The path to ecotourism optimum: Case of the Atlas and Valleys tourist territory
Technological change which modifies the deep sources of tourism demand also occurs at the supply level by modifying the production functions of goods, services and functional systems. This research aims to evaluate the capacity of ecotourism projects established in the Atlas and Valley territory (tourist destination of Ouarzazate), to achieve an optimal situation, making it possible to reconcile the four structuring metaprinciples of ecotourism : the promotion of environmental conservation, the equitable contribution to economic development, the consideration and response to the needs of host communities, and the generation of a new, authentic and responsible tourist experience. This work was carried out in two stages : a first phase which made it possible, through semi-structured interviews carried out with 23 tourism experts, to identify the degree of importance given by the stakeholders of ecotourism activity to each metaprinciple of said activity. A second phase, based on the opinion of experts, managers and representatives of civil society, is dedicated to identifying the measurement indicators for each meta-principle, using the NVIVO data processing software, then proceeding to the evaluation of the capacity of ecotourism projects implemented at the destination of Ouarzazate to achieve the optimum using the DPSIR model. The results of this study seek to highlight the way in which the notion of ecotourism is understood by those involved in this activity, since each actor gives more importance to a metaprinciple according to their own interests with regard to this new form of alternative tourism. The DPSIR model allowed us to get closer to the optimal situation allowing each ecotourism project implemented in Ouarzazate to reconcile the economic objective of this activity, with the social, environmental, architectural and ethical objectives. This study will serve as a road map allowing, firstly, future researchers to generalize it by seeking the optimum for ecotourism projects or those of sustainable tourism implemented in other tourist territories in Morocco, and then to decision-makers to put in place action plans concerning the development of this activity in a sustainable spirit.
Keywords: Ecotourism, Heritage, Optimum, sustainable territory development.
JEL Classification : L83, Z20
Paper type: Empirical research
Copyright (c) 2023 Moulay Youssef EL ALAOUI ISMAILI, Jamila AYEGOU
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