Ecotourism is becoming increasingly significant, and its economic potential has received increased recognition. Globally coastal regions have become the number one tourist destinations while island tourism continues to increase as illustrated during Semester At Sea. This course is about ecotourism and key issues involved in ensuring the sustainable development of ecotourism destinations around the world as experienced on Semester At Sea. An overview of the concept of ecotourism and its role in sustainable development from an environmental, cultural, and economic context is the focus conceptually and applied with hands on experience during your field excursion. Principles of ecotourism as a form of sustainable tourism will be explored and debated in different international contexts to develop an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of ecotourism as a sustainable development approach. The motives and behaviors of tourists, natural resources as attractions and destinations, social and resource responsibility and establishing policies and principles for sustainability will be discussed. To meet these goals, students will synthesize current global issues of ecotourism from field experiences to international settings on Semester At Sea to gain a global understanding of issues and suitable approaches to mediate overtourism and adaptation to a post pandemic world.
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