IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Ecotourism – conservation of the natural and cultural heritage


  • Cristina Barna

    () (Pro Global Science Association)

  • Manuela Epure

    () (Spiru Haret University)

  • Ruxandra Vasilescu

    () (Spiru Haret University)


Sometimes the concept of ecotourism is widely misunderstood and it is often used as a marketing instrument in order to promote tourism businesses related to nature. Ecotourism means not only nature, it also includes indigenous cultures. It is about fostering respect for nature and for cultures, too. The true ecotourism represents only “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of the local people” (TIES 1990). This paper clarifies the definition of the ecotourism concept versus related concepts as “sustainable tourism”, “responsible tourism”, “nature based travel” or “green travel”, presents the principles and benefits of ecotourism which is seen as a win-win solution and a Business Biodiversity model. We approach also the issue of commodification and ecotourism and the implications for local cultures and people. The key of a successful ecotourism which avoids the risk of corroding local cultures is the incorporation of local cultures and people into industry. Finally, the paper presents Romania case: main stakeholders and projects for Eco-Romania, which gained in 2009 two Golden Apple award for ecotourism, and a short description of two remarkable eco-destinations: Retezat National Park and Hateg Country Dinosaur Geopark, which developed the UNESCO concept of geopark and the European Geopark Network Strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Barna & Manuela Epure & Ruxandra Vasilescu, 2011. "Ecotourism – conservation of the natural and cultural heritage," Review of Applied Socio-Economic Research, Pro Global Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 87-96, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:rse:wpaper:v:1:y:2011:i:1:p:87-96

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Domschke, Wolfgang, 1997. "Logistik: Rundreisen und Touren. 4. Aufl," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 8162, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Valentina VASILE & Marius-Razvan SURUGIU & Ioana-Alexandra LOGIN, 2016. "Heritage entrepreneurship and ecotourism. A new vision on ecosystem protection and in-situ specific activities for cultural heritage consumption," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 42(1(51)), pages 139-154, june.
    2. Datta Debajit & Banerji Suranjana, 2015. "Local Tourism Initiative in an Eastern Himalayan Village: Sustainable Ecotourism or Small-scale Nature Exploitation?," Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, De Gruyter Open, vol. 27(27), pages 33-49, March.
    3. repec:ora:jrojbe:v:2:y:2017:i:2:p:37-44 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    ecotourism; business biodiversity; local cultures; sustainable development; geopark;

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rse:wpaper:v:1:y:2011:i:1:p:87-96. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Manuela Epure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.