Suggested Reading

Earth Island's Ecotourism Guide

A Trip Too Far: Ecotourism, Politics & Exploitation,
by Rosaleen Duffy,
Earthscan Publications Lt., 2002

Highly academic and heavily annotated, A Trip Too Far will give you just cause to question whether there really is such a thing as ecotourism. Given that all tourism businesses, whether eco- or not, are designed to create profit, the potential exists for giving economic concerns priority over environmental ones. Duffy explores the relationship between host cultures and visitors, the commodification of cultures, and the sociological, environmental, psychological and economic aspects of ecotourism, using Belize as a case study. While the text may not leave you with an easy feeling about the validity of ecotourism, it does give you an excellent analysis and will likely lead to lively discussions.

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Cruise Ship Blues,
by Ross A. Klein,
New Society Publishers, 2002

Most of us have grown up with romantic notions of ships and sailing. It’s soothing to think about floating away and leaving our troubles ashore. In Cruise Ship Blues, Ross A. Klein documents that by traveling on a cruise ship, we actually create a sea of troubles rather than leaving them behind.

A veteran of more than 30 cruises, totaling more than 300 days on the ocean, Klein is well-versed in his material. His book attacks all aspects of cruise travel, including the false hopes set up by advertising, the disappointing accommodations, social aspects, and food one might encounter. Where the book really sets sail, however, is when Klein exposes the environmental and human rights violations rife within the industry. Klein presents the facts in a highly readable fashion, tackling both the scientific and sociological aspects of cruise ships impact with equal skill.

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Ecotourism: Impacts, Potentials and Possibilities,
by Stephen Wearing and John Neil,
Butterworth Heinemann, 2000

Citing numerous case studies to support the theories presented, Wearing and Neil provide a well-documented and thorough overview of ecotourism. The politics, strategies, and models for the future of tourism are all covered in this intelligent and well-written book.

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Rethinking Tourism and Ecotravel: The Paving of Paradise and What You Can Do to Stop It,
By Deborah McLaren,
Kumarian Press, 1998

A logical and compelling look at tourism and all its existing flaws. The author provides eye-opening examples of how tourism has been detrimental from both a historical and a developmental viewpoint. Beyond a laundry list of problems, this book offers ideas of what a more perfect tourism industry could look like. Anyone who has any notions of being an “ecotourist” must read this book. Your travel experience will be more genuinely eco-friendly as a result.

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Sustainable Tourism: A global perspective,
Edited by Rob Harris, Tony Griffin and Peter Williams,
Butterworth Heinemann, 2002

A series of essays from a stellar array of contributors, covering the fundamental issues surrounding ecotourism and their practical applications in countries around the world.

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The Good Alternative Travel Guide, second edition,
Mark Mann with Zainem Ibrahim,
Earthscan Publications, 2002

This book gives you great insight into the value and necessity of true ecotourism, plus some great first-hand reports from travelers. It’s also a fabulous resource for finding tour operators and lodges where you’ll be sure to find a truly ecologically-friendly vacation/experience. The directory is categorized not only by country, but also by areas of specific interest. Also valuable is the listing of NGOs dedicated to ecotourism issues, Web sites, magazines and more! A first-rate manual.

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More book reviews coming soon!

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