Ecological Tourism in South European Countries

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-2-73-82

G. Ponedelko (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation;
Y. Kvashnin (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation;
A. Gutnik (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation;
O. Trofimova (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation 

Abstract. In recent years, the problems of ecological tourism in the EU provoked wide-ranging discussions. Should ecotourism as a new form of tourism be massive, limited or elite to address issues of sustainable environmental management? Where to find money to increase funding for ecotourism projects? Can ecotourism ever be a real and effective way to preserve natural biodiversity? In this article it is shown how these issues are addressed in South European countries, which are ranked among top destinations of international tourism. Due to their unique natural wealth these countries have a clear potential to diversify their tourism industry through ecotourism. However, a number of factors impede realization of that potential in practice – economic difficulties caused by consequences of the global financial crisis, the lack of investment, the established reputation of South European countries as directions of a “sun and beach tourism” (at best – of a cultural tourism). Another limitation caused by the relative novelty of ecotourism is deficiency of comprehensive programmes for its development and promotion, which would unite and coordinate efforts of the main actors – the states, European funds, non-governmental organizations and private companies. However, a further growth of ecotourism, as well as its share in the tourist market, is likely to continue, since it has strong incentives both on supply and demand sides (the interest of tourists for new types of leisure and the need to find new sources to finance environment-related projects). 

Keywords: ecological tourism, sustainable tourism, sustainable environmental management, nature protection, national parks, rural tourism, South European countries 


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For citation:
Ponedelko G., Kvashnin Y., Gutnick A., Trofimova O. Ecological Tourism in South European Countries. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 73-82.

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