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An ecotourism plan is a tool to guide the development of tourism in a protected area by synthesizing
and representing the vision of all the stakeholders while fulfilling the conservation objectives for the
site. It should result in a document expressing the stakeholders recommendations for how ecotourism
is to be carried out in a particular protected area.

Major Elements of an Ecotourism Plan:

1. Site profile
Site profiles are forms that require readily available information about the past and present uses
of a site, as well as basic land descriptions.

2. Tourism situation
This describes the state and condition of a site or location with regards to its current tourism
activities. For instance, its current tourist spots, tourism numbers, and present and future
tourism projects from the local government.

3. Issues and concerns of developing and sustaining ecotourism

This component of an ecotourism plan encompasses the major affairs when it comes to
establishing ecotourism in a certain natural environment and its maintenance. This tackles the
opportunities and threats of the proposed ecotourism.

4. Ecotourism planning for the site

This involves the process of the creation and maintenance of the detailed ecotourism plan which
aims to contribute towards sustainable development in the site where the ecotourism is
envisioned to be implemented and established.

5. Vision, goals, and objectives

This includes the overall vision of what ecotourism will mean to the protected area. This will
present a concise, comprehensive projection of what the protected area will be like after several
years of successful ecotourism.

It also includes the goals or the desired results or possible outcome that the stakeholders
envision, plan and commit to achieve for the preservation of the natural environment.

Lastly, it includes the objectives or the intermediate steps between establishing goals and
defining specific activities to carry them out. It brings the abstract goals to a more realistic level.

6. Component strategies
a. Zoning this identifies where specific activities will take place. This is essential to prevent
conflicting use and for safety reasons.
b. Visitor site plan and design this consists of a detailed, large-scale map of the specific site
where ecotourism activities will occur. Factors that should be considered in visitor site
planning and designing are as follows:
Natural hazards
Energy and utilities
Visitor circulation


The main tools that can be used for the situation analysis are published toolkits, websites,
government documents, statistical reports, and existing plans. The material for this section was taken
mainly from DOT-JICAS tourism development planning Guidebook for Local Government units.


The Situation Analysis section of a tourism plan is carried out to establish where the destination
stands in terms of (1) socio-economic data, (2) land use, (3) infrastructure, (4) tourist attractions, (5)
visitors, and (6) existing plans and programs. Examples of data requirements for each variable are shown

1. Socio-economic situation
Population at base year and at projected year.
Economic indicators at base year and projected year (GDP) Gross domestic Product,
(GRDP) Gross regional domestic product.
Employment in tourism at base year and projected year.

2. Land use
Land use classification [Forest, agriculture, settlement (urban/rural residential area),
zones specified for tourism use, etc.]
Area in hectares and percent of total area:
Land use maps may be prepared digitally or manually.

3. Infrastructure
Data on infrastructure can be from topographic maps or from the provincial Geographic
Information System. A planner or engineer can help locate infrastructure information to provide
a copy of an infrastructure map.

In coming up with a list of infrastructure, you have to get the name , length, capacity,
any issues with current facilities, and future plans, such a building a new one, expanding the
current facility, or just improving it.

Ifrastructure type Attributes

a. Name of airport
b. Runway length or capable aircraft type
c. Passenger terminal capacity/ size
d. Any problems/ constraints on existing facilities
e. Future plan (New expansion/ improvement)

a. Name of seaport
b. Number of piers or wharf for passenger vessels
c. Passenger terminal activity
d. Any problems/ constraints on existing facilities
e. Future plan (New expansion/ improvement)

a. Total length of road network in LGU/Province by classification
b. Total length of paved road by classification
c. Map of road network by classification
d. Any problems/ constraints on existing facilities
e. Future plan (New expansion/ improvement)

Water supply
a. Name of water supply company or organization
b. Location of water treatment plant and capacity
c. Any problems/ constraints on existing facilities
d. Future plan (New expansion/ improvement)

4. Tourist Attractions
For tourist attractions, you have to list them by name, type and category.

Tourist attraction by types and categories

a. Mountains
b. Lakes and pond
c. Marine park
History & Culture
a. Cathedral and church
b. Museum
c. Zoo & Botanical Garden
Industrial Tourism
a. Farm and ranch for tourism
b. Fishery Tourism
c. Art and craft
a. Golf
b. Tennis
c. Cycling road and area
5. Visitors and Supply Data

Visitor Data
Visitor arrivals at major entry points (airports/seaports)
Visitor profile
The survey on visitor arrivals at the entry point will yield data that will be useful for calculating the
demand for rooms or commercial accommodation.

Visitor profiles
It helps you to understand your visitors individual behavior by summarizing and listing your
visitors visits.
It can be analyzed from reviewing the questionnaire survey. The questions within the
questionnaire survey include place of residence (name of province or name of country); age,
sex, nights of stay, the number and typed of companion and placed visited.

Supply data

Accomodation Establishments
Total # of rooms available by size
Total # of accommodation establishments by type (hotel, condotel, tourist inn, serviced
residence, apartelles, motel, pension house, homestay site, etc)
Number of rooms by type
Classification of accommodation establishments by size:
LARGE: 60 or more rooms
MEDIUM: 20-59 rooms
SMALL: 19 or less rooms

Tourism Service Industries

Tour operators
Travel agents
Tour guides
Souvenir shops

6. Existing plans and programs

In preparing new plans, you will have to refer to existing plans and programs.

Comprehensive land use plan

is a document designed to guide the future actions of a community. It presents a vision for the
future, with long-range goals and objectives for all activities that affect the local government.

Comprehensive development plan

To ensure the future development of strategic sites is undertaken in a coordinated way
This is a five-year or three-year development plan with a capital improvement plan.
Provincial physical framework plan
provincial level serves as the link between national/regional and municipal land use plans.

Regional tourism development plan

National tourism development plan