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PROFICIENCY AWARD IN ECOTOURISM RE043

Course CodeVRE043
Fee CodePA
Duration (approx)500 hours
QualificationProficiency Award

Home Study Ecotourism Management with ACS Distance Education


This course has three (3) Ecotourism modules.

Module 1.   TOURISM I

Aim      To develop your skills in Tourism planning & management

CONTENTS   There are ten lessons in this module as follows:

  1. Travel Industry Overview/Introduction     Holiday travel, Business travel, Resources, Components of travel (Accommodation, Transport, Food, Luggage/what to take, Health, Money, etc)
  2. Destinations   Local, State, Interstate, International; health before departure.
  3. Money, Insurance & Legalities   Credit cards, travellers cheques, exchange rates, International driving, quarantine laws, Islamic law, political concerns, tariffs, duty free, departure taxes etc.
  4. Transport - Airline reservations   International Air Transport Assn, Aircraft types, Flight information, transfers, time zones, passports, visas, baggage, travelling with animals, making a reservation, etc.
  5. Transport - Car Rental Types of hire cars, reading manuals, different road rules, making reservations, cost structures, etc
  6. Transport -Other, boat (ferries, cruising), bus, rail etc
  7. Accommodation Camping, Caravans, Tents, B & B's & Guesthouses, Hotels, Youth Hostels, Resorts, etc
  8. Package Tours
  9. Travel Agency Systems    Ethics, Tourist organisations, Client records and accounts procedures, etc.
  10. Special Project -planning a trip

Module 2    ECOTOUR MANAGEMENT

There are 9 lessons as follows:

  1. Nature and Scope of Ecotourism -
    • Definition of ecotourism
    • Negative ecotourism
    • Principles of ecotourism
  2. Management Issues -
    • Recreation and the environment
    • recreational impacts on the environment
    • ethical and legal concerns
    • code of practice for ecotourism operators
    • incorporating ecotourism principles into activities
    • interpretation
    • visitor guidelines
    • planning for minimal impact
    • quality control
  3. Industry Destinations -
    • The ecotourism market
    • what do ecotourists want?
    • trends in international tourism
    • understanding the needs of the consumer
    • consumer expectations
  4. The Tour Desk/Office -
    • Office procedures
    • providing information
    • employment prospects in ecotourism
    • bookings
    • business letters
    • telephone manner
  5. Accommodation Facilities -
    • Types of accommodation facilities
    • layout of facilities
  6. Catering Facilities -
    • Introduction to catering
    • accepted practice for service facilities
    • storing and preserving food
  7. Legal Considerations -
    • National Parks
    • land use/planning restrictions
    • code of practice
  8. Safety-
    • The safety strategy
    • hazards
    • first aid
  9. Planning an Ecotourism Activity -
    A special project where the student plans out an ecotourism activity including:
    • budget
    • accommodation
    • licenses
    • meals
    • destination
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
 
Aims
  • Describe the scope of ecotourism experiences available.
  • Determine management issues related to ecotourism activities/enterprises, giving due consideration to environmental and ethical concerns.
  • Develop in the learner an awareness of ecotourism destinations in existence and possibilities (in the learner's country).
  • Explain the management and operation of an ecotourism office.
  • Explain the management of ecotourist accommodation facilities including:
    • camp sites
    • cabins
    • caravans
    • resorts
  • Identify catering options for different ecotourism activities.
  • Identify legal and statutory requirements for the establishment and operation of an ecotourism enterprise.
  • Identify/establish safety precautions/requirements/procedures for an ecotourism enterprise.
  • Plan for an ecotourism activity.

WHAT THE COURSE COVERS
You will learn a wide variety of things, through a combination of reading, interacting with tutors, undertaking research and practical tasks, and watching videos. Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • Prepare reviews of six different ecotourism destinations
  • Contact travel agencies and information centres to research the scope of ecotourism activities available in your area
  • Contact a range of ecotourism operators to research their concerns for the environment
  • Determine three examples of ecotourism activities that have had undesirable social or environmental impacts
  • Report on the relevance of indigenous culture to ecotourism in your locality
  • Carry out research into desirable ecotourism destinations
  • Identify potential ecotourism activities in your locality
  • Observe the administrative operations of an existing ecotourism venture
  • Establish administrative procedures for your own hypothetical ecotourism enterprise
  • Inspect an ecotourism accommodation facility
  • Research the statutory/legislative requirements for setting up ecotourism accommodation in your locality
  • Determine suitable layout for an ecotourism accommodation facility
  • Visit at least two suppliers of outdoor/recreation camping and cooking equipment
  • Contact your local health department or similar to find out causes of food poisoning and how it can be prevented
  • Make contact with several local ecotourism associations to research membership requirements
  • Research law and regulations in your state that may affect the operation of an ecotourism enterprise
  • Contact at least two insurance brokers for their recommendations on the type of insurance needed for a proposed ecotourism activity
  • Research safety notification requirements in a natural area
  • Interview someone who has been involved in the planning and/or delivery of an ecotourism activity.

