Back to
Adventure Travel

Wilderness & Education
Environmental Education

(or Nature Tourism)

What is it?  Why do it?

James Neill
Last updated:
20 Sep 2004

What's New?

Learning about Ecotourism

Amazon Interactive: The Ecotourism Game
(Educational Web Adventures, 1996)

Your task in this online adventure game is to manage an ecotourism project in the Amazon.  Consider personal, cultural, environmental and financial issues.  Takes about 10-20 minutes.  Interesting, realistic exercise, with feedback on your performance.

Go to descriptions of more
Environmental activities


What is Tourism?

  • Tourism might be defined as polite, organized sticky-beaking (to satisfy one's curiosity) into other people's places and cultures.  Tourism is an organized form of the more colloquial notion of traveling.

What is Ecotourism (or Nature Tourism)?

  • Ecotourism or Nature Tourism attracts tourists with an interest in temporarily living in and coming to better understand a specific, novel, relatively natural ecosystem.  Activities whilst living in the new ecosystem often include watching, photographing and studying information about the system.

  • An example of ecotourism is visiting, photographing, and learning about organgatuangs in Borneo.

  • Since the mid-1990's ecotourism has emerged as a human activity distinct from adventure travel.

  • Ecotourism tends to be marketed as a more "politically correct", "environmentally and culturally aware" form of tourism, e.g., "responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and improve the well-being of local people." (more info).

  • Despite their "green image", few ecotourism trips contribute a collective positively to the natural environment (e.g,. how does one replace the energy consumed in transportation to the exotic location?)

Why do it?

  • A growing industry / field

  • Potentially life-changing or at least memorable

  • Develop new skills and knowledge e.g., could be part of career change