A comprehensive selection of articles, research and conference papers on
best practice management for ecotourism, nature based and sustainable tourism world-wide.

Big Volcano Ecotourism Resource Centre

Ecotourism Papers and Articles

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Eco tourism Papers and Articles

  • National Library of Australia - Trove. “Find and get over 385,217,890 Australian and online resources: books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more.”   If there's an outdated, 404'd url, or link reference to an academic publication, chances are you'll now find it archived here.
  • Sustainable Tourism Online (STO)  is a comprehensive online information resource delivering substantial research, data and tools within three main sustainability themes – Destinations and Communities, Business Operations, and Parks & Culture. [It also offers] relevant information and knowledge on broader sustainability tourism topics.
  • Ecotourism: Ethical Operation or Cultural Exploitation? By Kylie Schultz 02/01/13  "When it comes to the international tourism industry, an emerging sector seems to be in increasingly high demand: ecotourism. The desire for pristine environments and exotic cultural encounters by increasingly affluent consumers is propelling communities, governments, and travel companies to provide for such opportunities. Yet ecotourism does not only seek to allow travellers to experience remote environments and cultures. It is also supposed to be more ethical."
  • TwoWay Track: Biodiversity Conservation and Ecotourism Noel Preece, Penny van Oosterzee and David James have done a very thorough job. A must read for anyone serious about being involved in nature based tourism and ecotourism in Australia.
  • See also Department of the Environment Publications archive A treasure trove of papers and publications.
  • Coastal Tourism - A Manual for Sustainable Development (1997) It would be nice if this report was also available as a zip file, to be able to download it in one fell swoop. This report includes analysis of a number of now well developed Australian resorts, including a couple of large scale marina resort developments claiming ecotourism credentials. "This practical manual is designed to help tourism developers and operators, and officers in local government and other authorities who play a role in the development approval process. The manual will help these sectors work together and with other relevant experts and professionals to develop and operate coastal tourism ventures that are 'good' for the environment and the community or region that hosts them, and also 'good' for business."
  • The tour operator's dilemma: Keeping the customer happy while not disturbing the wildlife. Originally presented at the 2002 EAA International Ecotourism Conference in Cairns, Ronda Green asks "... as a tour operator, I really want to know what effect we have on the wildlife. Are our activities gradually affecting the wildlife in ways that will either improve visitor experience or might they ultimately destroy the very things we are trying to show them? Are the animals going to start avoiding the areas we use? Are they going to behave less naturally? Are we likely to cause, however gradually, any changes to their habitat?"
    •  Animal Ethics Infolink (Australia) Animal Research Review Panel and NSW Agriculture's Animal Welfare Unit Animal Ethics Committees (AECs) Wildlife surveys guidelines 
  • A Multicultural Landscape: National Parks and the Macedonian Experience "Ethnic diversity of contemporary Australia is reflected in the wide range of people who use our parks. While this sometimes causes tension between park visitors and staff, it also points to the diverse ways in which park landscapes are being used and valued. Their role in consolidating ideas of community – their value as social spaces – must be recognised."  A thorough and revealing study about how social heritage impacts on how a landscape is perceived and used by various cultural communities.  See also the Migration Heritage Centre.
  • Queensland Tourism and Events Sustainability and Climate Change.  Lot's of valuable info. including case studies, self help kits and best practice guides for suitable for intending and established operators, students and academics, for free (most in PDF only) and links to resources targeted primarily at operators.
  • Successful Tourism at Heritage Places: a guide for tourism operators, heritage managers and communities "The Australian Heritage Commission and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources with the asssistance of the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism have over the years explored issues of common concern about the responsible use of Australia's heritage places for tourism.  This guide provides information to help people more clearly understand the issues involved and includes practical pointers for those aiming at successful and responsible tourism at heritage places." Link goes to index page where you can download the guide (1.2 MB PDF), or order the hard copy.
