The Ethics, Obligations, and Stakeholders of Ecotourism Marketing

Stan McGahey


Ecotourism is small-scale tourism that visits areas of exceptional natural and cultural interests in a manner that: (1) protects the nature; (2) preserves the culture; (3) enhances the local economy; and (4) educates the tourists. Ecotourism was created as the antidote to mass tourism’s disregard at best, or exploitation at worst, of pristine destinations. But the term ecotourism is easily abused. Marketing, from product development to promotion, creates expectations for both hosts and guests. Procedures and oversight must be established to ensure that ecotourism remains true to its intended purpose. Worldwide, this is still a work in progress. This paper discusses the ethics, obligations, and stakeholders involved in the marketing of ecotourism products using insights, examples, and best practices from around the world.


ecotourism; marketing; ethics; obligations; stakeholders; codes of conduct; mass tourism

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"Intellectual Economics" ISSN online 1822-8038 / ISSN print 1822-8011