According to UNWFTO, 20% of world tourism is concentrated in Mediterranean countries. The wealth in natural resources of the Mediterranean coastline (beautiful landscape, climate favorable for tourism, important biodiversity, etc…) makes it the first world touristic destination. The development of the tourism sector has permitted economics gains, especially for economies on the North side of the Mediterranean Sea. Nevertheless tourism also has harmful effects such as deterioration of the environment. According to the Plan Bleu, in 2000, 40% of the 46 000 Km of the Mediterranean coastline are artificial and urbanized. This situation is not sustainable because the increases in touristic demand apply pressure on natural resources so that there is a risk for economic activities based on tourism. Indeed tourism depends on the environment; degradation of the natural resources has negative effects on touristic arrivals and then in revenues produced by tourism. That’s why Mediterranean economies need a tourism development strategy combining economic development and preservation of the environment. Our article aims at analyzing the different effects of ecotourism in terms of revenues and employment in order to answer the following question: Can the development of ecotourism be a credible and sustainable development strategy for Mediterranean countries?
Topics in Middle Eastern and North African Economies, electronic journal, Volume 17, Middle East Economic Association and Loyola University Chicago, May, 2015, http://www.luc.edu/orgs/meea/
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