Document Type

Honors Paper


Chris Steiner

Publication Date



This project originated my sophomore year as my application to the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA). In my search for a project that would relate to anthropology and the Galápagos Islands I discovered the potential to study the tourism industry and its effects on society. Over the course of three years the project developed from a proposal as part of my application to CISLA to an internship and an honors thesis.

The focus of this thesis is the study of ecotourism in the Galápagos Islands, with a concentration on the interaction between tourists and residents and influence of tourism on the local population. I outline the history, geology, and geography of the islands to provide the reader with a base knowledge. In order to understand the complex societal relationship with tourism it is crucial to understand the history that led to the success of the tourism industry today. I review the anthropology of tourism, ecotourism in Costa Rica as a model, and the tourism industry in the Galápagos. Finally, I conclude the thesis with my own findings through surveys and an interview conducted while on Isabela for my internship.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.