Curriculum design for ecotourism as part of formal training in tourism
Van Zyl, James
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The majority of educational establishments in South Africa offering tourism courses concentrate on those subjects that are closely related to the operational side of the industry, for example: Travel Practice and Management, Business Management, Marketing, etc. whilst linle or no applied training for ecotourism is given. On the other hand the impact of tourism on the natural resources of a destination as well as on the host community is steadily increasing, particularly in developing countries. Once this phenomenon is analysed and placed in perspective, structured training and educational activities appear to be one way to ensure that both the conservation and retention of the natural beauty and resources in such destination is addressed. To be effective such educational and training activities should be specific and should take place within the context of ecotourism. The purpose of this study was, in the first place. to define 'ecorourism' and to describe its role within the broader tourism industry. It was further attempted to isolate the characteristics and to draw attention to the sensitive nature of ecosystems. The role of training in the survival of the systems mentioned, that is, the protection and conservation thereof, became patently clear. It further became apparent that the educational needs were not only applicable to the visitor, to the destination, but also to the functionary within the industry. In order to meet the objectives of the tourism trade it will be necessary for prospective employees to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes relative to environmental management. In order to contribute to sustainable tourism development future employees of this industry should also be motivated to participate in the management of the environment.