SIHAM EL-KAFAFI, MANUKAU INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, NEW ZEALAND
Abstract: The greatest challenge facing the global community is how to bridge the gap between today’s unsustainable resource use practices and a sustainable future use. This requires a paradigm shift away from the conquest and economic growth mentality which is embedded in our economic, political and social systems which led to the destruction of vast areas of native forests, pollution of inland and coastal waterways and the extinction of numerous species of native flora and fauna. This paper explores the concept of sustainable tourism, how it is related to ecotourism, the rise of ecotourism concept, its activities, definition and principles of ecotourism, the impact of ecotourism (environmental, economic and socio-cultural). It also highlights the importance of community empowerment to achieving successful ecotourism. Finally it concludes by giving recommendations for an effective ecotourism as a means of practising sustainable tourism.
Keywords: Sustainable tourism, Ecotourism, Conservation of natural recourses, Community empowerment