Main Article Content
ecotourism, Greece, management body of protected area, ecotourism enterprise
The review and assessment of the ecotourism-related literature reveals confusion as regards the definition of ecotourism, its basic features, its activities and the principles governing it. The absence of a definition generally acceptable by the academic community, those shaping and those exercising politics and, in general, all parties involved in the tourist system, has led to the absence of reliable data about the current size of the sector. This paper is not aimed at providing another answer to the question "what ecotourism is?" or "which activities does it comprise?", but at demonstrating the multifaceted character of the phenomenon and highlighting the various aspects each approach focuses on, with a view to exploring, afterwards, its development prospects, focused on the data of the Greek reality. In this context, the methodological approach applied consists in the following steps: i) Secondary research of the literature on the theoretical framework, ii) Primary research concerning the characteristics of ecotourism in Greece: the features of ecotourist demand and supply, the features of ecotourism organisation and management and, last but not least, the bodies and enterprises involved in the ecotourist development process, iii) Synthetic analysis and assessment of the literature and the field study. The conclusions aspire to lead to answers about the factors that are critical for the development and organization of ecotourism in Greece.