Redefining Ecotourism: The Need for a Supply Side View

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sevil Sonmez, Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This article reviews the existing literature on ecotourism definitions and provides a supply-side view of ecotourism based on the findings of a nationwide survey of 282 U.S.- based ecotour operators. A content analysis of ecotourism definitions revealed that ecotourism is a new form of nonconsumptive, educational, and romantic tourism to relatively undisturbed and undervisited areas of immense natural beauty, and cultural and historical importance for the purposes of understanding and appreciating the natural and sociocultural history of the host destination. The current view of ecotourism by the sample of tour operators reflects and confirms definitions of ecotourism found in existing literature. If the definitions provided by this sample of ecotour operators are to be considered representative of their business vision or mission statement, it is plausible to expect their business objectives and operational behavior to be congruent with their description of ecotourism. Whether or not their actual behavior will reflect their visions remains to be determined.

Additional Information

Journal of Travel Research, 38(2):168-172
Language: English
Date: 1999
ecotourism, ecotour, supply-side

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