Open Access

From theory to practice of ecotourism: major obstacles that stand in the way and best practices that lead to success


Ecotourism has been described as the ideal kind of tourism, as it aims to conserve the natural, cultural and other tourist resources for continuous use for future generations whilst still bringing benefits to the present societies. Theoretically, it sounds so promising and attractive, but when it comes to its actual implementation, significant constraints bar the way to success. Various countries that attempted to foster sustainable development in their communities, either partially achieved their goals or their implementation totally lapsed. These fruitless efforts clearly reflect the huge gap that still exists between the theory and practice of ecotourism. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap that seems to have been growing in recent years by explaining what has been done wrong and what specific policies and procedures could help bring a positive change. This paper aims to move from theory to practice and concentrate on how the implementation of ecotourism can be achieved properly and lead to success. The key factors responsible for failure are addressed, so they can be avoided and mistakes of the past will not be repeated. It also serves as a guide to more effective strategies of promoting ecotourism successfully around the world.