Defining Ecotourism - by Alan A Lew
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Defining Ecotourism - by Alan A Lew

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Covers different ways that the term "ecotourism" is used, with examples from China, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Covers different ways that the term "ecotourism" is used, with examples from China, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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Defining Ecotourism - by Alan A Lew Defining Ecotourism - by Alan A Lew Presentation Transcript

  • Defining Ecotourism Alan A. Lew Dept. of Geography, Planning & Recreation Northern Arizona University http://AlanLew.com Source: http://Slideshare.net/alew All photos in this file © Alan A Lew
  • Defining Ecotourism
    • OUTLINE
      • Greening of Consumers
      • Definitions of Ecotourism
        • Asian Examples
      • Ecotour Operator Survey
      • Conclusions
        • Challenges
        • Market
    • THEMES
      • Definitions and Practices of Ecotourism
        • Are Culture Based and Bound
      • The Form and Nature of Ecotourism
        • Represents the Cutting Edge of a Country’s Environmental Ethic
  • Growth in Green & Eco-
    • Blogosphere Growth in Online Discussions of Sustainable Development
      • 50% more discussion at end of 2007 than at start
      • Global Warming - main focus at start of year
      • Personal Actions - main focus at end of year
        • Recycling, Minimizing packaging, Carpooling
        • Links between Personal Health & Environmental Wellness
          • Pollution, toxins and sustainable agriculture
    View slide
  • Green Boomers
    • Forty million Green boomers in US
        • (13.3% of US population; 2007 survey by Focalyst)
      • More Demanding of Product + Service Quality
      • More Critical of Advertising
        • more likely to believe there is not much truth in advertising
        • wish advertising included more real product information
        • more brand loyal than other boomers across all product categories
    • Mature boomers more likely to be “green.”
      • more aware of their legacy and leaving a positive mark on the world
    • Other findings from Focalyst:
      • Green boomers are watching less television
        • spend more time with print media
      • Boomers with annual incomes of less than $50,000 are more “green” than boomers with incomes of over $150,000
    View slide
  • Ecotourism - Popular & Industry Definitions
    • The International Ecotourism Society (TIES):
      • Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people .
    • Green Globe 21 International and Ecotourism Australia:
      • Ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding , appreciation and conservation .
    • Martha Honey - Ecotourism and Sustainable Development (book)
      • Ecotourism is travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas that strive to be low impact and (usually) small scale . It helps educate the traveler; provides funds for conservation ; directly benefits the economic development and political empowerment of local communities; and fosters respect for different cultures and for human rights (Honey, 1999, p. 25)
  • Thailand’s First Ecotourism & Adventure Travel Show 30 May - 2 June 2002
    • Ecotourism & Adventure Tourism Products
      • camping, trekking, diving accessories & apparel
      • boat & water sports gear, beachwear
      • hotels, resorts, eco-lodges & homestay destinations
      • ecotourism & adventure tour packages
      • fitness, health & spa centers
      • nutrition products & travel gear
    • Over 50,000 visitors
      • tour operators
      • hotels & resorts
      • tourism-related public & private agencies
      • Thai travelers
        • especially university & high school students
      • international visitors
      • foreign expatriates residing in Thailand
  • Ecotourism: An Academic Definition
    • David Fennell (1999 p.43) – Definition based on a reviewing 15 definitions:
      • Ecotourism is a sustainable form of natural resource-based tourism that focuses primarily on experiencing and learning about nature, and which is ethically managed to be low-impact , non-consumptive , and locally oriented (control, benefits, and scale). It typically occurs in natural areas, and should contribute to the conservation or preservation of such areas .
    • 13 Principles - ranked by frequency:
      • Interest in nature
      • Contributes to conservation
      • Reliance on parks & protected areas
      • Benefits local people / long-term benefits
      • Education and study
      • Low impact/non-consumptive
      • 7. Ethics/responsibility
      • 8. Management
      • 9. Sustainable
      • 10. Enjoyment & appreciation
      • 11. Culture
      • 12. Adventure
      • 13. Small scale
  • Education & Commodification
  • Definition Problems
    • … of the 25 government tourism agencies that chose to define "ecotourism," 21 chose to create their own definition… (Mader 2004)
    • Ecotourism eludes firm definition because it is a complex notion which ambitiously attempts to:
      • describe an activity,
      • set forth a philosophy ,and
      • espouse a model of development.
