Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Venkatesh Raghavendra


Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET) in developing countries has become a popular solution to environmental, social, and economic issues. This study seeks to address how CBET models from the Global South could be implemented in the U.S. ecotourism context, using social entrepreneurship models. Research was completed through a variety of sources including academic journals and government databases, exploring the importance of ecotourism, and a comparison of ecotourism in the Global South to ecotourism in the Global North. The method for analysis was conducted through qualitative interviews with social entrepreneurs working in ecotourism in Uganda, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Costa Rica, Chile, and Brazil. Results from the analysis reveal the complexity in analyzing cross-cultural contexts for implementing CBET models in the U.S. From these results, the challenges and opportunities for implementation are discussed alongside a case study in Bar Harbor, Maine, an island community surrounded by Acadia National Park. This study concludes with suggestions for applicability, including social entrepreneurship organizations’ election of fellows, civil society involvement by the U.S. National Parks System, and social reinvestment methodologies for host communities located in U.S. ecotourism areas.



Included in

Tourism Commons