Ecotourism

Tableof Contents

Abstract 3

Introduction 4

The Market 8

Greenwashing ecotourism 9

Evolution of Greenwashing 12

Possible Solutions 15

Industry Certification Systems 16

Tourist Education Efforts 18

Lawsuits 18

Verifiable Reporting 19

References 21

Abstract

Thispaper addresses the growing significance of ecotourism in addressingenvironmental challenges such as global warming. However, theprevalence of greenwashing in the ecotourism industry threatens tocloud the achievements made so far. This research paper explains howecotourism has grown in prominence over the past three decades.However, the presence of greenwashing in the sector has forcedstakeholders to reconsider the definition of ecotourism. The paperdiscusses the fundamental characteristics of ecotourism as well asfactors that have been ignored by ecotourism operators. Theintroduction provides a clear definition of the problem to beaddressed by the paper. Additionally, the paper deconstructs thesignificant milestones in ecotourism to what we have today. Ithighlights the prospects of the ecotourism market as well as thefactors that have contributed to the current market dynamics. Inaddressing the problem of greenwashing, the paper discusses thefactors that contribute to the menace, as well as the different formsof greenwashing. Finally, this paper suggests practical solutionsthat can help address the problem of greenwashing. The proposedsolutions are designed with the aim of preserving the initial goalsof ecotourism by locking out shrewd operators and organizations.

Introduction

is the fastest growing niche market within the larger tourism andtravel industry. Environmental concerns such as global warming havebecome important national and global issues. In 2010, touristdestinations across the globe registered about 1 billion arrivals. Asignificant proportion of these arrivals were in the ecotourism niche(Altmann&amp Aleksanyan, 2016). is a subcomponent in the field of sustainable tourism. Itis an alternative to conventional tourism the difference is thatecotourism focusses on studying and appreciating nature. Touristslearn about nature and carry out activities that are environmentalfriendly. is based on nature i.e. the fauna, landscape andflora in their habitats.

operates differently from other segments because it drives towardsthe achievement of certain results. It is an educational platform forvisitors and locals as well as providing a source of revenue forlocal communities (Holub,2016).However, there are concerns about the likelihood of greenwashing inthe ecotourism industry. Greenwashing is the act of disseminatingfalse information to have a positive public image as beingenvironmentally friendly. Organizations are the main perpetrators ofthis form of disinformation. In critical tourism, Greenwashing refersto the acts of public and private organizations that want to appearas environmentally responsible but lack any substantial investmentsor intentions to stand by the image they portray (Boyd,2012).

Inmost cases, organizations that pursue greenwashing disregardenvironmental protection in the host communities through pollutionand use of unclean energy. In ecotourism, greenwashing appears inmany from such as product misrepresentation, false experiments andhiding unsustainable industrial products (Brickley,2013).While tourists seek to promote community empowerment, environmentalprotection and sustainable use of resources, organizations takeadvantage of their ignorance to advance greenwashing techniques. Thisleads to misrepresentation on what is defined as ecotourism. In manycases, tourists around the world are skeptical and confused about thetruth surrounding certain ecotourism promotions and sites. Therefore,there is a need to develop strategies that will tackle thegreenwashing menace in ecotourism.

Deconstructing

Traveland tourism are among the fastest growing industries in the world andmajor sources of revenue for the developed and developing countries. In 2010, tourist destinations across the globe registered about 1billion arrivals. A good percentage of these arrivals were inecotourism destinations (Buckley,2015). is a subcomponent in the field of sustainable tourism. Proponents of ecotourism perceive the subcomponent as an effectivetool for enhancing sustainable development. It is popular indeveloped countries because of the associated benefits. Countries arenow including ecotourism in their environmental conservation anddevelopment strategies (Chen&amp Chang, 2013).

provides an alternative to conventional tourism the difference isthat ecotourism focusses on studying and appreciating nature.Tourists learn about nature and carry out activities that areenvironmental friendly. It is based on nature, fauna, landscape andflora in their habitats. To realize the complex symbioticrelationship between tourist activities and the environment,countries must translate this philosophy into appropriate policy(Dowling,2013).Therefore, ecotourism requires careful planning as well asimplementing a tactful practicum. , especially when it isvillage-based, requires careful planning to involve the participationof locals to ensure the benefits trickle down to the communities.When ecotourism provides direct benefits to local communities, it mayhelp offset pressure from activities that are less sustainable, thatis activities that deplete cultural and natural resources (Fennell,2014).

