La natura tra parentesi: parte prima: la sfida ecoturistica

Translated title of the contribution: Nature in brackets: part one: The challenge of ecotourism

Claudio Minca, Marco Linda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Considering the fact that ecotourism constitutes one of the most rapidly growing segments of the tourism market, the authors present some thoughts on the evolution of this concept.
The modern conception of man in opposition to nature and his dominion over it has its roots in Cartesian thought and in the dominant religions. It has been shaken in recent years by the environmental crisis beginning in the 1970's that has characterized the economy and society the world over. The concept of sustainable economic development thus developed, along with its derivative, sustainable tourism development, until finally the concept of ecotourism was developed.
Sustainable tourism has been given a multiplicity of definitions but substantially it can be defined as development which is at the same time efficient and compatible with safeguarding natural resources and the culture of the local populations.
The term "ecotourism" is also used, in the context of the tourist market, in reference to the sort of vacation centered on the observation of nature. It is also often referred to as alternative tourism, in contrast with the kind of mass tourism that ignores these issues.
In fact, an increasing demand on the part of a specific segment in rapid expansion has begun to impose itself on the tourism market, but the environmental component is an increasing presence that also distinguishes so-called traditional forms of tourism, as a special feature which is often the decisive factor in the choice of products. Consequently the catalogues of tour operators tend more and more frequently to distinguish the offers with this characteristic by the use of specific symbols.
The article emphasizes the historical evolution that has come about, taking into account the authors who have treated this problem at an international level, proposing some interesting outlines of the passage from the idea of soft tourism to that of alternative tourism, then to sustainable tourism and finally arriving at sustainable ecotourism.
Translated title of the contributionNature in brackets: part one: The challenge of ecotourism
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)33-50
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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