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Ecotour Management

Course CodeBTR101
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment



Tourism has become a huge industry, and ecotourism one of the largest sectors of the modern tourist industry. Ecotourism offers opportunities for employment in virtually every corner of the world, from poor countries to rich and cold environments to hot.

This course is an excellent first step toward increasing your potential for success in ecotour management.

    Lesson Structure

    There are 9 lessons in this course:

    1. Nature and Scope of Ecotourism -
      • Definition of ecotourism
      • Negative ecotourism
      • Principles of ecotourism
    2. Management Issues -
      • Recreation and the environment
      • recreational impacts on the environment
      • ethical and legal concerns
      • code of practice for ecotourism operators
      • incorporating ecotourism principles into activities
      • interpretation
      • visitor guidelines
      • planning for minimal impact
      • quality control
    3. Industry Destinations -
      • The ecotourism market
      • what do ecotourists want?
      • trends in international tourism
      • understanding the needs of the consumer
      • consumer expectations
    4. The Tour Desk/Office -
      • Office procedures
      • providing information
      • employment prospects in ecotourism
      • bookings
      • business letters
      • telephone manner
    5. Accommodation Facilities -
      • Types of accommodation facilities
      • layout of facilities
    6. Catering Facilities -
      • Introduction to catering
      • accepted practice for service facilities
      • storing and preserving food
    7. Legal Considerations -
      • National Parks
      • land use/planning restrictions
      • code of practice
    8. Safety-
      • The safety strategy
      • hazards
      • first aid
    9. Planning an Ecotourism Activity -
      • A special project where the student plans out an ecotourism activity including:
      • budget
      • accommodation
      • licenses
      • meals
      • destination

    Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


    • Describe the scope of ecotourism experiences available.
    • Determine management issues related to ecotourism activities/enterprises, giving due consideration to environmental and ethical concerns.
    • Develop in the learner an awareness of ecotourism destinations in existence and possibilities (in your country).
    • Explain the management and operation of an ecotourism office.
    • Explain the management of ecotourist accommodation facilities including:
      • camp sites
      • cabins
      • caravans
      • resorts
    • Identify catering options for different ecotourism activities.
    • Identify legal and statutory requirements for the establishment and operation of an ecotourism enterprise.
    • Identify/establish safety precautions/requirements/procedures for an ecotourism enterprise.
    • Plan for an ecotourism activity.

    What You Will Do

    • Prepare reviews of six different ecotourism destinations
    • Contact travel agencies and information centres to research the scope of ecotourism activities available in your area
    • Contact a range of ecotourism operators to research their concerns for the environment
    • Determine three examples of ecotourism activities that have had undesirable social or environmental impacts
    • Report on the relevance of indigenous culture to ecotourism in your locality
    • Carry out research into desirable ecotourism destinations
    • Identify potential ecotourism activities in your locality
    • Observe the administrative operations of an existing ecotourism venture
    • Establish administrative procedures for your own hypothetical ecotourism enterprise
    • Inspect an ecotourism accommodation facility
    • Research the statutory/legislative requirements for setting up ecotourism accommodation in your locality
    • Determine suitable layout for an ecotourism accommodation facility
    • Visit at least two suppliers of outdoor/recreation camping and cooking equipment
    • Contact your local health department or similar to find out causes of food poisoning and how it can be prevented
    • Make contact with several local ecotourism associations to research membership requirements
    • Research law and regulations in your state that may affect the operation of an ecotourism enterprise
    • Contact at least two insurance brokers for their recommendations on the type of insurance needed for a proposed ecotourism activity
    • Research safety notification requirements in a natural area
    • Interview someone who has been involved in the planning and/or delivery of an ecotourism activity.

    Going Bush -What's Needed if you Travel into Wild Places?

    Once you are in a wilderness area the opportunity to buy equipment does not exist. It is therefore crucial to the success and safety of any trip to be well prepared. Lots of research will need to be done prior to setting out to ensure that the correct type of equipment to suit the conditions is purchased. You also need to be able to identify the type of clothing and bedding that suits the environment in which you will be travelling (i.e. alpine, tropics, desert) and is appropriate for seasonal conditions (i.e. spring, summer, autumn and winter). It is essential to be able to identify the desirable characteristics of:

    • Footwear for single versus multiple day trips.
    • Ground pad and sleeping bag.
    • A shelter.
    • A lightweight stove.
    • Other miscellaneous equipment.
    • Small survival kits.