provides a direct and practical solution towards the preservation ofnature. When communities derive direct benefits from the naturalenvironment, they are motivated to conserve it as their source oflivelihoods. For example, when communities occupy indigenous foreststhat also serve as tourist attractions, they will be reluctant to cutdown trees for firewood, charcoal and other uses such as putting uphouses (Spenceley&amp Bien, 2013).The arrangement is sustainable across generations since it does notlead to the depletion of resources. Therefore, revenue fromecotourism is unending since resources are preserved for futuregenerations. provides an economic explanation on theimportance of preserving nature. It is difficult to justify theconservation of anything without showing the benefits of thisalternative not only to the environment but also to the economicconditions of local communities (Smith&amp Font, 2014).

Anotherobjective of ecotourism is to preserve the cultures of communities.Communities in Asia and Africa are known to have rich and diversecultures. However, the rapid urbanization in Asia and Africathreatens the preservation of their cultural heritage (McGahey,2012).One reason for the dilution of cultural values is that individuals donot see the economic benefits of preserving their culture. However,ecotourism educates communities to derive economic value from theircultural activities such as dance, folk songs, food, and hunting.Moreover, ecotourism enables governments to formulate culturalconservation roadmaps by deploying government resources. Culturalpreservation enables the conservation of rural lifestyles, which areimportant parts of human history (Holub,2016).

encourages communities to be more sustainable through theconservation of resources. By maintaining the biological diversity ofthe environment, travelers can enjoy rare ecological experiences andgain economic benefit. However, for communities and countries toexperience ecological tourism, the proposed conservation strategiesmust be ecologically and environmentally sustainable (Hall,2015).Moreover, the strategies must be economically applicable managingthe ecotourism activities must be self-sustaining to ensure long-termcontinuity. If ecotourism sites require constant community andgovernment funding, then it may not be sustainable in the end,especially in areas that have financial challenges (Fennell,2014).

Justlike in mainstream tourism, ecotourism provides employmentopportunism for small and medium tourist enterprises. Sinceecotourism stresses local ownership and participation, individualsand groups own the majority of these enterprises from the localcommunities. expands the scope of opportunities present inthe tourist sector (Hall,2015).In Sub-Saharan Africa, many countries have high rates of youthunemployment. provides a great opportunity for youngindividuals to be employed as tour guides, drivers, hotel employeesand administrators on tourist companies. provides learningopportunities for locals who interact with visitors from differentsocial and economic backgrounds (Holub,2016).Countries that have succeeded in implementing ecotourism have beenkeen to address social, economic and environmental implications ofecotourism. The planning and construction of ecotourisminfrastructure should ensure the achievement of the sustainabilitygoal.

Insummary, ecotourism must have the following characteristics:

  1. The activities must have a low impact on the natural resources on the protected area. Moreover, ecotourism should have minimum disruption on the social setting of host communities.

  2. It must involve stakeholders including communities, tourists, individuals, business operators and government agencies. All these parties should be involved in the planning, implementation, and monitoring phases.

  3. activities should either limit visitation frequencies to areas by limiting the number of groups taken to an area in a season or limit the number of people in a group allowed in an area.

  4. advances resources towards the preservation of the natural environment and the cultural heritage of communities.

  5. adopts an environmental education concept. In this concept, both the visitors and local communities should learn about environmental protection through the ecotourism activities.

The Market

is the fastest growing niche market within the larger tourism andtravel industry. has the potential of spearheadingsustainable development in the future. Environmental concerns such asglobal warming have become important national and global issues.Countries are now more committed than environment through thesustainable use of resources and adoption of clean sources of energy(Boyd,2012). realizes billions of dollars in revenue each year, and theearnings continue to grow at higher rates than any other subcomponentof the travel industry.

Themarket trends portray a positive outlook for the ecotourismsub-industry. operates differently from other segments oftourism because it drives towards the achievement of certain results.It is an educational platform for visitors and locals as well as asource of revenue for local communities. The world population isbecoming increasingly sensitive to the reality of climatic change andis, therefore, more willing to spend money on conservation-relatedactivities than in any other travel activity (Boyd,2012).

Additionally,the ecotourism sectors in developing and developed countries arereceiving increasing revenue allocations from the nationalgovernments. This trend shows the immense potential that the areaholds with the investments in the sector. Market research indicatesthat eco-tourists are particularly interested in pristine areas andwilderness settings. Over the last ten years, travel experiences infragile cultural and natural areas have provided low-impact andsmall-scale ecotourism solutions. These contributions have shiftedthe ground for ecotourism, which is becoming more acceptable andpopular among travelers.

