EcoWiki

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Regulating & standardizing sustainable tourism is becoming more challenging because the international standards are difficult to follow/enforce in different contexts. Recently some governments have shown more interest in developing the sector and several ecotourism standards has been introduced by multiple certification systems and sustainability experts.

It is difficult to find a common understanding for what sustainable environment means, for example, one will find that one eco-lodge owner is a nature enthusiast, strong believer in sustainability and has the knowledge in that field, while the person next door is less of a believer but is an entrepreneur looking of a share in that business sector, or a policy maker with short-sighted goals that seek to maximize revenue from natural and cultural resources disregarding long-term accruing environmental and social costs.

Eco-Wiki Kenya is found to bridge this gab and construct a platform where best practices for sustainable tourism can be shared widely among neighboring tourism establishments.

The world-class tourism certificate have been setting the benchmark high for operators and owners to follow. While the international standards are clear, they are often ignored by majority of tourism establishments and resorts. Eco-Wiki can help bring some improvements based on a bottom up approach where it helps tourism establishments (lodges, resorts,…etc) to upgrade their sustainability indicators to, at least, be equal to their neighbors who a hive better environmental and cultural compliances.

There is a strong need for an innovative research-based approach to introduce an academic reference into such a development trend that is driven by blind economic forces. This has lead to the idea of the “Eco-Wiki”.

The “Eco-Wiki” is a proposed new terminology that is easily pronounced and adds to the field of sustainability. “ECO” is a prefix term that is used to describe subjects relating to ecological or environmental terms and “Wiki” is a word meaning “fast” or “quick” user-friendly tool and is typically powered and created collaboratively by multiple users (ex: community websites, knowledge management systems, online group, E-community) whose users/members can share, add, modify, or delete its content while keeping an eye on the established criteria as a reference benchmark.

Eco-Wiki is a seed for a research-based online portal to help develop ecotourism in Egypt and the region. It shall, later, include a public & a private database for subscribed users. It is a portal for data collection, management, and sharing that allows several user groups to access information as well as interface with each other.

URBANICS 2017