Publication Details

Figueroa, R. Melchior. & Waitt, G. (2011). The moral terrains of ecotourism and the ethics of consumption. In T. Lewis & E. Potter (Eds.), Ethical consumption : a critical introduction (pp. 260-274). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.


In this chapter, we provide a brief overview of Western philosophical ethics as they may peliain to tourism. Our discussion then turns to one of the most popular attempts to address sustainability across the globe: ecotourism. Ecotourism as distinct from tourism writ large is earmarked by appeals to concepts and ethical practices peliaining to sustainability (in all its varied meanings), consumption, preservation, and the politics of colonialism and the dynamics of global development strategies. In order to bring the ethics of consumption into the context of ecotourism, we provide a case account of ecotourism that represents one of the more popular versions, national park tourism, and the exchanges that occur over what we call the 'moral terrains' of ecotourism. At Uluru-Kata Tju!a National Park ecotourism pertains to market dynamics, colonialism, adjacent and conflicting heritage, challenges to environmental identity, micro-management strategies aimed at cultural reconciliation and political agency, as well as the cthics of entertainment that plagues tourism as a human form of consumption. We conclude with sections addressing the elevation of the ethics of ecotourism to a quandary of global environmental justice and utilize the controversy of the Uluru-climb to exemplify nOlmative demands on today's quest for sustainable tourism.



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