Thenumber of parties that champion the implementation of ecotourismfurther boosts the impressive growth in the sub-sector. Unlikeconventional tourism, which relies on private party contributions,ecotourism includes communities, individuals, governments andnon-governmental organizations in their implementation. Activitiessuch as beach tourism, rural tourism have become very popularglobally. Beach tourism is popular in coastal Kenya, Seychelles, andItaly (Hall,2015).Additionally, Europe has witnessed growth in business tourism wherecorporates organize business trips with an environmental preservationaim. is particularly popular in Ireland, Italy, the US andparts of Africa. The market dynamics indicate a positive outlook forecotourism and an increasing uptake among communities and travelers.

Greenwashingecotourism

Greenwashingis the act of disseminating false information to have a positivepublic image as being environmentally friendly. Organizations are themain perpetrators of this form of disinformation. In criticaltourism, Greenwashing perpetrators refers to public and privateorganizations that want to appear as environmentally responsible butlack any substantial investments or intentions to stand by the imagethey portray (Dowling,2013).In most cases, these organizations disregard environmental protectionin the host communities through pollution and use of unclean energy.

Inecotourism, greenwashing appears in many forms such as productmisrepresentation, false experiments and hiding unsustainableindustrial products. Moreover, greenwashing may involve hiding socialinequalities in host communities where organizations provide poorworking conditions regarding remuneration. Greenwashing follows awell-orchestrated corporate path that aims at exploiting resourceswith the excuse of spurring economic development. Organizationsdisguise their unsustainable use of resources and work hard to winthe support of communities and corrupt state authorities.

Whiletourists seek to promote community empowerment, environmentalprotection and sustainable use of resources, organizations takeadvantage of their ignorance to advance greenwashing techniques. Thisleads to misrepresentation on what is defined as ecotourism. In manycases, tourists around the world are left skeptical and confusedabout the truth surrounding certain ecotourism promotions and sites(Altmann&amp Aleksanyan, 2016).The good intentions of tourists are covered in mud by the badintentions of the greenwashing organizations. In the end,Eco-tourists end up promoting the greenwashing in ecotourism byproviding business to organizations that pretend to care about theenvironment. In the Western world, many people are passionate aboutenvironmental protection and community empowerment.

Whencorrupt organizations set up business in impoverished communities, itis easy for them to win the hearts of concerned tourists. Researchshows that the majority of companies and individuals who champion forecotourism are only doing lip service. There is a great need todevelop global ecotourism accreditation. However, the diversecultural differences across the globe present challenges indeveloping globally accepted accreditation policies. Moreover,develop global accreditation policies may lead to the monopolizationof the ecotourism markets, hence pushing out small community-basedtourism operators. Tourists who are passionate about ecotourismshould make sure they have the right information regardinggreenwashed tourism sites (Hall,2015).

Governmentshave a significant role to play in securing the integrity of theecotourism industry. It is not necessary for a company to be fullygreen for it to be seen as friendly to the environment. Rather, thecompany must demonstrate a continuous commitment to upholdenvironmental protection with the aim of achieving sustainableexistence in the near future (McGahey,2012).Companies that take visitors to mountaintops via helicopters donothing close to ecotourism. Moreover, they do not provide anylearning opportunities for either the locals or tourists. They resultin more air pollution because of carbon fuels. It is, therefore,paramount that ecotourism maintains a strict definition. Everyactivity must be within the confines of the definition andcharacteristic of ecotourism (McGahey,2012).

Manyorganizations and ecotourism participants such as lodges have nowritten policy regarding their relations with the local community andthe environment. This shows a lack commitment in promotingenvironmental protection. Moreover, they cannot describe how theymeasure their contributions towards achieving the fundamental aspectsof ecotourism such as empowering the local people and preserving thelocal environment (McGahey,2012).Rather, greenwashing organizations employ subjective commentaries toportray a false picture regarding their desire for environmentalprotection. Finally, these organizations do not have a standardizedcurriculum for educating the locals and visitors on the importance ofenvironmental protection. Therefore, all these concerns present anugly picture about the problem of greenwashing in the ecotourismIndustry. Greenwashing limits the achievements that can be realizedthrough ecotourism as well as erodes the goals of empowering localcommunities to preserve the environment and their culture (Dowling,2013).

