Nature-based Tourism in Developing Countries: Issues and Case Studies

Begins by considering why there is a particular interest in nature-based tourism in developing countries and then raises some issues needing resolution when considering the development of nature tourism in LDCs. It is noted that the type of tourism a country can develop economically depends on its existing assets (natural, heritage and cultural) as well as its ability to develop new man-made tourism attractions. Most LDCs are at an economic disadvantage in developing the latter type of attractions. Problems involved in deciding on what constitutes nature-based tourism and in determining its magnitude are raised. The possible benefits to LDCs of nature tourism are discussed together with reasons why these benefits are not always achieved. The case studies are for China (focusing particularly on Yunnan Province and especially Xishuangbanna Prefecture), Botswana and the Maldives. Although nature tourism is important in some parts of China, China is much less dependent on this type of tourism than are Botswana and the Maldives. Furthermore, the Chinese economy is less dependent on tourism than are those of Botswana and the Maldives. Comparisons are made between the development of tourism in these three LDCs. The comparisons include a consideration of locational factors, the type and extent of their dependence on nature tourism, environmental issues and the comparative costs of tourism development. It becomes clear that there is a considerable diversity in the nature of tourism development in LDCs. Therefore, it is necessary to be wary about generalizing about such development.

Issue Date:
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
ISSN: 1327 8231 (Other)
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Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
O13; L83
Series Statement:
Economics, Ecology and The Environment

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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