Ecotourism Theories and Concepts 4507

Course Objectives

Students will receive a theoretical and practical introduction to the basic concepts, terms and theories of ecotourism. One aim is to elaborate and discuss the concept of ecotourism and its principal components. A second aim is to illustrate and discuss how the concept of ecotourism relates to and distinguishes itself from other seemingly similar concepts within tourism (e.g. nature-based tourism, sustainable tourism, adventure tourism, responsible tourism, etc.). A third aim is to elaborate the ecological and environmental aspects of the concept in more detail. Upon completing the course, students should have a thorough and broad understanding of ecotourism and its main components, as well as some insight into the main challenges and constraints regarding ecotourism development.

Course Description

Principal themes in the programme:

  • History of ecotourism development, international processes and trends
  • Definitions of the concepts of ecotourism
  • Ecological issues and environmental philosophy and ethics
  • Cultural assets and authenticity
  • Economic issue with a focus on local benefits

Developing ecotourism requires a good understanding of the challenges that appear in the context of responsible and sustainable tourism, and in relation to tourism in general. The ability to contextualise ecotourism is important. This course will therefore provide insight into and a better understanding of how ecotourism might be defined and how it relates to concepts such as environmental awareness, sustainability, social responsibility and economic profits.

Learning Methods

Lectures, seminars, group work and excursions. Groups of or individual students will work on mid-term papers related to basic concepts, terms and processes of ecotourism.

Assessment Methods

Assessment is divided into two parts: a mid-term paper with oral presentation will form 40% of the final grade. The other 60% will be based on a 4-hour final written examination. Students must pass both parts in order to receive a passing grade for the course as a whole.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Ian Harkness <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 02/02/2009