Evolutionof Greenwashing

The mid-twentieth century saw the emergence of the environmentalmovement. This movement persuaded companies to create a green imagethrough their advertising campaigns. The first Earth day wascommemorated in the 1970s, a move that prompted many companies topublicize themselves as environmental friendly entities. Since then,the eco-hype has grown increasingly with every organization trying torepresent itself as an eco-friendly brand to attract customers whohave embraced eco-friendliness. In a survey conducted in 2007, by theTravel Industry Association, the popularity of ecofriendly travelgrew in popularity with approximately 80 percent of Americansconsidering themselves as environmental conscious (Smith&amp Font, 2014).The survey also established that more than 75 percent of Americansfeel that it is good to care for the environment while traveling orvisiting places and that they would pay more to use a travel companythat is committed to the protection and conservation of theenvironment(Smith&amp Font, 2014).

Greentravel has become a popular topic that has shifted from a trend to akey element of the ordinary consumer and corporate culture. Thisincrease in environmental friendly travel has cast worries in someorganizations as to the meaning of ‘ecotourism.` Theseorganizations fear the notion that the meaning of the word&quotecotourism&quot is being washed away and that the word is onlyused as a marketing tool to capture the growing number ofenvironmental friendly consumers (Boyd,2012).The lack of regulation and labeling in the usage of the term ‘eco`and its relation to tourism, makes it seem that any company offeringgreat outdoor experiences can use the term to advertise its services.

Thetourism industry has attempted to address certification concernsregarding the usage of the term ‘eco` in company advertisements.Numerous certified labeling programs use the term ‘eco` withcertain standards and criteria. To attain industry accord, the MohonkAgreement was drafted almost fifteen years ago to provide criteriafor certification to boost sustainable tourism and ecotourism. Theagreement supports the criteria that focus on personal experiences ofnature, interpretation and environmental awareness of nature,constructive contributions to the conservation of the natural area,benefits of tourism to local communities, fostering communityinvolvement and minimal effects on the local culture.

Nonetheless,the criteria for international standards defined by this agreementare not compulsory. This leaves the industry exposed to greenwashing.Greenwashing is a characteristic of insincere tourism operators whoembrace ecotourism as a new selling point. Business entities at thecenter of greenwashing promote ecotourism while doing the opposite oftheir eco-environment campaigns (Boyd,2012).Today, a greater proportion of eco-tours are ordinary operations thatoffer regular services, but greenwash their culture by using thetourism label, while in reality, they do little to justify thecommitment to environmental conservation. These entities sell theappearance of ecotourism devoid the element of sustainability. Inreality, ecotourism is nature-based, learning-oriented, andenvironmentally and socio-culturally responsible. isgrowing rapidly, especially in developing countries, which have weakregulatory mechanisms. This necessitates the enactment orintroduction and implementation of stronger principles to help reducegreenwashing in the tourism sector.

Theecotourism paradigm

Themodern tourism industry has been labeled as eco-friendly, a claimthat contradicts the true state of affairs. This because there existsa very clear line between ecotourism and greenwashing. Whileecotourism seeks to promote travel to peaceful natural habitats toexperience the cultural and biological characteristics, greenwashingattempts to trick travelers into purchasing travel packages for tourfirms purported to be environmental conscious. The fundamental goalof ecotourism is to facilitate preservation of the environmentthrough tourism that does not cause any harmful effects to thesurroundings. The broader sustainable development definition ofecotourism focuses on promoting responsible travel to naturalexpanses that protects the environment and sustains the welfare ofthe local communities.

Thereis little attention paid to ecotourism by the political and scholarlysocieties. For this reason, there exists a considerable gap betweenthe theoretical representation of ecotourism and the practical aspectof it. Again, there is a growing perception that ecotourism is morelike a marketing tool to attract more customers given its widespreadby travel firms and their websites (Rahman,Park &amp Chi, 2015).It is used a marketing cliché to induce potential customers intopurchasing travel packages or tickets because the firms in questionhave implemented their ‘share’ of preserving the environment.

Therehas been an increasing shift in ways through which tourists searchinformation about travel destination and travel agents. The internethas revolutionized the tourism industry in that everything takesplace online, from destination choice, travel and accommodationreservations. Most individuals prefer a simple click to book a trip.This has resulted in a rising popularity of price comparison sitesand travel-related such engines. This has put pressure on the travelagents` efforts to design new ways to offer the best deals tocustomers. In a study conducted by Forrester Research, approximately80% of Americans take a leisure trip annually and 57 percent of themresearch and book their travel online (ALTMANN&amp ALEKSANYAN, 2016).This trend is not limited to young travelers, but it is also commonamong older travelers such as adults over 55 years of age (ALTMANN&amp ALEKSANYAN, 2016).

