عنوان مقاله [English]
The provision of a variety of job opportunities by tourism industry, particularly, over the past two decades, has led many governments to invest heavily on this sector across the world. However, the challenges arise from the lack of considering an integrated socio-economic and environmental perspective in ecotourism planning and management. This study aimed to present a conceptual model for participatory ecotourism by expanding exiting theoretical concepts using with a descriptive-analytical approach. To do this, we first reviewed and analysed fundamental concepts associated to ecotoursim based on previous studies, findings, and national and international experiences, and then re-conceptualized participatory ecotourism in a practical format according to the purposes defined in international documents and conventions. In the proposed conceptual model, the main aspects contributing to achieve sustainable ecotourism in a participatory way, such as management, planning, education, research, and stakeholder involvement, particularly local communities, were considered.
Overall, the proposed model shows that if participatory ecotourism is realized in its true sense, it can serve as a low-carbon, nature-friendly activity aligned with Sustainable Development Goals and allows for providing ecosystem services, maximum recreational satisfaction and local communities’ welfare.