        • (Simmons 1999; Ziffer 1989)
  • Ecotourism Continuums
    • 1. Relative Ecotourism -&- Absolute/Pure Ecotourism (Shore 2004)
      • Relative: Overall Impact is Environmentally Sound
        • Though some individual components may not be
      • Absolute: All Components are Environmentally Sound
    • 2. Nature/Adventure Tourism -&- Sustainable Development
      • Earliest known Definition of Ecotourism
        • “… traveling to relatively undisturbed or uncontaminated areas with the specific objective of studying, admiring, and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals, as well as any existing cultural manifestations (both past and present) found in these areas.” (Lascurain, 1991)
      • Sustainable Tourism Definition:
        • “ Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present [in particular the essential needs of the worlds poor] without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Brundtland, 1987)
  • Domestic / Mass Ecotourism in Asia
      • David Weaver
    • Three Established Mass Ecotourism Regions / Themes
      • Blossom and Waterfall Region
        • Japan & South Korea
        • Nature
      • Rainforest and Reef Region
        • Indonesia & Malaysia
        • Sustainable Development
      • Mountain Trekking Region
        • Himalayas & Northern Thailand (& Laos)
        • Adventure (trekking)
  • Ecotourism in China
    • Ecotourism = “sheng tai nu you”
      • = “Tourism that does not exploit or harm the environment, ecology or society”
    • Ecotourism in China
      • Mostly used as a marketing tool to earn income to support nature reserve management (Han and Ren 2001)
        • = Nature Tourism
          • Includes Mass Tourism, Adventure Tourism, …
      • Lack of ecotourism education or guidelines among
        • Nature reserve managers
        • Traveling public
      • Lack of research & understanding on nature reserve ecology
      • Lack of uniform nature reserve management practices & training
    • Reflects China’s
      • Long isolation from rest of the world
      • Emphasis on market solutions to common pool resources
  • SW China Ecotourism
  • Yunnan’s Stone Forest
  • Yunnan Culture
  • Ecotourism in Southeast Asia
    • Malaysia
      • A leader in national park and nature reserve management
        • Focus on Natural Ecosystem Management
        • Combined with ecotourism principles
          • Taman Negara National Park (West Malaysia)
          • Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo (East Malaysia)
      • Benefitted from Malaysia’s growing middle class
    • Indonesia
      • Most popular ecotour destination until 1997 political crisis
      • Focus on Ecotourism to replace agriculture & fishing in nature reserves
        • Pro-poor economic development
          • Initial success has struggles in recent years
      • Major problems with illegal logging and burning of rainforests to clear land
  • Indonesia
  • Iban / Dayak Cultural Ecotourism in Sarawak, Malaysia
  • PATA Ecotourism
  • Borneo Orangutan
  • Survey of Ecotourism Companies
    • Survey of North American Tour Companies
      • with Ecotours to the Asia-Pacific (excluding SW Asia)
    • Absolute / Pure Ecotourism
    • Ecotourism to Asia grew 20% a year
      • in the 1990s - prior to 1997
    • Top Destinations
      • #1 = Indonesia
      • #2 = Countries bordering the Himalayas
    • Secondary ecotour destinations
      • Established destinations: China & Thailand
      • Emerging destinations: Indochina & Central Asia
  • Where Asia Ecotours Went (prior to 1997)
    • Country # Tour % of all Tour
    • or Region Companies Companies
    • Indonesia 16 40.0
    • India 13 32.5
    • Australia 12 30.0
    • Nepal 12 30.0
    • Bhutan 10 25.0
    • New Zealand 8 20.0
    • Tibet 8 20.0
    • China 7 17.5
    • Thailand 7 17.5
    • Burma 5 12.5
    • Cambodia 5 12.5
    • Laos 5 12.5
    • Pakistan 5 12.5
    • Malaysia 4 10.0
    • Papua New Guinea 4 10.0
    • Russian Far East 4 10.0
    • Vietnam 4 10.0
    • Central Asia 3 7.5 Uzbekistan, Kyrgistan
    • Japan 3 7.5
    • Mongolia 3 7.5
    • Sikkim 3 7.5
    • Philippines 2 5.0