Tourismstudies reveal that online marketing acts as the most promisingavenue to reach potential customers who embrace the values ofenvironmental preservation. The increasing availability of onlinetravel information has influenced people’s thinking and behaviorconcerning their travel priorities. In a survey conducted in 2011, 40percent of Britons admitted to having been influenced by the internetas far as their travel options are concerned (ALTMANN&amp ALEKSANYAN, 2016).Among the ways through which the internet has affected people`sbehavior regarding travel, include places of visit, the intention oftravelling, and frequency of travelling among others. Furthermore,most customers are using the internet to find eco-records beforedeciding on their travel choices.

Tourismcauses an undeniable degree of environmental degradation despite itsmagnitude. This results in a sophisticated problem in that thepreservation of tourist attraction sites and forests demandsresources, most of which are scarce. faces anever-difficult task of assessing the balance between the degradationcaused by tourists and the ongoing preservation of the ecosystem forfuture generations.

PossibleSolutions

Therehas been a boom in the hype of ‘eco’ vacations today. has gone from nothing to a boom in business with travel agentscashing big from their customers. The World Tourism Organizationestimates that ecotourism takes between 2-4 percent of the globaltourism market. The United Nations reflects this fact in the namingof 2002 as the International Year of (Smith&amp Font, 2014).Like any other expansion, the ecotourism industry has been forced todeal with a myriad of emerging issues. The most conspicuous amongthem being the widespread utilization of the ‘ecotourism’ labelby virtually all travel agencies. The real eco-tourism experiencesare being greenwashed by insincere, feel-good pretense andinsignificant cost-saving adjustments that do not transformecotourism into a tool that preserves the environment, supports thelocal communities and educates the tourists.

Thepurpose of these efforts, however, is to draw tourists who are readyto pay a premium for what they see as an environmental-friendlyexperience. In response to the growing wave of greenwashing inecotourism, several actions can be taken to reduce this menace. Amongthem are the establishment of an industry certification system,increasing efforts geared towards educating tourists, initiatinglawsuits and enhancing verifiable mechanisms of reporting.

IndustryCertification Systems

Theinitiative to create an industry certification system aims atimposing regulations on the products on offer to ensure that onlyoperations that fulfill the necessary eco-criteria can use the‘ecotourism` label. Certification in the ecotourism industry canprovide a way through which the consumers can identify the ‘real`product on offer without going through great lengths of research bythemselves. The need for certification in the industry has triggereda raging debate regarding the creation of separate systems (Spenceley&amp Bien, 2013).This is where the good-willed network of certification becomesintertwined. This is because there are multiple certificationagencies in different countries that use different criteria. Besides,the agencies in these countries operate under different definitionsof ecotourism, which casts consumers and operators into a state ofmix-up.

Toensure the effectiveness of any certification scheme, it shouldamount to more than a mere advertising logo that is allowed uponregistration with a credited certifying agency. The major benefits ofcertification occur in the detailed evaluation of all aspects of anoperation and consequent upgrading or modification of servicesconsidered sub-standard. One example of a certifying system is theNature and Accreditation Program (NEAP) of the Association of Australia (Brickley,2013).This program is designed to provide assurance to consumers, and otherstakeholders in the tourism industry that the certified product issupported by a commitment to superior environmental managementpractices and the provision of standard services. NEAP is designedfor the Australian tourism sector only. It provides three strictlevels of accreditation namely nature tourism, ecotourism, andadvanced ecotourism.

Thisprogram proposes several principles allied to ecotourism that can beapplied in any country. These includes:

  • should promote personal experience with nature in ways that improve tourists’ understanding and appreciation.

  • It should be a representation of ideal practices to foster eco-sustainable tourism.

  • It should contribute to the conservation of natural areas in positive ways.

  • should contribute to the local communities through constructive ways.

  • It should be thoughtful and promote appreciation of local cultures, especially aboriginal cultures.

  • should endeavor to meet the needs and expectations of the customers in a consistent manner, and use the right means to market the product to result in realistic outcomes (Brickley, 2013).

