Workgroup 3: Ecotourism

Ecotourism in rural areas holds the potential to increase livelihoods and to contribute to more diversified regional economic structures. Nature-based tourism and ecotourism thus play an essential role in sustainable tourism development. The aim of this workgroup is to develop study modules in the field that are oriented at international state-of-the-art theory and case studies, but also take into consideration regional best-practice examples from the South Caucasus. After completing the module, the students should be able to successfully:

  • Define nature-based tourism and ecotourism, and distinguish them from other forms of tourism;
  • Understand the theoretical foundations and history of ecotourism, notably the concept of sustainable development;
  • Describe and provide examples of positive and negative environmental, economic and economic impacts of nature-based tourism;
  • Describe and discuss current issues and trends in ecotourism and nature-based tourism (e.g. community-based tourism, mainstreaming, environmental governance, accreditation; the role of ethics);
  • Apply theoretical knowledge to evaluate ecotourism case studies in a variety of contexts;
  • Apply theories and concepts to management practices (e.g. interpretation, marketing, regional economics);
  • Think critically about tourism in general and nature-based tourism/ecotourism in particular and share opinions with others.