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Perception of the eco tourism concepts and its practices in the hotel industry: the case in eco resorts in Sri Lanka

Author:

R S S W Arachchi

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, LK
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Department of Tourism Management, Faculty of Management Studies
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Abstract

Tourism plays a major role in Sri Lankan economy. It accounts for Rs. 42,519.3 million of foreign exchange earnings in 2007 (Annual Statistical Report-SLTB 2007). Eco tourism is one of the alternative tourism concept which involves environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features - both past and present) that promotes conservation, has low negative visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations” (Lascurian, 2005).

Mid term strategic plan for Sri Lanka tourism (2002-2004) states that Sri Lanka had 1% percent of eco tourists. It is in a very low level comparing to other destinations. Based on these literature and preliminary findings, researcher identified there is an issue of practicing the concept of genuine eco tourism and meeting the customer expectations.

In the analysis, researcher found that Sri Lankan eco resort hoteliers perceive the meaning of eco resorts in various ways. They are more towards nature based tourism, wild life tourism and environment conservation tourism. Therefore, they were unable to target eco tourism market and attract eco tourist. Because the hoteliers‟ practice of the eco concept differs from international practices and standards, they could not meet the expectations of eco tourists. Even though the eco resort hoteliers‟ main market is eco tourist market, they cater and address to other type of tourists. As a result, customer orientation concept has been dishonored for eco tourists.

After analyzing the issue, finally, researcher has pointed out some ways that the Sri Lankan eco tourism market can eliminate the adverse practices of it and managerial implications for the mangers and marketers of the eco resorts on the concept of eco resort.

How to Cite: Arachchi, R.S.S.W., (2014). Perception of the eco tourism concepts and its practices in the hotel industry: the case in eco resorts in Sri Lanka. Wayamba Journal of Management. 3(2), pp.30–43. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/wjm.v3i2.7442
Published on 19 Sep 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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