Improving quality of ecotourism through advancing education and training of Greek eco-tour guides : the role of training in environmental interpretation

Part of : Tourismos : an international multidiciplinary journal of tourism ; Vol.5, No.2, 2010, pages 49-68

Section Title:
Research papers
Environmental interpretation in Greece is in its infancy as an academic field.There are no nature guides or specific conservation objectives, and there is noprofessional training for non formal environmental educators and/or interpreters.The a of this paper is to reveal the necessity of integrating environmentalinterpretation in training of Greek Ecotour guides.The focus is on developingabilities which could enable Greek Ecotour guides to communicate and interpretthe significance of the environment, promote minimal impact practices, ensure thesustainability of the natural and cultural environment, and motivate visitingtourists to evaluate the quality of life in relation to larger ecological or culturalconcerns. The rationale underpinning this objective is that by providing accurateand effective interpretation of ecotourism sites as well as monitoring andmodelling environmental responsible behaviour, the outcome will be to promotepositive impacts of tourism and alleviate negative ones Local community will beencouraged to participate in environmental management of ecotourism settings. Furthermore, connecting ecotourism commitment to returning benefits,particularly economic and employment ones to local communities, it stresses thattraining local people to be interpretive guides, helps achieving not only ecologicalsustainability but also economic sustainability. Once trained, guides mayencourage conservation action amongst both tourists and the local community.
Subject (LC):
environmental educators’ training, environmental interpretation, non formal environmental education, eco-tour guides, Greece
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