Ecotourism revisited: Last twenty-five years

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Abstract

The concept of ecotourism evolves differently in developing and developed nations due to which the basic principles of ecotourism are in question. The existing literature on ecotourism suggests ambiguity in conceptual understanding of ecotourism. Due to this qualm, ecotourism is evolving into various forms. Different stakeholders with varying objectives related to ecotourism make it further difficult to form the consensus on what constitutes ecotourism. Without the clear understanding of ecotourism, it is difficult to evolve ethics on which the ecotourism principles are based. The focus of this research is to find out the principle components or themes of ecotourism using a content analysis for the development of ecotourism policy and applications. This study identified six key components of ecotourism which are widely accepted by researchers and could be used to shape the fundamental understanding of ecotourism. These themes are: (1) Nature oriented travel; (2) Support of conservation; (3) Learning and appreciation; (4) Socio-economic development of local area; (5) Support and respect for local culture and (6) Local people (area) participation.

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