The Potential for Aboriginal Ecotourism in Ontario
AbstractAboriginal ecotourism is a relatively new concept to the Ontario tourism industry. Very few studies have been conducted to determine the current state and potential of Aboriginal ecotourism in Ontario. In order to provide further insight into this potentially sustainable form of tourism development, a study was conducted to assess the current Aboriginal ecotourism practices in Ontario. This study, conducted through eighteen in-depth interviews with various stakeholders involved in Aboriginal tourism in Ontario and abroad, was executed to determine the benefits and barriers to this kind of tourism development. Challenges, as determined by this study, include product development, marketing, lack of education, lack of resources, bureaucracy, and resistance of Aboriginal peoples to sharing their culture. The benefits, however, are pertinent, including improved economic well-being, employment opportunities, and the ability to build community capacity. This study provides a closer evaluation of the factors that have impeded Aboriginal ecotourism development in Ontario, and thus provides insight on the potential for future development.
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