Argument: Ecotourism cultivates a conservation ethic

Issue Report: Ecotourism


  • Margaret Lowman. “Ecotourism and Its Impact on Forest Conservation”. August 2004 – “The objectives of ecotourism are to provide a nature-based, environmental education experience for visitors and to manage this in a sustainable fashion. As forests become logged, as streams become polluted, and as other signs of human activity become ubiquitous, the requirements of a true ecotourism experience are increasingly difficult to fulfill. To compensate for the “invasion” of human disturbance, ecotourism has promoted the educational aspects of the experience. Examples include opportunities to work with scientists to collect field data in a remote wilderness (e.g., Earthwatch) or travel with a naturalist to learn the secrets of a tropical rain forest (e.g., Smithsonian Institution travel trips). Environmental education serves to provide information about the natural history and culture of a site; it also promotes a conservation ethic that may infuse tourists with stronger pro-environmental attitudes.”