Topics: Tourism, Sustainability, South Africa Pages: 14 (4761 words) Published: December 21, 2012
Table of Contents
1.0 Introduction2
2.0 Current Approaches to Ecotourism Development3
3.0 Examples of Ecotourism4
3.1 Case 1: Big 5 Safaris in Kruger National Park, Africa5
3.1.1 The Impacts of Wildlfe Safari6
3.1.2 Weakness, Strength, Opportunities, and Threats9
3.1.3 The Stakeholders10
3.1.4 Policies, Control & Governmental Support11
3.2 Case 2: Chumbe Island Coral Park, East Africa12
3.2.1 The impacts of ecotourism activities in CHICOP13
3.2.2 Weakness, Strength, Opportunities, and Threats14
3.2.3 The Stakeholders16
3.2.4 Policies, Control & Governmental Support17
4.0 Ecotourism - the Ideal versus the Real17
5.0 Conclusion21
6.0 Reference List22

1.0 Introduction
The term ecotourism first emerged in the late 1980s and was quickly adopted by both academics and practice (Weaver, 2008). The evolution of ecotourism can be explained by Jafari’s (1989) four platforms theory. In the advocacy platform, tourism was regarded as the activity that brings “good things” for destinations. Thus, the main philosophy people hold against tourism was “all tourism is good”. The cautionary platform emerged in the 1970s as people started to aware the negative consequences of tourism which means “not all tourism is good”. It then transformed into adaptancy platform in the 1980s where people perceived tourism can bring both positive and negative consequences to destinations. However, options that were considered bringing more positive outcomes than negative were proposed at this stage. This was also when people have awareness of “ecotourism”. Tourists had shifted away from mass tourism towards experience that is more educational and enriching in related to the environment (Diamantis, 1999). Another evidence of the emergence of ecotourism is the paradigm has shifted form the dominant western environmental paradigm to the emerging green paradigm (Weaver, 2008). Knowledge-based platform was emerged from the 1990s which takes consideration into the triple bottom line in order to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The most significant reason of the importance of ecotourism is that it creates awareness (Beesley, 2012). Ecotourism is an inter-medium to educate the public about the importance of environmental issues. According to Beesley (2012, para. 22), Ecotourism helps to “protect, preserve, and prosper”. First, ecotourism can protect the environment by various means. A proper developed ecotourism product, such as Wolong Nature Reserve in China, can help protect the wild life and the biodiversity of the region (Isaacs, 2000). Second, ecotourism can preserve the local culture and custom of a destination. Historical heritages and traditional customs can be preserved through appropriate plan and control (Pinto, 2000). Last but not the least, ecotourism prospers a destination in the aspects of not only the environment but also the economy and the society (Beesley, 2012). The quality of life in the local community will be enhanced economically and physically. Hence, it is vital to manage ecotourism using impact management strategies in order to maximize the positive impacts and minimize the negative impacts. 2.0 Current Approaches to Ecotourism Development

There are several approaches adopted for the development of ecotourism. The approaches have also shifted in the extent of the perception of the importance of ecotourism. According to Weaver (2008), the approaches have shifted from elemental to holistic; from anthropocentric to biocentric; and form minimalist to comprehensive. The elemental approach of ecotourism considers only charismatic mega-fauna and mega-flora into the ecosystem. The ideal way here to develop ecotourism is through the protection and preservation of the iconic animals (e.g. pandas in China) and plants (e.g. redwood trees in coastal northern California). However, in the holistic approach, cultural component including the indigenous peoples, the ‘natural’ environment, and...
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