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Ecotour Management

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


  • Work in nature based tourism
  • Start or manage an ecotour business
  • Learn from professionals with years of experience in ecotour and environmental industries

Tourism has become a boom industry in recent times and a major employer of recreationists in the country. Ecotourism has emerged out of a growing interest in outdoor adventure activities - from mountaineering to low impact bushwalking. 

Establishing such an enterprise requires an understanding of a wide range of issues including: legal considerations, safety, accommodation, the tour desk as a first point of contact, destinations, and management. This course develops your ability to establish and operate an ecotourism enterprise.


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 the learner's 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.

Considerations of Ecotourism Management

What do Ecotourists Want?

  • Ecotourists do not want to be rushed; they want to take the time it takes to enjoy and experience the environment.    It may be better to visit fewer places but spend more time at each.
  • They do not want large groups
  • They want to know that the area is looked after
  • They do want to be educated about the environment and the local cultures.
  • They want an authentic experience

Ecotourism Planning

When planning for tourism, always remember:

  • Does tourism give your area what it desires in the long term?
  • What facilities and attractions can your area offer the tourist?
  • What economic and physical capacity does your area have to cater to tourists?

Ethical Ecotourism

In a natural environment, the tourist can frequently cause damage; hence numbers need to be controlled if natural environments are not going to deteriorate.

Ecotourism Accommodation

There are many different types of ecotour developments, ranging from small scale bed and breakfast operations to large eco-resorts. The following list is indicative of the range of ecotourist facilities:

  • Caravan parks
  • Campsites that are specifically built to suit the ecotourist
  • Guest Houses
  • Back packer lodges
  • Huts and cabins
  • Houseboats
  • Farm-stays
  • Self-catering cottages
  • Eco-Resorts
  • Self-drive type vehicles
  • Cruise boats and yachts.

Ecotourism uses the natural environment or culture of a given area as its primary attraction. However the developments may also include additions such as:

  • Toilet facilities
  • Cooking facilities (eg. barbeques)
  • Car-parks
  • Kitchens (communal, communal, self catering or organised)
  • Transport services
  • Education and information facilities
  • Signs and maps
  • Walks and pathways, steps etc.
  • Guided Tours
  • Anchorage, jetties or mooring points.

This infrastructure is supplied and maintained by the government authority if it is on public land. If it is on private land, it is supplied by the owner.

Why Study this Course?

The Ecotourism Management course is a 100 hour course which will increase your knowledge about running an Ecotourism business
As well as increasing your knowledge, it will increase your career and job prospects by showing you are interested in learning more about the ecotourism industry.
It will provide you with information on the scope of ecotourism, environmental and ethical considerations; planning and managing an ecotourism business.
If you would like to learn more, then enrol now! You can start at any time.

Meet some of our academics

Dr Robert BrowneZoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability. Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and development, husbandry, thermo-biology, reproduction technologies, and facility design.Robert has B.Sc., Ph, D.
John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Peter Douglas Over 50 years experience in Agriculture and wildlife management. Former university lecturer, Wildlife park manager, Animal breeder, Equestrian. Peter has both wide ranging experience in animal science, farming and tourism management, and continues to apply that knowledge both through his work with ACS, and beyond.

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