Ecotourism Production Process: Best Practices for Developing Ecotourism in the Pacific Northwest
Montanari, Michael A.
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The field of marine and environmental affairs is multi-disciplinary connecting the complexities of science, law, and policy and incorporating the framework of <italic>Human Dimensions of Global Change in the Marine (and Terrestrial) Environment</italic>. Ecotourism focuses on sustainability and is causally affected by the driving forces in global change. The tourism industry is increasingly recognized as an enormously potent force for sustainable development and positive change in the environment. Today, people travel more than ever. In recent years, elements of the travel market have begun to insist that their travel not jeopardize the quality of the natural environment and their travel not jeopardize the quality of life for the visited communities. Ecotourism is examined in connection with the sociological model of tourism that includes brokers, locals, and tourists and this model is expanded to include nature and technologies. Ecotourism definitions incorporate principles of sustainable tourism and the triple bottom line is the metric for measuring ecotourism success. Ecotourism is an experience and an industry jointly produced by Broker-Local-Tourist dynamics. Ecotourism entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest have an opportunity to develop environmentally sound, socially aware, and economically profitable businesses. Additionally, the concept of the tourist spectrum is presented. The development of an ecotourism business can be visualized as a three-step process: vision of the ecotourism entrepreneur, identification of the ecotourism vision, and analysis of the Ecotourism Production Process. The innovative six-phase Ecotourism Production Process is a framework to develop best practices and will lead the ecotourism entrepreneur to a sequence of logical business decisions. This model was validated with elite interviews with private sector ecotourism brokers.
- Marine affairs