Ecotourism in Bolivia : an ethnographical study of ecotourism impacts in Madidi National Park
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The concepts of ecotourism are widely defined but it is often used as a marketing instrument in order to promote tourism businesses related to nature. Ecotourism experience a fast growth in world tourism industry and many developing countries are trying to use ecotourism as a tool to achieve sustainable development. Ecotourism provides many beneficiaries to local environments, economies and socio-cultural lives. However, ecotourism may as well have harmful effects on those involved. Still, ecotourism conserves and protects local areas and its people. Madidi National Park in Bolivia has been estimated to be one of the world’s most biological diverse areas. Due to this, the park has an abundance of potentials for ecotourism activities. Clarifying what kind of perceptions people have of ecotourism in this park, what they see as positive and negative effects of ecotourism, will provide answers of whether ecotourism can be sustainable. However, ecotourism in Madidi National Park meets many governmental challenges that can jeopardize sustainable development. However, if ecotourism is handled and utilized responsibly by all stakeholders directly and indirectly involved, it is possible to harmonize environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects and achieve real sustainable development. Keywords: ecotourism, Bolivia, Madidi National Park, rainforest, tourism impacts, potentials, challenges, sustainable development, indigenous communities.
Master thesis development management - University of Agder 2016