Embedded in the ecotourism concept is 'marine ecotourism': ecotourism that takes place in marine and coastal environments. Much marine ecotourism activity occurs in parts of the world that would be considered 'peripheral' in spatial, temporal and economic terms; yet to date no one has attempted to draw together the concepts of marine ecotourism and peripherality. In particular, why might marine ecotourism be considered an especially appropriate strategy for coastal peripheral areas? This paper introduces the concept of ecotourism in the marine and coastal context. It then examines what is meant by the term 'peripherality' and outlines some of the challenges and opportunities it can bring to coastal locations. A particular focus is on the EU's main policy responses to the peripherality dimension of its regional 'problem'. The paper then discusses the potentials and pitfalls of marine ecotourism as a sustainable development option for coastal peripheral areas. A case study of West Clare, Ireland, is drawn upon to give context to some of the opportunities and challenges of ecotourism in peripheral areas. A conclusion is that marine ecotourism can potentially form part - but, realistically, only a part - of an appropriate strategy for addressing the problems faced by coastal peripheral areas.
|Number of pages||26|
|Journal||Journal of Sustainable Tourism|
|Publication status||Published - 02 Mar 2004|