Ecotourism Tour Guide Course

Course CodeBTR301
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


Eco tourism is a growing area of the wider tourism sector, with many tourists requiring organised activities as part of their trips. There are many different opportunities to explore within this sector including:

  • Guided tours
  • Interpretive walks
  • Treks

Working in this sector, whether as a volunteer or paid employee, will involve:

  • Patience and perseverance
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Environmental awareness
  • Planning skills
  • Organisation

This course will help you to develop the knowledge and understanding required to fulfill the role of an ecotour guide. So if you're looking for to learn more about planning and managing an ecotour business, then this is the course for you!

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Ecotourism Basics
    • Definition of ecotourism
    • Negative ecotourism
    • Ecotourist profile
    • Administrative concerns
    • Safety
  2. Interpretive Services in Ecotourism
    • Interpretation as a key element of ecotourism
    • Interpretation techniques
    • Sign design
  3. Ecology and Conservation
    • Definition of ecology
    • Ecosystem function
    • The web of life
    • Habitat and niche
    • Humans in the environment
  4. Plant and Animal Classification and Identification
    • Classification of organisms
    • Basic taxonomy
    • Using keys for identification
    • Other methods of identification
  5. Geology/Geomorphology
    • Types of rocks
    • Types of minerals
    • Soils
    • Soil formation
    • Soil classification
  6. Interpreting Aquatic Environments
    • Marine environments
    • Freshwater environments
    • Fish
    • Shells
    • Crustaceans
  7. Interpreting Land Environments
    • Introduction to interpreting land environments
    • Relevance of interpreting land environments
  8. Planning an Ecotour
    • Destination
    • Transportation
    • Accommodation
  9. Ecotour Displays
    • Design concepts
    • Zoo design techniques
  10. Leading an Ecotour
    • Advertising
    • Group preparation
    • Planning the tour
    • Group surveys for feedback


  • Develop an ability to analyse the structure of interpretive ecotourism in your country.
  • Recognise factors of the environment and their significance to ecotourism.
  • Plan an ecotour.
  • Create/develop interpretation aids for a selected ecotourism activity.
  • Develop a display with an ecotourism theme.
  • Determine the specific name of a range of natural features in a selected wilderness area including:
    • Birds
    • Fish
    • Shells
    • Other animals
    • Plants
  • Lead an interpretive tour with an ecotourism theme.
  • Develop innovative concepts in interpretation for a selected aquatic ecotourism activity.
  • Develop innovative concepts in interpretation for a selected ecotourism activity in a land environment.
  • Determine the specific name of a range of natural features in a selected wilderness area including, where appropriate:
    • Fossils
    • Rocks
    • Land formations
    • Soil types
    • Geothermal features

What You Will Do

  • Prepare identification sheets, containing a preserved specimen, a photograph or a drawing; together with a description of the species/type of organism.
    • This collection is designed to be the embryo of a resource which you may use as an ongoing aid when designing and conducting interpretive activities.
  • You will research the legal and administrative background required to set up an ecotourism venture in your area. You will also look at the marketing and advertising possibilities for this venture.
  • Visit a number of interpretive ecotourism facilities.
  • Prepare an interpretive activities sheet for an ecotourism group.
  • Visit a natural area and classify organisms sighted in a set time period.
  • Identify points of interest in a natural area for an ecotourism group.
  • Research the lifecycles of a number of plants and animals.
  • Design a range of ecotours for ecotourists interested in various natural phenomena.
  • Visit an aquatic environment and make observations on the organisms there and any pollution present.
  • Identify potential ecotourism activities for a marine area.
  • Develop interpretive techniques for minimal environmental impact.
  • Attend an ecotour to assess the quantity and quality of information provided.
  • Plan an ecotour including the destination, accommodation, transport, catering.
  • Construct an ecotour display.
  • Plan and lead an ecotour to a group of ecotourists or acquaintances.

Nature and Scope of Ecotour Activities

Sometimes they are challenging and active; but wilderness activities do not always need to be dangerous and physically challenging. There are many passive activities that can be undertaken by people that are limited in their ability (or by preference) to undertake more rigorous pursuits.

Activities can be relatively passive and virtually anyone can do, including:

  • Bushwalking
  • Beachcombing
  • Landscape or wildlife photography
  • Painting
  • Fossicking
  • Anthropology or history excursions
  • Observing Nature –bird-watching, whale watching, etc. 
  • Scientific Research
  • Orienteering
  • Viewing vistas from lookouts

Observing nature can be done just about anywhere and just about any time. A variety of birds, insects and reptiles can be observed in the busiest of cities such as a suburban backyard or a city park. To observe nature in general, you don’t need to travel deep in the forests. An approach would be to choose one animal, look for details and identify them. To see something specific, like an alligator, you have to go where the alligators are. A little research into where and how they live can increase your chances of observing something specific. Don’t forget, while you’re watching them, they are very likely watching you. The following tips outline two ways to identify nature while avoiding detection.

Not being detected is nearly impossible. Animals are always on the lookout for food or predators and you are always perceived as a predator. If an animal seems agitated, move to a different position or leave if they do not quiet down quickly. For example, nesting birds won’t leave the area unless it’s a last ditch effort to avoid predation. But being off their nests for long periods of time can harm developing eggs. Be mindful of wildlife and respect their comfort zone.

  • Chose to wear colours that most blend into the colours of the habitat.
  • Avoid wearing anything scented like hairspray or cologne.
  • Wear clothes and shoes that allow for long periods of sitting or standing.
  • Never look directly at the object of your attention. You can usually get away with looking at the animal much longer if you look indirectly out of the corner of your eye.
  • Stay as quiet as possible. Wait for the animal to move before you do. Then do so as quietly as possible. Move from one hiding place to another as the animal moves. Peer around, not over, bushes, trees and shrubs.
  • Keep the wind in your face. Animals are less likely to pick up your scent.
  • Keep the sun at your back. You can see better and the animal is somewhat blinded by the sun, giving you cover.

Observing nature can be a rewarding and fascinating hobby. You learn about animal behaviour, social interactions and the habitats where specific animals live. In some cases you may even learn identification skills by using special classification keys. Many scientists observe nature as a hobby, not just a career, and this can develop into a paid career if your skills are up to scratch.  It can also have benefits in your health by being outdoors, keeping fit and relaxing you.


There are lots of reasons why you should complete this course with us, here are a few:

  • Becoming an ecotour guide requires specific knowledge, most of which needs to be known before applying for jobs, it is all in this course for you
  • Developing a broader knowledge of the ecotour guide role can help you to identify specific areas of interest that you can go on to develop further
  • Confidence is an important trait within the role of a guide, this is helped by having the most knowledge that you can get, which is what this course is providing
  • As part of the course you will be asked to complete activities which develop what you've learnt, and applies it to different scenarios specific to your own interest, developing your understanding even further
  • You will be supported throughout the course by subject specialist tutors, they will be happy to answer questions and share their industry experience
  • The course is designed to be studied flexibly meaning that you can gain your qualification whilst maintaining other commitments


You can enrol on the course now, but if you have any questions about the content of the course or studying with ACS, then please get in touch with us today - use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE to get in touch with our expert tutors. They will be pleased to help you!

Meet some Of our academics

It's Easy to Enrol

Select a Learning Method


$461.00Payment plans available.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.