Ecotourism in Amazonian Peru: Uniting tourism, conservation and community development
Hill, J. and Hill, R. (2011) Ecotourism in Amazonian Peru: Uniting tourism, conservation and community development. Geography, 96 (2). pp. 75-85. ISSN 0016-7487
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With reference to two ecotourism enterprises that operate within Tambopata, Peru, this paper evaluates key principles necessary to enable the successful achievement of ecotourism in a little-developed tropical forest region. In so doing, it highlights the intricacies of the relationship between ecotourism, environmental conservation and local community development. Principles are identified as i) empowering communities by integrating them in an ecotourism venture; ii) exchanging knowledge between a community and tour operator; iii) managing forest resources jointly between a community and tour operator; iv) minimising local economic leakage; v) educating tourists through interpretive programmes; and vi) minimising environmental and wildlife disturbance. The research offers cautious optimism that the tourism enterprises are consciously helping to protect the rainforest of Tambopata, while meeting the socio-economic needs of the local communities.
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