Canadian Forest Service Publications

Ecotourism: understanding competing expert and academic definitions. 2001. Rahemtulla, Y.G.; Wellstead, A.M. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-380.

Year: 2001

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 18729

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Mark record


Ecotourism has become an attractive tourism-related activity for communities and conservationists across Canada. It provides an alternative source of income for communities, thereby diversifying their economies. It appeals to conservationists because it entails fewer cultural and environmental disruptions than other forms of tourism (such as adventure tourism, mass tourism, and nature tourism). Despite the increased focus on ecotourism, there is considerable debate about its definition. In this report we present and explore the competing definitions of this term, and introduce a working definition of ecotourism. We then examine ecotourism as a product and market segment and review the ecotourism market and profile. Finally, we examine applications and practices of ecotourism, with an emphasis on Canadian ecotourism studies.