The process of certification should move beyond the issuance of acertificate of accreditation to thorough assessment to direct thefocus of the operators towards the most significant aspects of thetourism experience. They should offer training for the most importantaspects of the promotion of ideal ecotourism practices. The potentialareas of emphasis include ecotourism impacts to local communities,conservative interventions, water management practices, and visualmanagement among others (Spenceley&amp Bien, 2013).Moreover, any accreditation program should be accessible with anannual renewal fee to sustain the membership.

TouristEducation Efforts

Increasingefforts aimed at educating tourists can be a huge initiative towardsthe improvement of greenwashing in ecotourism. For instance, theInternational Society (TIES) offers an educationalinitiative. This initiative aims at addressing greenwashing in theecotourism sector by increasing consumer awareness (Hall,2015).Such initiatives should provide resources that provide an overview ofapproved or ethical ecotourism practices for consumers to study. Thefundamental objective of the education initiative should be topromote mindfulness, personal fulfillment, and enlightenment intravel. This is because ecotourism is a global tourism whoseprinciples promote mindfulness of the environment and individualfulfillment. Such an educational initiative should go a stride aheadto compare traditional tourism practices with eco-friendly forms oftourism to motivate tourists to embrace environmental consciousness.

Increasing consumer awareness on values such as communityinvolvement, waste management, responsible spending and touristeducation, leaves consumers with the liberty to make final decisionsregarding the best destination or travel agency. Instead of seekingto impose regulations on tourist operators, consumer awarenessprograms should seek to establish values of original and ethicaltourism. They should encourage consumers to question the credibilityof tour operators including the qualifications of the employees. Thisshould equip them with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding toenhance their choices on the best ecotourism experiences.

Lawsuits

Thethird intervention mechanism involves lawsuits. Privateenvironmental-conscious groups or regulatory organizationsestablished under the legal framework can open legal proceedingsagainst non-compliant tourist agencies. They can also sue publicofficials charged with the mandate to implement regulations toenhance conformity to constitutional requirements on sustainabletourism practices (Hall,2015).Besides, they can open legal proceedings to agencies or operators whopollute the environment with the objective of making them compliantwith the regulatory framework governing the industry.

Legalactions against greenwashing can be ideal mechanisms for improvinggreenwashing in ecotourism. However, for this to work the publicneeds to be well informed about sustainable ecotourism practices andit must be willing to embrace environmental conservation. This isbecause, despite the increasing greenwashing concerns, a greaterproportion of the public may not be aware of its existence andenvironmental pollution. This can be effected through publicawareness programs that enhance vigilance for the good of theenvironment. Remedies for greenwashing-related lawsuits may includepenalties, license revocation, and injunctive reprieve among others.

VerifiableReporting

Verifiablereporting can play a vital role in the improvement of greenwashing inthe tourism sector. In most cases, the public is left to trust thereports provided by various agencies regarding their environmentalpractices. Therefore, the credibility of such reports may be hard toestablish unless a media report, administrative action, or alitigation uncovers some unethical practices. While self-reporting ofan agency’s impact on the environment is encouraged, it may bepointless unless the accuracy of the information provided isverifiable. Ethical principles require firms to produce provablereports on accountability, as this is the first test ofaccountability (Hall,2015).

Anideal environmental impact report should the critical aspects of acompany’s operations. It should employ both qualitative andquantitative metrics and include primary issues such as environmentalemissions, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, instancesof legal violations and management of waste. Such reports would notonly inform consumers and potential customer, but they can also helpcompanies evade null accusations of greenwashing. If tour operatorssuspected of greenwashing can prove that the accusations are false orexaggerated, their trustworthiness is enhanced, and they can gain theadvantages of having a good reputation.

Conclusion

Thepopularity of ecotourism has increased in the last few years. Thishas been followed by an upsurge in the number of tourism operatorsand hoteliers seeking to make a profit from this trend. This hasculminated in the concept of greenwashing, which is a meremisrepresentation of reality to attract customers who preferenvironmental-conscious service providers. In response togreenwashing, four extensive approaches have been proposed:establishment of industry accreditation systems increased efforts toeducate consumers on ecotourism, filing lawsuits against noncompliantoperators and encouraging verifiable reporting. All these initiativesare crucial steps in the creation of a better ecotourism product andreducing greenwashing. Regardless of the best of intentions, however,ecotourism continues to be a sector founded on marketing andconsumption of experiences, hence subject to greenwashing. Theproposed strategies are just a portion of the larger part ofdescribing, controlling and promoting the dynamic sector ofecotourism.

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