News - Maine Business School Amazon Eco-Tourism trip
South American Eco-Tourism: An MBA Investigation
Situation: South American countries have been some of the first to develop eco-tourism practices and adopt eco-tourism as a key tactic in the strategy to preserve their natural and cultural environments by providing jobs and resources for native peoples. Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru and other South American countries have seen the value in encouraging tourism to sensitive areas to create world-wide awareness of the stresses on these destination’s eco-systems and help preserve them. In many cases, these countries face similar challenges to those faced by the state of Maine. Could eco-tourism offer benefits for Maine similar to those experienced by these innovative countries? If so, how do we build our own eco-tourism infrastructure and industry? How is the workforce to support eco-tourism developed? How is the industry financed? What policy has been employed to support eco-tourism development? How is the experiential product developed and promoted? What context best supports the development of eco-tourism? In short, what are the best management practices that can be extracted and returned for application in Maine?
Mission: Understand the richness and complexity of the context within which eco-tourism has been developed as a solution for preserving the cultural and ecological environments in the Brazilian rain forest. Understand the business model and identify best management practices with respect to Eco-Tourism which can be applied in Maine.
Destinations: Manaus, Brazil – 1.9 million in population, the base for the trip. Visit the Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel.
Mamiraua Reserve (a nature preserve with native owned and operated eco-tourism lodges and businesses) as a 4 day excursion. Visit the Uakari Floating Lodge (See separate description in Uakari Lodge (PDF)
Trip Duration: 10 days
University of Maine Contact:
Harold Daniel, Ph.D
Assoc Professor, Marketing
Maine Business School
University of Maine
5723 Corbett Business Building
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5723
Phone: (207) 581-1933
Trip Consultant and Guide: Rhan Flatin, an editor for Fodor’s wrote the chapter on the Amazon for Fodor’s Brazil (2004). Rhan is a botanist who has lead numerous trips to the Amazon Rain Forest.
- Identify the best political practices supporting the development of eco-tourism (financing, training/work force development, land use conflict management, promotion/advertising, selling and distribution).
- Identify the best eco-resort management practices.
- Understand the value of well managed eco-tourism for sustaining the native culture.
- Understand the value of well managed eco-tourism for preserving the natural environment, including unique plant and animal life, as well as the geological and built cultural/heritage environments.
Preparation Reading Assignments:
- Bannerman, Matt & Luiz Claudio Marigo (2001), Mamiraua: A Guide to the Natural History of the Amazon Flooded Forest, Instituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentavel Mamiraua (IDSM), Tefe, Amazonas, Brazil.
- Czerwonka, Ann (2007), “Eco-tourism Potential in Maine’s North Woods: A Round Table Commentary, Maine Policy Review, Vol. 16, Number 2, Winter, 121-125.
- De Vincente, Jorge (2004), “Analysis of the North American commercialization chain (local, regional and international) of the target countries”, The International Ecotourism Society, September.
- Honey, Martha (1999), Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? Island Press, Washington.
- Milliken, Jr., Roger (2007), “Adding a New Leg to the Economic Stool in Maine’s North Woods”, Maine Policy Review, Vol. 16, Number 2, Winter, 116-120.
- Nyaupane, Gyan P. and Brijesh Thapa (2004), “Evaluation of Ecotourism: A Comparative Assessment in the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, Nepal”, Journal of Ecotourism, Vol. 3, No. 1, 20-45.
- Osland, Gregory E., and Robert McKoy (2004), “Ecolodge Performance Goals and Evaluations”, Journal of Ecotourism, Vol. 3, No. 2, 109-128.
- Pine II, B. Joseph & James H. Gilmore (1999), The Experience Economy, Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.
- Springuel, Natalie (2000), “Eco-Tourism on the Maine Coast”, Maine Policy Review, Fall, 100-108.
- Vail, David (2007), “Tourism Strategy for the Maine Woods: A Big Push to World Class”, Maine Policy Review, Vol. 16, Number 2, Winter, 104-120.
- Wallace, George N. and Susan M. Pierce (1996), “An Evaluation of Ecotourism in Amazonas, Brazil”, Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 23, No. 4, 843-873.
- Weaver, David (2001), Ecotourism, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- The International Eco-Tourism Society Web Site.
- Maine’s Pine Tree Development Zones.
- Cousteau , Jean-Michel (2008), Return to the Amazon, PBS Home Video.