A Critical Evaluation of Ecotourism

A Critical Evaluation of Ecotourism 

In: Ecotourism in Forest Ecosystems: Workshop & Todeg in its tenth year.  2010,  Ankara: Todeg, s. 66-81.

This presentation examines the reality and prevailing explanations of ecotourism as ideological discourse helping to legitimize, sustain and expand the industrial activities by means of creation and forging descriptive concepts purposefully tied with practices called ecotourism. Doing so, this presentation clarifies the rationale underlying the increased need for mind and behavior management, explains the reinterpretation of economy via the concept of environment, explicates the inclusion of tourism in development as sustainable tourism and expanding it to the ecotourism, and discusses dominant explanations and real facts of ecotourism. The presentation concludes that the dominant discourses on ecotourism provide a mythical way of understanding, thus, fail to explain scientifically the nature of the host of interrelated activities called ecotourism. Aspiring to establish, sustain and expand mental environments that are functional for the tourism and related industries, they present theoretical descriptions as facts, make functional exceptions rule, and offer strategically prescriptive and normative ethics and principles that are mostly unattainable, but functional in marketing, promotion and mind management. They ignore the fact that the dominant notion of ecotourism is deeply embedded in the logics of ideological normalization of corporate activities, commodity production and circulation and global governance of the economic, political and cultural markets.

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