Ecotourism can be conceptualised as a reconciliation of tourism and environmentalism. The environmentalist dimension of ecotourism involves environmental education and financial support of nature conservation. Extensive and intense human activity has altered the balance of ecosystems to the detriment of the natural environment. The movement of people, capital, goods and services has caused different types of ecosystem changes, including deforestation. Marine ecotourism offers contemporary attractive alternatives to marine resource use within marine protected areas (MPAs). This book reviews our current state of knowledge on the development, effects and management of ecotourism in MPAs, identifies factors affecting the appropriateness, success and sustainability of ecotourism in MPAs, and highlights research and practice priorities in the future. Also summarised in this book are the documented impacts of recreational uses on the coastal marine environment of the Mediterranean.
These range from the impact of recreational boating on seagrass meadows, the effects of scuba-diving on hard-sessile benthic invertebrates, and the possible disturbance of marine mammals by whale and dolphin watching activities. Other chapters in this book analyse the current state of the art of ecotourism in Cameroon, an overview of present status quo of ecotourism and its educational activities with its utilisation of wild animals in Japan, the effects of coastal ecotourism and water quality in the Yucatan Peninsula and the impact of tourism management on a population of infant monkeys. The findings suggest that tourism leads to high levels of stress, aggression and infant loss at this site. Several recommendations are offered to minimise harmful effects to help ensure that natural behavioural patterns are fostered.