Module 3.   ECOTOURISM TOUR GUIDE

COURSE STRUCTURE
There are 10 lessons as follows:

  1. Ecotourism Basics –
    • Definition of ecotourism
    • Negative ecotourism
    • Ecotourist profile
    • Administrative concerns
    • Safety
  2. Interpretive Services in Ecotourism –
    • Interpretation as a key element of ecotourism
    • Interpretation techniques
    • Sign design
  3. Ecology and Conservation –
    • Definition of ecology
    • Ecosystem function
    • The web of life
    • Habitat and niche
    • Humans in the environment
  4. Plant and Animal Classification and Identification –
    • Classification of organisms
    • Basic taxonomy
    • Using keys for identification
    • Other methods of identification
  5. Geology/Geomorphology –
    • Types of rocks
    • Types of minerals
    • Soils
    • Soil formation
    • Soil classification
  6. Interpreting Aquatic Environments –
    • Marine environments
    • Freshwater environments
    • Fish
    • Shells
    • Crustaceans
  7. Interpreting Land Environments –
    • Introduction to interpreting land environments
    • Relevance of interpreting land environments
  8. Planning an Ecotour –
    • Destination
    • Transportation
    • Accommodation
  9. Ecotour Displays –
    • Design concepts
    • Zoo design techniques
  10. Leading an Ecotour –
    • Advertising
    • Group preparation
    • Planning the tour
    • Group surveys for feedback

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

SUMMARY OF COMPETENCIES DEVELOPED
On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • An ability to analyse the structure of interpretive ecotourism in your country.
  • To recognise factors of the environment and their significance to ecotourism.
  • To plan an ecotour.
  • Create/develop interpretation aids for a selected ecotourism activity.
  • Develop a display with an ecotourism theme.
  • Determine the specific name of a range of natural features in a selected wilderness area including:
    • Birds
    • Fish
    • Shells
    • Other animals
    • Plants
  • Lead an interpretive tour with an ecotourism theme.
  • Develop innovative concepts in interpretation for a selected aquatic ecotourism activity.
  • Develop innovative concepts in interpretation for a selected ecotourism activity in a land environment.
  • Determine the specific name of a range of natural features in a selected wilderness area including, where appropriate:
    • Fossils
    • Rocks
    • Land formations
    • Soil types
    • Geothermal features

WHAT THE COURSE COVERS
You will learn a wide variety of things, through a combination of reading, interacting with tutors, undertaking research and practical tasks, and watching videos. Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • With each assignment you will be required to prepare identification sheets, containing a preserved specimen, a photograph or a drawing; together with a description of the species/type of organism.
    This collection is designed to be the embryo of a resource which you may use as an ongoing aid when designing and conducting interpretive activities.
  • You will research the legal and administrative background required to set up an ecotourism venture in your area. You will also look at the marketing and advertising possibilities for this venture.
  • Visit a number of interpretive ecotourism facilities.
  • Prepare an interpretive activities sheet for an ecotourism group.
  • Visit a natural area and classify organisms sighted in a set time period.
  • Identify points of interest in a natural area for an ecotourism group.
  • Research the lifecycles of a number of plants and animals.
  • Design a range of ecotours for ecotourists interested in various natural phenomena.
  • Visit an aquatic environment and make observations on the organisms there and any pollution present.
  • Identify potential ecotourism activities for a marine area.
  • Develop interpretive techniques for minimal environmental impact.
  • Attend an ecotour to assess the quantity and quality of information provided.
  • Plan an ecotour including the destination, accommodation, transport, catering.
  • Construct an ecotour display.
  • Plan and lead an ecotour to a group of ecotourists or acquaintances.



THE ACS TEAM APPROACH

ACS was founded by John Mason in 1979 as Australian Horticultural Correspondence School.

Right from these very early times, we've always believed that the best education only comes when the student is learning from the experience of a whole range of industry experts (rather than just a single teacher).

Every ACS course is a work in progress, continually evolving, with new information being added and old information being updated by our team of internationally renowned professional horticulturists.

Over the decades more than 100 horticulture experts from across the world have contributed to these courses, bringing their individual knowledge and experiences from as wide afield as England and Spain to Australia and America.

While may colleges and universities focus on providing courses that relate only to the country where they are based, ACS has always strived to make it's courses relevant to all parts of the world; any climate, economic or cultural situation. This has been achieved by involving a large number of professionals in the course development.

When it comes to tutoring, marking papers and mentoring students, the team approach is just as strong as with our writing. ACS students have the ability to obtain advice and support from staff across the world, with horticulture tutors located in the UK, Australia (both the north and south) and New Zealand.

The ACS team approach and global focus to both course content and student support, ensures our graduates have a unique and "real world" skills set. This unique approach is highly regarded by our colleagues in horticulture.