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close this bookEcotourism and other Services Derived from Forests in the Asia- Pacific Region: Outlook to 2010. (FAO - Forestry, 1997)
close this folder3. ECOTOURISM
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View the document3.1 Ecotourism, Definitions, Concepts and Visitor Types
View the document3.2 Actors in the Ecotourism “System”
Open this folder and view contents3.3 Overview of Tourism and Ecotourism in the Asia-Pacific Region
Open this folder and view contents3.4 The Dimensions of Ecotourism
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3.2 Actors in the Ecotourism “System”

Ecotourism often involves numerous actors, including:

· Visitors;

· Natural areas and their managers, including both public and private areas;

· Communities;

· Businesses, including various combinations of local businesses, in-bound operators, outbound operators, hotel and other accommodation providers, restaurants and other food providers, and so on;

· Government, in addition to its role as a natural area manager; and

· Non-governmental organizations, such as environmental and rural development NGOs.

The relevant actors will vary across sites. For example, local communities may be present at some sites, but not others. Likewise, businesses may play a large role at some sites, but little or no role at others.

A common phenomenon is that ecotourism can generate both symbiosis and conflict between the actors. The potential for ecotourism to result in symbiosis between conservation (e.g., natural areas) and development (e.g., businesses) has been widely touted, but the potential for conflict should not be ignored. For example, natural area managers and ecotourism businesses have a shared interest in conserving the natural environment. However, there often is conflict regarding the point at which tourism activity jeopardizes this conservation.