Inderscience Publishers

Eco-tourism and collective learning: an institutional perspective

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Eco-tourism covers a wide range of environmental, cultural and social criteria intended to improve the regional economic development in tourism regions. Most private and public instruments make use of certification programmes to overcome information asymmetries between tourists and suppliers. The paper presents arguments why certification programmes will not be sufficient to distribute necessary information and why it is necessary to extend theoretical analysis based on neoclassical institutional economic models with the help of concepts on collective learning. By describing and comparing four case studies, the paper shows the limits of existing institutional approaches to improve collective learning.

Keywords: eco-tourism, sustainable tourism, institutional economics, collective learning, information asymmetries

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