Definitely not monkeys or parrots, probably deer and possibly moose: opportunities and realities of ecotourism in Northern Ontario

Stephen Boyd, Richard Butler

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Ecotourism has become a well-established form of tourism offered in a wide range of places. This paper explores, through a case study of Northern Ontario, Canada, the potential for ecotourism within what may be labelled a ‘tertiary’ destination area. The myth (image) of Northern Ontario is found to be markedly different from reality, which has implications for the type of ecotourism the region can offer. It will not be as exotic as in many of the venues around the world but it will have a specific Canadian identity and image markedly different from other areas simply because the environment itself is different. Emphasis is placed on the inherent natural appeal the region offers, comprising trails, attractions, accommodation and service providers. At present this infrastructure is minimal. With respect to trails there is an urgent need to develop a more extensive system and network to improve access, aswell as open up the region to a range of ecotourist types. The paper concludes by suggesting that while ‘tertiary’ places will not be challenging for a vast sector of the ecotourism market, they can play an important role in offering new and different destinations, with sufficient challenges for the more specialised and primary purpose ecotourist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-137
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number2&3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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