Trends and lags in the use of ecotourism terminology in the scholarly and popular press
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Whilst the term ecotour was first coined half a century ago, it did not gain significant currency in the academic tourism literature until the 1990s (Weaver and Lawton 2007). Though a much contested concept in a technical sense, it has found considerable favour in political debate, albeit often in ways which do not mesh well with scholarly definitions (Weaver and Lawton 2007). In recent years, a number of parallel or similar terms have also gained in popularity. These include product-based concepts such as nature-based tourism, management-based concepts such as sustainable tourism, and socially based concepts such as responsible tourism. It has recently been claimed (McKercher 2010) that ecotourism is in decline; and whilst these claims have been criticized on scholastic grounds (Buckley 2010), it remains an open question whether ecotourism terminology has been superseded . Here, therefore, we track the use of the term over the past three decades, in both the academic and popular literature, to test both for time series trends in each one individually, and for correspondence or lags between the two sets of references.
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