  • Types of Ecotours
    • NATURE (22 respondents)
      • 81.2% Asia Pacific / 18.2% North America
      • Wildlife (5), Nature (4), Natural history (3), Jungles / Rainforests (2), Science-based nature tours (2), Fossil expeditions, National Park's, Nature reserves, Orangutans, Ornithology, Village wildlife conservation, Zoos
    • CULTURE (14 respondents)
      • 57.1% Asia Pacific / 42.9% North America based
      • Culture (6), Agriculture, Anthropology, Countryside tours, Culture exchanges, Ethnic area lodge, Food, Local guides, Sustainable technology
    • ADVENTURE (4 respondents)
      • 0% Asia Pacific / 100% North America based
      • Soft adventure (2), Adventure, Hard adventure, Outdoor adventure
            • N = 31 respondents
  • Ecotour Activities
    • PHYSICAL-LAND (15 respondents)
      • 60% - Asia Pacific / 40% - North America based companies
      • Trekking (7), Walking (3), Cycling/Mountain Biking (2), Backpacking, Bush Walking, Day hiking, Physical activity
    • PHYSICAL-WATER (6 respondents)
      • 50% Asia Pacific / 50% North America based
      • Boat rides, Diving, Rafting, Sailing, Sea Kayaking, Whitewater
    • EDUCATION / OTHER (11 respondents)
      • 42.9% Asia Pacific / 57.1% North America based
      • Educational (3), Guest scholar/teachers/experts (3), Animal riding safaris (2), Bird watching (2), Local educational programs, Photo-taking safaris, Study tours
          • N = 31 respondents
  • Ecotourism Management Policies
    • Use guides native to visited area * 31 77.5%
    • Have an education program for local guides 26 65.0%
    • Provide a pre-arrival information packet 24 60.0%
    • Providing a % of tour profits to local org.s 19 47.5%
    • Participate in local cleanup programs 17 42.5%
    • Pack-it-out requirements 15 37.5%
    • Other activities to support sustainable dev. ** 16 40.0%
    • N = 40 respondents
    • * 67% use local guides exclusively
    • ** Other Activities:
      • "Donations:" Generous donations to local charities; Funds for conservation & research (2); Land purchases for conservation; Sponsor Village Folk Theatre; Support clinic, school and religious organizations; Support local environmental groups
      • "Education:" Environmental education kits; Quality environmental education; Scholarships; Post-trip mailings; Teach adult education class in ecotourism; Up to 70 pages long pre-arrival packets; Support village libraries; Environmental reading library
      • "Services:" Provide medical services; Lobby government to protect rainforest; Tree planting (2); Peer exchanges; Support orphanages
      • "Economic Development:" Use of all reusable materials; Support ecovillages; Encourage eco-purchases; Support local handicrafts; Invest in eco-lodges; Support indigenous tourism projects
  • Other Ecotour Characteristics
    • Extra Cost of Conducting Eco-sensitive Tours
      • High: 40.0 % of Tour Price
      • Mean: 11.1
      • Low: 0.0
    • Willingness of Participants to Donate Money to Local Environmental and Social Causes
      • Very willing 38.9%
      • Somewhat willing 55.6
      • Not Interested or willing 5.6
    • Management of Tourist Behaviour
    • - We strictly enforce sensitive Behaviour on our tours 42.9%
    • - We explain proper behaviour, but leave it up to the individual 33.3
    • - We only explain proper behaviour in the most sensitive place 11.9
    • - We seldom ever direct tourists in how to behave 11.9
      • Comments:
        • Our travellers typically already know how to behave
        • We talk to individuals privately if there is a problem with their behaviour
        • Our policies vary based upon the destination
        • Our operators are responsible for establishing proper behaviour
        • We don't accept participants who will not behave
        • Policies vary depending on the place
    • N = 42 respondents
  • Tour Group Size
    • Smallest Average Largest
    • Group Group Group
    • Mean 4.5 11.4 24.7
    • Median 2 8 15
    • Range 1 - 22 3 - 60 4 - 125
    • Do you intentionally limit tour group sizes?
      • Yes 34 (81%) No 8 (19%)
    • If yes, what is your size limit?