    There are a few basic principles involved in building a survival kit.

    1. Always have one in you backpack and one in your pocket (in case you lose your backpack, i.e. whilst crossing water).
    2. Ensure that contents are appropriate to the season (in winter you will need more fire starters than insect repellent).
    3. Include a miniature survival guide that includes a section on edible plants if possible.

    Minimum essential items for the survival kit should include:

    • High quality pocket knife with at least two cutting blades 
    • Pocket compass 
    • Strong needles – sail-maker’s, surgeon's, and darning 
    • Match safe (plastic or metal container) with waterproof matches 
    • Assorted fish hooks in appropriate containers 
    • Small hank of wire for making animal snares 
    • Needle nose pliers with side cutters 
    • Bar of soap containing physohex 
    • Small fire starter of pyrophoric metal 
    • Personal medicines, if appropriate 
    • Water purification tablets 
    • Band aids 
    • Insect repellent stick 
    • Chap-stick 
    • Whistle

    Further good to have items

    • Pen gun and flares 
    • Coloured cloth for signalling 
    • Wire saw 
    • Sharpening stone 
    • Plastic water bottle 
    • Safety pins 
    • Travel razor 
    • Small mirror 
    • Flat file  
    • Aluminium foil

    Individual medical kit

    • Sterile gauze, compress bandage
    • Antibiotic ointment
    • Skin antiseptic
    • Aspirin tablets 
    • Salt tablets

    Your best source of information for building an appropriate set of survival kits will come through research long before the trip starts, from a combination of good texts and quality survival instructors, and also from your previous experience of what items are important to your survival.

    Some essential items for wilderness travel include:

    • Maps of the area
    • Compass (declination adjusted)
    • Appropriate clothing and footwear that insulate the feet and body and keeps you dry
    • Accommodation (i.e. tent)
    • Bedding
    • Ample supply of food and water
    • A sturdy back pack fitted to body size for comfort and large enough to contain all the gear and equipment if backpacking.
    • Torch with batteries
    • Candles
    • Matches (water proof) and fire starter
    • Pocket-knife
    • First-aid kit
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen
    • Mobile or cell phone



    • To start a business
    • To be better at your existing job in ecotorism
    • To improve your prospects for getting a job or advancing in a job
    • To follow a passion for ecotourism
    • Professional Development for anyone working in the wider tourism industry - travel agents and tour operators to equipment suppliers and accommodation managers.
    • Students of tourism and hospitality seeking to fill gaps in their learning.

    Meet some of our academics

    Dr. Gareth PearceVeterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation. Gareth has a B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.
    Marius Erasmus Subsequent to completing a BSc (Agric) degree in animal science, Marius completed an honours degree in wildlife management, and a masters degree in production animal physiology. Following the Masters degree, he has worked for 9 years in the UK, and South Africa in wildlife management, dairy, beef and poultry farming.

    Check out our eBooks

    Marine AnimalsA heavily illustrated text with seven chapters including: classification, fishes, sea birds, marine reptiles, marine mammals, marine invertebrates, and zooplankton. 110 pages, 133 colour photos
    Animal HealthA book for anyone interested in animal health, from pet owners to farmers. Contents cover understanding health issues, disease and injury prevention, inspecting animals, differential diagnosis and common illnesses. Animals can suffer from injury, poisoning, hereditary conditions, nutritional problems and viral, bacterial and fungal infections. 77 pages.
    LeadershipWhat makes a good leader? Is it an innate personality trait or a skill that can be acquired? This book is an excellent guide to the theories and practice of leadership. It is full of interesting facts about social dynamics and examples of leadership styles. For those who are curious or in need of some leadership skills, this book will provide both entertainment and advice.
    ManagementManagement is the process of planning, organising, leading, and controlling an organisation’s human and other resources to achieve business goals. More importantly though, effective management needs to be a process of human interaction and compassion. Most bad managers don’t know they are bad. They may well admit that they are a bit erratic, or they are sometimes late to appointments, but it is rare that they will recognise that they are ineffective as managers. Never here. This book has something to offer even the best of managers.