This study hypothesized that ecotourism projects expose resident-beneficiaries to an environment that has some sense of preservation and appreciation of nature and in turn, influence perception. Perception has been defined as opinions or ideas. Since ecotourism factors could have simultaneity and interrelations, differences in perception could be affected by collective factors. And since ecotourism factors have independent properties, differences in perception could be affected by individual factors.
Relative differences were found in perception of households with respect to different tourism projects ecotourism and historical/cultural tourism, and with respect to length of existence of tourism projects. With relative differences in perception of benefits and costs of ecotourism, the tourism and travel industry could be guided in the tourism programmes that are prepared. For example, marketing and promoting of tourist areas could include some of the observed perceptions of resident-beneficiaries on their surroundings and on tourists of their communities. In turn, this could facilitate the explanations of tourism programmes and restrictions to both tourists and resident-beneficiaries. Moreover, getting the involvement of more resident-beneficiaries in specific tourism activities or through employment could allow them to have better understanding of tourists.
Although the conclusions of this exploratory study were limited to 4 communities in Sweden, the observations could be useful in the proper utilization of natural resources of developing countries. For instance, developing countries could have diverse and rich natural resources, warm and hospitable people and tourist spots that are of national significance. Furthermore, policymakers of developing countries could be guided in the promotion of a balanced regional growth. Lastly, the study could provide new dimensions of adopting ecotourism not only in developing countries but also in developed countries like Sweden. For example, knowing how tourism resident-beneficiaries perceive costs and benefits could be used to guide implementation of some specific environmental protection rules in specific areas for greater efficiency. As some of the opinions of the households in the survey were the poor implementation of environmental protection laws of Sweden, this could also be considered by the tourism and travel industry in their marketing and promotion stints
Karlstad University Studies , 1999.