    • Mean: 14.9
    • Median: 14.5
    • Range: 6 - 40
  • Reasons Limiting Tour Group Size – p.1
    • IMPACTS:
      • Impacts are greater with more than 16 persons
      • To reduce/lessen impact/damage (7)
      • To ensure sustainable impact
      • To minimize cultural concerns/impacts (3)
      • Prevent negative impacts on culturally sensitive areas
      • To minimize environmental impacts (3)
      • To ensure privacy
      • Lower impact from camping
      • We will limit tour size to one person to some pristine environments to lessen environmental and animal damage
    • SERVICE:
      • Guides are unable to have personal contact and control the situation with more than 17 persons
      • More than eight is a mob
      • Ease of handling/controlling smaller groups (2)
      • Some private groups may exceed our maximum
      • Logistics of moving too large a group in the destination region
      • Manageable, yet profitable, size
      • We break our larger groups into smaller groups of four to five persons each for daily activities
  • Reasons Limiting Tour Group Size – p.2
    • CAPACITY:
      • Due to the carrying capacity of the product (2)
      • Safety and the ability to airlift out of National Parks and mountains by helicopter if the weather turns bad
      • Our maximum size depends on the itinerary
      • Depending on the destination, group sizes may be limited to as little as two persons
      • Based on capacity of lodges/We are able to use smaller lodges (2)
      • Allows use of smaller vehicles to get to more remote places
    • EXPERIENCE:
      • To render more in-depth insight and equal service to each client
      • To ensure a quality experience (4)
      • To enhance enjoyment of the environment and activities
      • Smaller size results in a more genuine experience
      • Better group rapport/dynamics (2)
      • Increased opportunity to interact with locals / cross-cultural experience (2)
      • Provide more personal contact/attention (3)
  • Conclusions: Asia – Tourism Challenge s
    • Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
        • APEC - Government representatives
      • Leading Tourism Problems
        • Environmental Pollution
        • Air Traffic Congestion
        • Overcrowding at Major Attractions
    • Private Sector respondents to same survey
      • Leading Tourism Problems
        • Excessive Controls over the use of Sensitive Natural Areas
        • Conflicts between Tour Operators and Natural Resource Managers
    • Exploitation vs. Conservation Issues
      • The ‘ Sustainable’ ‘Development’ Paradox
  • Conclusions - Ecotourism Market
    • Relatively Small, Niche Market
      • May be good for the environment,
        • But may not meet economic needs of the community
    • Variety of Objectives
      • Education - Public relations
      • Financial support for organizations
        • nature and cultural conservation
      • Marketing tool for
        • up-market tourists
        • conservation oriented consumers
    • Continuums of Definitions and Uses
      • Part Ecotourism to All Ecotourism
      • Nature Based Tourism to Sustainable Development
  • Ecotourism & Mass Tourism
    • How to Make Mass Tourism
      • Socially Responsible
      • Environmentally Sustainable
    • Ecotourists & Mass Tourists
      • Both Can Be:
        • Green & Sustainable
          • at ecotourism sites
        • Hedonist & Exploitative
          • at other mass tourism sites
    • “ Greenwashing” Tours & Attractions / Eco-pirates
      • Selling un-green products as green or eco
  • Ecotourism & Political Economy
    • Ecotourism: Relies on the Mass Tourism Infrastructure
      • Airlines, Automobiles, Hotels, Imported Foods
        • Similar carbon Footprint
    • Maintains Dependency & Neocolonial Power Relationships
      • Between Developed Center & Developing Periphery
    • Exists in larger context of
      • Global & Local - Politics & Economic Interests
      • Different Stakeholders Co-opt “Ecotourism”
        • Government (local, national, supranational)
        • Business Interests - NGOs
        • Residents/Hosts - Tourists/Guests
  • Defining Ecotourism
    • OUTLINE
      • Examples of Ecotourism
      • Definitions of Ecotourism
        • Asian Context
      • Ecotour Operator Survey
      • Conclusions
        • Challenges
        • Market
    • THEMES
      • Definitions and Practices of Ecotourism
        • Are Culture Based and Bound
      • The Form and Nature of Ecotourism
        • Represents the Cutting Edge of a Country’s Environmental Ethic