Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Improving Quality of Ecotourism through Advancing Education and Training for Eco-tourism Guides

Skanavis, Constantina and Giannoulis, Christos (2009): Improving Quality of Ecotourism through Advancing Education and Training for Eco-tourism Guides. Published in: TOURISMOS: An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism , Vol. 5, No. 2 (15. October 2010): pp. 49-68.

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Abstract

Environmental interpretation in Greece is in its infancy as an academic field. There are no nature guides or specific conservation objectives, and there is no professional training for non formal environmental educators and/or interpreters. The a of this paper is to reveal the necessity of integrating environmental interpretation in training of Greek Ecotour guides.The focus is on developing abilities which could enable Greek Ecotour guides to communicate and interpret the significance of the environment, promote minimal impact practices, ensure the sustainability of the natural and cultural environment, and motivate visiting tourists to evaluate the quality of life in relation to larger ecological or cultural concerns. The rationale underpinning this objective is that by providing accurate and effective interpretation of ecotourism sites as well as monitoring and modelling environmental responsible behaviour, the outcome will be to promote positive impacts of tourism and alleviate negative ones Local community will be encouraged to participate in environmental management of ecotourism settings. Furthermore, connecting ecotourism commitment to returning benefits, particularly economic and employment ones to local communities, it stresses that training local people to be interpretive guides, helps achieving not only ecological sustainability but also economic sustainability. Once trained, guides may encourage conservation action amongst both tourists and the local community.

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