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Ecotourism and Sustainable Development, Second Edition: Who Owns Paradise? [Paperback]

Dr. Martha Honey PhD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 4, 2008 1597261262 978-1597261265 Second Edition
Around the world, ecotourism has been hailed as a panacea: a way to fund conservation and scientific research, protect fragile ecosystems, benefit communities, promote development in poor countries, instill environmental awareness and a social conscience in the travel industry, satisfy and educate discriminating tourists, and, some claim, foster world peace. Although “green” travel is being aggressively marketed as a “win-win” solution for the Third World, the environment, the tourist, and the travel industry, the reality is far more complex, as Martha Honey reports in this extraordinarily enlightening book.

Ecotourism and Sustainable Development, originally published in 1998, was among the first books on the subject. For years it has defined the debate on ecotourism: Is it possible for developing nations to benefit economically from tourism while simultaneously helping to preserve pristine environments? This long-awaited second edition provides new answers to this vital question.

Ecotourism and Sustainable Development is the most comprehensive overview of worldwide ecotourism available today, showing how both the concept and the reality have evolved over more than twenty-five years. Here Honey revisits six nations she profiled in the first edition—the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, and South Africa—and adds a fascinating new chapter on the United States. She examines the growth of ecotourism within each country’s tourism strategy, its political system, and its changing economic policies. Her useful case studies highlight the economic and cultural impacts of expanding tourism on indigenous populations as well as on ecosystems.
Honey is not a “travel writer.” She is an award-winning journalist and reporter who lived in East Africa and Central America for nearly twenty years. Since writing the first edition of this book, she has led the International Ecotourism Society and founded a new center to lead the way to responsible ecotourism. Her experience and her expertise resonate throughout this beautifully written and highly informative book.

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Editorial Reviews


"Honey's definition of ecotourism is ambitious."

"Highly acclaimed as the most comprehensive study of both the theory and practice of ecotourism...The new edition...marks a major rewrite of the original book."
(Responsible Travel and Tourism)

About the Author

Martha Honey is codirector of the Center on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development and editor of Ecotourism and Certification: Setting Standards in Practice (Island Press, 2002). Previously she worked as a freelance journalist in Latin America and Africa for The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Associated Press, ABC-TV, and the BBC. She has received numerous awards for her investigative journalism.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; Second Edition edition (August 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597261262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597261265
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward for this updated edition, since the previous one was published in 1999, when ecotourism was still in its infancy, and full of controversies and paradoxes. Undoubtedly this updated edition will continue to be a textbook in ecotourism courses and a key reference for scholars and practitioners, as well as of interest for travelers with a genuine interest in ecotourism by its purist definition. This second edition recounts how ecotourism went from childhood to adulthood, and unfortunately, the contradictions and paradoxes still remain.

In this edition Mrs. Honey revisits six of the seven countries profiled in the first one, the chapter on Cuba was deleted. As explained by the author, Cuba has followed a more classic Caribbean-style resort tourism rather than ecotourism, and in substitution, a new chapter on ecotourism in the US was included. Part 1 of the book presents a comprehensive overview of both the international tourism industry today, and ecotourism in particular, including new materials on certification programs and the role and support of multilateral aid institutions, such as the World Bank, IDB and USAID. Also this edition presents the latest developments regarding traveler's philanthropy and voluntarism, as part of a new trend regarding corporate social responsibility initiatives within the tourism industry led by ecotourism companies.

After going through the evidence presented in the country cases, and the excellent discussion regarding the paradoxes of ecotourism presented in the book
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Since it was first published nine years ago, Martha Honey's Ecotourism and Sustainable Development has become an indispensible resource for students, researchers, and professionals working in conservation and sustainable development. Now, an updated version has just come out, similar to its predecessor, but 100 pages longer.

With many years of experience as an investigative journalist, Honey knows how to hunt down and interrogate a wide range of sources, ask difficult questions, formulate independent opinions, and provide cogent critiques. None of this has changed in the new edition. What has changed is her conviction that ecotourism, while not a panacea, can indeed support conservation of nature and culture, social and economic development, and equitable democratic societies.

Following the same format as earlier, she begins with a comprehensive definition of ecotourism; a critical description of all the players in the tourism industry - especially those engaged in ecotourism; and an examination of the many issues and challenges facing the industry today. Most interesting and valuable, both for readers of the first edition and those new to the field, are the discussions of recently emerging ecotourism concepts, tools and issues.

The second part of the book offers case studies of seven countries (or smaller destinations), each with fascinating examples of how the government, private tour operators, national parks, communities, indigenous and/or marginalized peoples and international entities interact in the name of ecotourism. Probably most interesting for many North American readers, is addition of a chapter on ecotourism in the United States.

As its predecessor, Honey's book is highly engaging and full of provocative questions and challenges. As answers are found, the fields of ecotourism and sustainable development, as well as people, habitats and cultures around the world, are sure to benefit.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book for understanding ecotourism October 21, 2008
Ecotourism has been promoted as a mechanism to solve the world's environmental problems and social issues. It is marketed as a salve for the bruised consciences of carbon-spewing but sensitive travelers. But, at times, the label is used by lodges, tours and companies that are camouflaging their tourism-as-usual approach.

Martha Honey, a former investigative reporter who lived for 20 years in developing countries, researched the realities of ecotourism and wrote the definitive book on the topic. Originally released in 1999 by Island Press, Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? provided readers with a clear understanding of what ecotourism can contribute to conservation, communities and economies. In addition, the book was also a guide to enticing lodges and fascinating places that a conscientious global citizen might want to visit and support.

The second edition of Honey's book has just been released by Island Press and will be a welcome addition to the library of any thoughtful traveler. Part history and part guidebook like the first edition, this new version covers the major changes in the travel industry as ecotourism has become part of the mainstream vernacular. Honey's fine writing covers the evolution and definition of ecotourism in an accessible fashion in addition to giving up-to-the-minute information about selected destinations in seven locales around the world.

This is a must-read book for anyone interested in the intersection between tourism, conservation, social justice and sustainable economies.

Sandra Tassel
Look at the Land Inc
Conservation Consultants
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