Managing ecotourism: an opportunity spectrum approach

Stephen Boyd, Richard Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past decade and a half, visitor management frameworks and procedures have been developed to address issues resulting from tourism and recreation use of areas. These have included the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS), the Tourism Opportunity Spectrum (TOS), Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC), Visitor Activities Management Planning (VAMP), and the Visitor Impact Monitoring Process (VIMP). This paper outlines a new framework, based on existing approaches, within which opportunity for ecotourism may be set. It incorporates and modifies ideas from the ROS and TOS to address ecotourism specifically, is termed the Ecotourism Opportunity Spectrum (ECOS) and contains eight components. The paper concludes with a discussion of the difficulties of assigning relative priorities to ecotourism activities in a region, and assessing the significance of the resulting environmental impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-566
JournalTourism Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1996

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