  • 2005 [Wildlife Tourism Australia] WTA Second Annual Workshop"Wildlife Tourism and Conservation: The Perfect Marriage?" APRIL 17-19, 2005.  Most papers and presentations from the conference are available, all in PDF, and while focused on Australian conditions, they will be useful to anyone operating or interested in wildlife tourism.
  • The Green Hotels and Responsible Tourism Initiative "is an educational resource designed to help travelers, hoteliers, and local communities develop and promote environmental, social, and cultural sustainability by increasing awareness of issues affecting tourism and showcasing best green practices for hoteliers."
  • Sustainable Tourism Case Studies.  An extensive directory of Destination Intitiatives and Organisation Reports, with summaries and links to source publications.
  • BBC Travel A search for stories and features tagged "Eco-tourism", includes the usual gamet of travelogue style stories.
  • Welcome to UNWTO Publications  "UNWTO studies, reports and guidelines are the outcome of the broad span of activities the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is carrying out throughout the year. Most of the studies and reports produced can also be purchased as publications.
  • David Barkin: Ecotourism - A Tool for Sustainable development If you're a fan of the "trickle down" economic development theory and think that unfettered globalisation is the best thing since sliced bread, don't waste your bandwidth visiting is this even handed, thoughtful and well referenced paper
  • Educating the Travelling Community and the Investor Presented by Noah Shepard at the 9th PATA Adventure Travel and Ecotourism Conference, Malaysia, 1997.  The potentials and perils of ecotourism in a nutshell, and still one of the most relevant introductory articles on ecotourism available online.
  • AN EVALUATION OF ECOLODGES IN THE BRAZILIAN AMAZON, by Luciana Coelho Marques, presented at the Cuarta Feria Ecoturistica y de Produccion 15 – 23 Julio, 2000 Buena Noche de Hato Nuevo, Manoguayabo, Santo Domingo, D.N., Republica Dominicana.  "This paper discusses ecotourism and identifies ecolodge criteria. ... Based on the criteria developed, twelve lodges situated in Amazonas’ Ecotourism Hub were evaluated and compared." An excellent paper, which should now serve as an historical bench mark.  Hosted by KISKEYA ALTERNATIVA, see also their extensive publications list of ecotourism/sustainable tourism Publicaciones | Publications in Spanish and English.
  • Ecotourism - Sold out The Guardian Travel Section Special Report by Sue Wheat. Originally published in May 2002, this story reports on the nasty downside of ecotourism exploitation, when financial and development interests corrupt the concepts of ecotourism, usually at the expense of the environment, local communities and their cultures.
  • EplerWood International Publications  “EplerWood International research and publication program focuses on ethical markets, investment, and triple bottom line monitoring of ecotourism and sustainable tourism. We develop and collaborate on state-of-the art information to help generate the most practical and realistic approaches to achieving triple bottom line benefits. We seek to create an environment where consultants, NGOs, researchers and business people work together to develop the most useful information tools for the development of ecotourism and sustainable tourism worldwide."  From one of the founders of The International Ecotourism Society, (TIES).
  • The Global Development Research Center (GDRC) distills the essence of "sustainable" and "eco" tourism, and provides a veritable feast of resources to enjoy.  Students and operators will find the Sustainable Tourism Info Sheets useful. "Sustainable tourism in its purest sense, is an industry which attempts to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income, employment, and the conservation of local ecosystems. It is responsible tourism which is both ecologically and culturally sensitive."
  • Sustainable Development of Environmental Tourism A thorough briefing on how you become a world class ecotourism tour operator from the folks at Sea Canoe, who showed us all how it should be done.
  • Ecotourism: the Promise and Perils of Environmentally-Oriented Travel (Released February 2003)  by Heather E. Lindsay.  Lot's of cited references.
  • Promoting Tourism in Rural America From the USDA Rural Information Center “...covers the major issues in rural tourism including agritourism, cultural/heritage tourism, ecotourism, planning, marketing, economic impact and more. It provides web links to more than fifty full-text "how to" information guides, manuals, and handbooks for assisting local officials, communities, and citizens involved in tourism development and includes a section of resources organizations.”
  • Sustainable Development of Ecotourism Web-Conference International Year of Ecotourism 2002. Organized by UNEP and WTO.  Now missing images, the final summary report for this very successful online conference, still provides a good benchmark and plenty of observations and food for thought regarding perennial ecotourism issues.  Espanol || Francias

See also "What is Ecotourism?", Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Activities, Sustainability, Tourism Research Resources and Tourism Planning and Other Tourism Resources