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Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise?
on October 22, 2008
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.