THE IMPACTS OF ECOTOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN MAUSSAWA ESTATE SRI LANKA
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- Institutt for geografi 
It is widely expected that the several remote locations of the developing countries get economic development due to the growing global tourism industry. In general, tourism industry is one of the largest and fast growing ones in the world and is predicted to double in size soon. Presently, a large number of travelers like to experience unexplored nature and remarkable culture that increased the trend for ecotourism within a tourism sector. Due to that fact, many developing countries tend to promote ecotourism to get economic development along with nature protection. This type of development tactics starts with some environmental, economic and sociocultural cost in the host destinations. Hence, the aims of this study are to assess the physical environmental, economic and socio-cultural impacts of ecotourism development and requirements to promote sustainable future for ecotourism practices. The Maussawa Estate, is located in Nuwara Eliya, one of the administrative districts in Sri Lanka, was selected as the case. The respondents were surveyed with semi-structured and key informant interviews, carried out in July 2008. The qualitative analysis was used in this research. This study revealed that ecotourism can be as an effective development strategy to The Maussawa Estate if there is proper planning and management system behind it. On the other hand, it can also lead to negative consequences if they focus only on the economic benefits for the owners of ecotourism industry. Particularly, there is room for well-planned and designed practice in the Maussawa Estate’s ecotourism industry to be sustainable. It has yet to mature fully and there is room for achieving balance between nature conservation and development. In its early stage, ecotourism offers a set of benefits to the local community at its best practices. All the key stakeholders in this area should take part in proactive measures to make sure that the ecotourism in this area is well planned and carried out to increase the likelihood of achieving sustainability. Therefore, even ecotourism may not be the best option in this early stage, it has potential to promote sustainable development in long term that could be a good enough reason for considering it as a credible sustainable development strategy to the Maussawa Estate.