Topics: Sustainability, Tourism, Biodiversity Pages: 9 (2911 words) Published: May 19, 2013
Ecotourism, surfaced in the late 1980s, is the fastest growing sector of one of the industries in the world. An upsurge in ecotourism, particularly in developing countries, has been created because of the demands for remote, exotic, and natural environments (Scheyvens, 1999). The word ‘ecotourism’ has been coined relatively and a number of different meanings of this word seem like ambassadors travelling every corner of the world. As a result, the marketing value of ecotourism has been exploited by the tourism industry (Goodwin, 1996). In addition, the demand for ecotourism is intimately bound up with the increased awareness to reduce the antagonistic impacts on the environment. Likewise, this has been boosted substantially by means of consumers seeking more abundant and individualistic tourism experience. As ecotourism has been recognized gradually globally, it has been touted as a form of sustainable tourism development and as a potential means to promote the conservation of biological resources (Farrell, & Runyan, 1991). Ecotourism could improve conservation of natural resources. This would take place in four ways. Firstly, it could provide a preferred financial alternative to destructive resource management (Tobias, & Mendelsohn, 1991). Secondly, it might seek local support by enhancing and promoting economic, social, or cultural conditions such as generating employment, industry stimulation, economic diversification and increased government involvement. Tangible financial benefits for protected areas could be produced through ecotourism. For example, management costs could be offset by entrance fees (Lindberg, 1991). Lastly, educating Eco-tourists to foster the spirit of advocacy is inextricable with ecotourism. For instance, encouraging protection stems mainly from developing awareness, insight, appreciation and respect by participants for the local environment (Harrison, 1990). This paper starts with brief background of ecotourism and the significance of ecotourism. Likewise, this paper will briefly describe the current approaches to be used in the sustainability of ecotourism development. After this, two cases of ecotourism products will be identified and benefits and challenges of implementing an ecotourism project will be elaborated. Lastly, this paper will end up a reflection and conclusion of the paper’s aims.

Approaches to ecotourism development
The sustainability of the ecotourism development would not happen by accident. This is inextricably attributed to the application of comprehensive and minimalist approaches. The minimalist approach is aimed at focusing on site-specific, status quo oriented and the natural environment. The comprehensive approach, however, places an emphasis on a holistic perspective of the ecotourism product that integrates the ecosystem and human influences (Harrison, 1995). This approach tends to enhance deep understanding and to transform participant attitudes and behaviour (Weaver, 2005). Furthermore, attaining the objectives of environmental and sociocultural sustainability is intimately associated with the implementation of the comprehensive approach. Likewise, the comprehensive approach mainly pertains to benefits of a product development that are reflected in donations and eagerness engaging in voluntary activities such litter collection and research assistance (Wearing, 2001). In contrast, a minimalist approach is responsible for impeding the attainment of these sustainability objectives. Problems can surface from constructing hierarchies in which megafauna like giant pandas and mountain gorillas are valued more by managers than obscure but no less ecologically valuable species. In these two approaches, the comprehensive approach possesses more strengths than minimalist in achieving the sustainability of ecotourism such as the comprehensive ecotourism gaining deep understanding, focusing on environmental and sociocultural and emphasizing holistic...
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