Table of Contents:
An Alternative View of Ecotourism with a Specific Reference to Turkey
Nazmiye Erdogan and irfan Erdogan
Many scholars, policy makers, researchers, and environmentalists show special interest in ecotourism worldwide. According to the widely declared objectives of ecotourism, it aims at sustainable and responsible use of natural and cultural resources, contributes economic development of local areas, employs natural resource management, boosts social cohesion and environmental awareness, and preserves cultural and natural heritages. However, not every scholar and researcher shares this view: The benefits of ecotourism are widely debated due to the discrepancies between the widely publicized objectives and practices throughout the world. Concepts and claims related with reducing poverty, increasing stakeholder participation, contributing to the local culture and life, and objectives of local, national, and international investors, hotel industry, tourism agencies, and state organizations have been critically studied and discussed.
The present chapter starts with a brief evaluation of prevailing and alternative explanations of ecotourism. Then, the current status and foremost aspects of ecotourism in Turkey are presented. In doing so, the following main parties involved in ecotourism are studied:
a. Ecotourism business: sales, production, distribution, and service activities in ecotourism in terms of their structures, stated policies, objectives, and nature and outcome of their daily ecotourism practices;  
b. Local destinations: character, position, and function of local destinations in ecotourism;
c. Connection between local destinations and environmental principles of ecotourism;
d. Ecotourists: customers of ecotourism and allied industries, and users of destinations;
e. Legal control and promotion of ecotourism: the progress and current situation in ecotourism policy of Turkish State;
f. Environmental policy of tourism and allied sectors;
g. Academic involvement: prevailing nature of academic interest in ecotourism.