Ecotourism for Conservation?

Amanda L. Stronza, Carter A. Hunt, Lee A. Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Ecotourism originated in the 1980s, at the dawn of sustainable development, as a way to channel tourism revenues into conservation and development. Despite the "win-win" idea, scholars and practitioners debate the meaning and merits of ecotourism. We conducted a review of 30 years of ecotourism research, looking for empirical evidence of successes and failures. We found the following trends: Ecotourism is often conflated with outdoor recreation and other forms of conventional tourism; impact studies tend to focus on either ecological or social impacts, but rarely both; and research tends to lack time series data, precluding authors from discerning effects over time, either on conservation, levels of biodiversity, ecosystem integrity, local governance, or other indicators. Given increasing pressures on wild lands and wildlife, we see a need to add rigor to analyses of ecotourism. We provide suggestions for future research and offer a framework for study design and issues of measurement and scaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-253
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
Volume44
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 17 2019

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ecotourism
tourism
outdoor recreation
social impact
ecological impact
sustainable development
biodiversity
time series
ecosystem

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Stronza, Amanda L. ; Hunt, Carter A. ; Fitzgerald, Lee A. / Ecotourism for Conservation?. In: Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 2019 ; Vol. 44. pp. 229-253.
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Ecotourism for Conservation? / Stronza, Amanda L.; Hunt, Carter A.; Fitzgerald, Lee A.

In: Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 44, 17.10.2019, p. 229-253.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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