Books

Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? 2nd ed. (Island Press, 2008)

Via Island Press: Around the world, ecotourism has been hailed as a panacea: a way to fund conservation and scientific research, protect fragile ecosystems, benefit communities, promote development in poor countries, instill environmental awareness and a social conscience in the travel industry, satisfy and educate discriminating tourists, and, some claim, foster world peace. Although "green" travel is being aggressively marketed as a "win-win" solution for the Third World, the environment, the tourist, and the travel industry, the reality is far more complex, as Martha Honey reports in this extraordinarily enlightening book.

Ecotourism and Sustainable Development, originally published in 1998, was among the first books on the subject. For years it has defined the debate on ecotourism: Is it possible for developing nations to benefit economically from tourism while simultaneously helping to preserve pristine environments? This long-awaited second edition provides new answers to this vital question.

Ecotourism and Sustainable Development is the most comprehensive overview of worldwide ecotourism available today, showing how both the concept and the reality have evolved over more than twenty-five years. Here Honey revisits six nations she profiled in the first edition—the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, and South Africa—and adds a fascinating new chapter on the United States. She examines the growth of ecotourism within each country’s tourism strategy, its political system, and its changing economic policies. Her useful case studies highlight the economic and cultural impacts of expanding tourism on indigenous populations as well as on ecosystems.

Honey is not a "travel writer." She is an award-winning journalist and reporter who lived in East Africa and Central America for nearly twenty years. Since writing the first edition of this book, she has led the International Ecotourism Society and founded a new center to lead the way to responsible ecotourism. Her experience and her expertise resonate throughout this beautifully written and highly informative book.

Ecotourism & Certification: Setting Standards in Practice (Island Press, 2002)

Via Island Press: The idea of "ecotourism" has taken off in recent years, but a crucial detail is often neglected: how do we know that an enterprise truly meets the goals and standards of ecotourism? Certification—the rating of lodges, resorts, tour operators, and other sectors of the tourism industry by independent auditors who verify environmental and social impacts—has emerged as the most promising answer. Ecotourism and Certification offers a valuable overview of ecotourism certification and lays out the basic challenges and strategies for establishing certification programs.

Edited by Dr. Martha Honey, the book begins by establishing baseline information on the tourism industry, situating ecotourism within the larger tourism industry, and tracing the history of certification. The second chapter explores the concepts underlying certification followed by a chapter that examines certification as a tool in other industries such as forestry and coffee production. The remainder of the book highlights case studies of the most promising certification schemes around the world. Written by experts who have been closely involved with the projects described, case studies include:

  • the NEAP Program in Australia
  • Costa Rica's government-financed Sustainable Tourism Certification (CST) program and other programs in Central America
  • more than 50 eco-labeling and certification programs for accommodations in Europe
  • programs to certify beaches and national parks
  • efforts in South Africa and Kenya to establish certification programs

Ecotourism is a promising approach to protecting threatened environments and communities around the world and certification is a key to making it effective. This is the first book to take a global look at the emergence and application of certification, and it speaks largely through the voices of those directly involved with the industry and in the countries where is has been applied. It will be an important contribution for ecotourism and development professionals worldwide.

Ecotourism and Conservation in the Americas (CABI, 2008)

Edited by CREST Co-Founder and past Co-Director Dr. William Durham of Stanford University and Dr. Amanda Stronza of Texas A&M University, Ecotourism and Conservation in the Americas uses detailed case studies and regional overviews to present the views and experiences of scholars, practitioners, tour operators, and policy makers involved in ecotourism programs in the U.S. and Latin America. The pros and cons of ecotourism for communities and ecosystems are explored, with particular attention paid to the ability of ecotourism to support sustainable development and conservation. The synthesis is inter-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and multi-scale and presents ecotourism as it is currently being practiced.