The Evolution of Ecotourism: The Story of the Galapagos Islands and the Special Law of 1998

  • Michele M. HoymanEmail author
  • Jamie R. McCall
Part of the Social and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands book series (SESGI, volume 1)


Public policies designed to encourage ecotourism in the Galapagos Islands have evolved in the decades since the islands became center stage in the international dialogue about environmental conservation. One of the most important pieces of legislation that regulates how the islands’ governments should balance economic development and environmental preservation is the Special Law of 1998. This chapter examines the unique historical, political, and economic factors that ultimately shaped the policies included in the Special Law. The authors examine the effectiveness and impacts of the law using the lens of local public and nonprofit leaders who were surveyed about ecotourism regulations in July 2011. The results show that although Galapagos leaders generally supported regulations designed around sustainable development, they were not as uniformly positive about the implementation and effectiveness of the Special Law.


Social Capital Minimum Wage Government Institution Marine Reserve Fishing Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Anne Davis, Trevor Fleck, and Sarah Osmer for their background research work on this chapter. We would also like to thank Carmen Huerta-Bapat, whose assistance with translating was invaluable in collecting data for the research findings. Finally, we would like to thank the UNC Center for Galapagos Studies for providing funding for the research project which forms the basis of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public AdministrationNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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