documented that the local communities have not always been directly involved and have not benefited from ecotourism projects; consequently, community development has also been undermined.
The present study aims at gaining a deeper understanding of the concept of ecotourism, as a means to community development, and finding the links between these two concepts. In addition, two case-studies in the Philippines – each case-study composed by a community and a community-based ecotourism initiative- have been analyzed in order to explore the ways in which ecotourism could support community development at the implementation stage, so as to find the correspondence between conceptualization and implementation.
From the conceptual analysis, it has been suggested that in theory ecotourism has a great potential as a tool for community development. This is supported by the fact that some principles of ecotourism could lead to the achievement of some of the aims of community development. However, when the concept of ecotourism is put into practice, several limitations are encountered, which undermine the community development aims.
This study identifies such opportunities and limitations. Then, it provides recommendations towards a better understanding of the concept of ecotourism, and towards a better implementation to achieve its aims. The model of the tourism value chain is used to illustrate the community-based ecotourism initiatives proposed for the two communities in the Philippines, and to identify the elements needed for a proper implementation of ecotourism. (Less)
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author
Andrade Salazar, Mónica M. LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN41 20081
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Ecotourism
language
English
id
1480568
date added to LUP
2009-09-29 13:00:33
date last changed
2009-09-29 13:00:33
@misc{1480568,
  abstract     = {The concept of ecotourism has been widely misunderstood and misused. This undermines some of its aims when it is put in practice. In theory, one of the principles of ecotourism is bringing benefits to the local communities at the destination site. Benefiting the local communities, in turn, offers an opportunity for community development of the local populations (particularly in poor countries). But, in practice, as the concept of ecotourism is misused, it has been documented that the local communities have not always been directly involved and have not benefited from ecotourism projects; consequently, community development has also been undermined.
The present study aims at gaining a deeper understanding of the concept of ecotourism, as a means to community development, and finding the links between these two concepts. In addition, two case-studies in the Philippines – each case-study composed by a community and a community-based ecotourism initiative- have been analyzed in order to explore the ways in which ecotourism could support community development at the implementation stage, so as to find the correspondence between conceptualization and implementation.
From the conceptual analysis, it has been suggested that in theory ecotourism has a great potential as a tool for community development. This is supported by the fact that some principles of ecotourism could lead to the achievement of some of the aims of community development. However, when the concept of ecotourism is put into practice, several limitations are encountered, which undermine the community development aims.
This study identifies such opportunities and limitations. Then, it provides recommendations towards a better understanding of the concept of ecotourism, and towards a better implementation to achieve its aims. The model of the tourism value chain is used to illustrate the community-based ecotourism initiatives proposed for the two communities in the Philippines, and to identify the elements needed for a proper implementation of ecotourism.},
  author       = {Andrade Salazar, Mónica M.},
  keyword      = {Ecotourism},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Ecotourism: a Tool for Community Development - Panacea or Mere Rhetoric?},
  year         = {2008},
}