Dear Internet: The first couple posts from my China class are up on the class blog. I call your attention especially to this post by Steve and the reply from Kate about Chinese and American modes of ecotourism.
This was a big issue for us during the trip. As environmentalists, many members of the class wanted badly to see an environmentally friendly mode of tourism develop in China which would aid in the preservation of important natural areas. Our experience at the Stone Forest Geopark, however, indicated that people in China had very little interest in developing Western style parks or engaging in outdoorsy activities like backpacking and camping. This has lead to an interesting, but nascent, discussion of ecological sensitivity vs. cultural sensitivity. The first round of the online discussion is up, and I encourage you to check it out.