Publication Date

2006

Abstract

After spending several years in Peru it became obvious that certain forms of tourism were simply not sustainable. Poverty is evident in Peru with over half its population living in such conditions. Yet, thousands of tourists are spending millions of dollars. Endowed with rich natural resources including beautiful beaches, exotic jungle and pristine mountains, adventure in Peru is ubiquitous for the enthusiastic seeker. In exploring what sustainable tourism is and what it can be like in Peru, the question was posed: "What are the issues for developing an adventure service tourism product in Peru that is economically viable, environmentally conscientious, culturally respectful and politically acceptable?" First, an in-depth literature review is presented. Next, two distinct case studies of tourism endeavors are outlined and framed against sustainable tourism, service tourism and adventure principles. The issues extracted from the cases are categorized according to the operator's commitment to sustainable tourism, and the relevance to economic, ecological, socio-cultural and political aspects. Five best practices are given on how to successfully do adventure service tourism: 1) inventory resources, 2) know the reality, 3) pilot projects 4) build a network and 5) monitor and evaluate. These findings are potentially useful to tourism managers, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating volunteer programs and potential social entrepreneurs. In addition, potential volunteers who are preparing themselves for a service tourism endeavor may benefit from the investigation.

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