Ecotourism - Methods and Practices 4508

Course Objectives

The student will be introduced to the practical elements of the planning and management of ecotourism businesses, organizations and projects. One aim is to work with the practical challenges that pertain to the concept of ecotourism. A second aim is to show the efforts that are done to meet and handle these challenges through management and certification systems and guidelines. A third aim is to provide students with the opportunity of working practically with the development of ecotourism, which, amongst other things, will involve a field study in Norway or abroad.

Course Description

Main themes:

  • Ecotourism project and development methods
  • Ecotourism business planning
  • Market research for ecotourism
  • Ecotourism guiding
  • Ecotourism organization and operations
  • The development of and present status with regard to systems for ecotourism certification
  • Practical case studies
  • Current and future challenges when implementing ecotourism thoughts and ideas into the “real world”
  • Two weeks of field studies. For field studies outside of Norway the students have to cover some extra travel costs and accommodation. Information about this will be provided at the start of the course.

Developing ecotourism requires a good understanding of the practical challenges that appear in the context of responsible and sustainable tourism, and in relation to tourism development in general. The ability to be realistic in this sense by balancing the profit making with the ecotourism goals is important. The course will therefore provide practical insight, specifically through the field studies, and a better understanding of how ecotourism might be developed and managed. This relates to positive achievements both in relation to environmental awareness, sustainability, social and cultural responsibility and economic gains.

Learning Methods

Lectures, seminars, group work, presentations, excursions and field study. Groups of students will carry out field studies and make reports from this related to practical development and management of ecotourism.

Assessment Methods

Assessment is divided into two parts: a field study report with oral presentation will count for 70% of the final grade. The other 30% will be based on a 2 hour final written examination. Both parts and oral presentations must be passed in order for the student to receive a passing grade for the course.

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

Publisert av / forfatter Ingeborg Nordbø <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 09/09/2010