The article is focused on the ecotourism from the point of view of the ecological paradigm, the ecological imperative and the concept of natureuse. Based on the methodology of comparative analysis, the research experience in the field of ecotourism in foreign scientific practice is considered. It is noted that one of the fundamental problems of ecotourism is ambiguity and breadth of its interpretations and definitions. The authors consider controversial questions about the destructive function inherent in ecotourism, and outline the problem of its mythologization, the “crisis of legitimacy”, and the formation of the phenomenon of “eco-colonialism”. The article raises a problematic question about the discussion of the concept of ecotourism as kind of tourism, and substantiates the expediency of its positioning as an organizational form of the tourism industry. Within the framework of the discussion on components and the classification of ecotourism, the authors present their classification of ecotourism types depending on the motivation factors and quantity of tourists. On this basis, the authors distinguish three form-clusters of ecotourism, including 16 of its types. The problem of integration of ecotourism scientific schools of different countries is considered. The article considers the cases of the world experience of ecotourism and Russian practices of organization of this form of activity. The authors describe the principles for elaborating the ecological tourism marketing strategy of the Volga region. This region has huge potential for ecotourism development in the country, and its rich positive experience in this field can be taken as a basis for developing this kind of tourism activity in other regions of the country. The authors make conclusion about the necessity and urgency of a radical review of composition scheme and conceptual understanding of the phenomenon of ecotourism, which should become a paradigm of the whole tourism sphere, the basis for its further growth and development both in Russia and in the world.
ecotourism, ecological paradigm in tourism, ecological imperative in tourism, eco-colonialism, forms and types of ecotourism, ecotourism classification, sustainable tourism, cases of ecotourism in Russia.
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