NOVEMBER 1999JOURNAL OF TRAVEL RESEARCH Redefining Ecotourism: The Need for a Supply-Side View


This article reviews the existing literature on ecotourism definitions and provides a supply-side view of ecotourism based on the findings of a nationwide survey of 282 U.S.-based ecotour operators. A content analysis of ecotourism definitions revealed that ecotourism is a new form of noncon-sumptive, educational, and romantic tourism to relatively undisturbed and undervisited areas of immense natural beauty, and cultural and historical importance for the pur-poses of understanding and appreciating the natural and so-ciocultural history of the host destination. The current view of ecotourism by the sample of tour operators reflects and confirms definitions of ecotourism found in existing litera-ture. If the definitions provided by this sample of ecotour operators are to be considered representative of their busi-ness vision or mission statement, it is plausible to expec

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