Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the work in progress by the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) in Ecuador, in collaboration with other national and international entities, to develop a sustainable tourism product in the Amazon region of the Republic of Ecuador. Design/methodology/approach – The paper discusses the main tourism trends in Ecuador over the past decade and then gives quantitative data regarding tourism resources in the six provinces of the Ecuadorian Amazon. This is followed by a discussion of the partnerships, national, and international, enacted by the MINTUR to advance the development of sustainable tourism. The paper ends with an insight into the form of tourism deemed most desirable as a means of creating economic and human welfare benefits as well as environmental sustainability. Findings – The paper is a clear presentation of a country committed to the task of “advantaging” a particular region – the Amazon – through the adoption of policies and the implementation of a strategic plan that aims at optimizing development based on the natural, ecological, and cultural wealth of the region. Practical implications – Tourism planners, entrepreneurs, and operators would derive much benefit from the concepts advanced and strategies explained in this paper. Originality/value – With its discussion of the strong Ecuadorian base in community and ecological tourism this paper offers some fresh perspectives on the planning complexities to be addressed in the development of sustainable tourism as a mechanism for rainforest protection.
Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 13, 2010
Keywords: Ecuador; Tourism; Tourism development; Forests; Sustainable development