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Nature-Based Tourism as Education for Sustainability: Possibilities, Limitations, Contradictions

  • Andrew Brookes (a1)

Abstract

In what sense might nature based tourism be considered education for sustainability? “Educational” confers an implied worthiness which may seem to offset the environmental costs of tourism. Moreover, nature-based tourism may indeed have an important educational role to play. This paper examines the role of “education” in ecotourism discourse, and argues that a predominance in ecotourism of an overly simplified set of educational concepts. These fail to convince that “educational” nature based tourism provides a significant contribution to education for sustainability, and equally fail to establish the necessity for tourism as a means to those educatonal ends which are achieved. The paper concludes with a discussion of some of the considerations which a more serious consideration of nature based tourism as education would have to take into account.

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