Water quality for guest health at remote Amazon ecotourism lodges Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • © 2018 Elsevier Ltd Remote rainforest lodges are a growing part of the ecotourism industry. They can provide benefits through employment, environmental protection, and opportunities for scientific research. Lodges are vulnerable to income interruptions which put these benefits at risk. Authors identified water-related health crises as a potential interruption. Four lodges in lowland rainforest of southeastern Peru were visited to assess water quality, hygiene practices, and the relationship between water quality and guest experience. Thermotolerant coliforms (fecal bacteria including E. coli) were measured in drinking, tap, and river water. All treated drinking water contained coliform bacteria. River bacteria indicated possible unsafe swimming conditions. Through interviews with lodge staff, guests and regional stakeholders, a concerning picture developed. National law banned chlorine bleach, management relied upon the TripAdvisor website which did not accurately represent illness rates, and an international accreditation scheme discouraged chemical water treatment. Culture, law, and practice interact to affect bacterial contamination.

author list (cited authors)

  • Woodman, C. J., Min-Venditti, A. A., Woosnam, K. M., & Brightsmith, D. J.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • June 2019