This study explored the ethics of provisioning wildlife to enhance tourist interactions at a whale shark tourism site in Oslob, Philippines. TripAdvisor comments (n = 947) and tourist surveys (n = 761) were used to better understand tourists' perceptions of whale shark provisioning in Oslob. The ethical decisions made were then critically assessed using utilitarian and animal welfare ethical philosophies. The majority of respondents supported whale shark provisioning, despite many being aware of the ethical complications of provisioning sharks for tourism purposes. Respondents justified their participation in this activity using mainly economic, human enjoyment, and animal welfare arguments. A utilitarian assessment of the potential costs and benefits of this activity highlighted the gaps in our knowledge regarding the economic and social benefits of this activity, as well as the negative impacts on the sharks’ welfare. Until such analyses are completed, significant ethical questions remain regarding the provisioning of these sharks.
Wildlife tourism can provide sustainable livelihoods, but can also significantly impact vulnerable species if improperly managed. To manage these impacts whilst continuing to support livelihoods, it is important to know the interests of tourists. Using the Best-Worst scaling method, we identified taxa that were most important to scuba dive tourism on shallow soft sediment habitats in Southeast Asia. We further identified differences in interest between demographic groups. We then investigated the current conservation status and research effort into the species driving this branch of tourism. The highest ranked taxa included fishes and invertebrates such as cephalopods and crustaceans. More than 200 respondents indicated that the species most important to muck dive tourism are mimic octopus/wunderpus, blue ringed octopus, rhinopias, flamboyant cuttlefish and frogfish. Diver interests were most influenced by sex, age and dive experience. The extinction risk of six of the top ten species has not yet been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. On average, the species driving this multi-million dollar tourism industry had less than one paper published every two years over the past two decades. The lack of research and conservation effort toward these species is at odds with their economic and social importance. Considering their high economic tourism value and unknown vulnerability, there is an urgent need for more research on fauna from shallow soft sediment and other habitats important to tourism.
Marine and coastal tourism as one of the largest segments of the maritime economy sector, as well as the largest component of the tourism industry, often leads to controversy over environmental impact and compatibility with other human activities. The application of economic and tourism concepts that are oriented towards environmental conservation and natural resources is one option to overcome the problem. The Blue Economy concept offers an economic concept based on ecosystem principles, where the development will not only generate economic growth but also ensure ecological and social sustainability. In addition, the concept of ecotourism also offers a tourism activity that prioritizes aspects of nature conservation and improving the welfare of the community
The Hoi An World Heritage site in Vietnam has faced increasing coastal erosion as a result of both natural and anthropogenic causes since the 2010s. Main drivers are the construction of hydropower dams on the Vu Gia and Thu Bon Rivers, illegal sand mining in the South China Sea, and sea level rise along the Central Coast Vietnam. Coastal erosion affects the tourism attraction of this area. A challenge for both the national government and the local authorities is understanding the nature of the contemporary coastal erosion; this includes the beach erosion and tourism relationship. This study deals with the damage valuation of the beach erosion in relation to the tourism revenue based on the hedonic pricing method. Cua Dai beach of Hoi An is structured into 23 beach sectors along the shore, each of which shows a relative homogeny in physical characteristics, anthropogenic activities, and socioeconomics. The beach value is function of morphological variables such as beach width and distance to the city center, and tourism variables such as tourist area, coastal businesses, the number of hotels, and the number of hotel rooms. The two-stage least squares (2SLS) of the custom-log model is the most accurate approach. The total projected revenue losses are more than an estimated 29 million US dollars by 2040. The present values of the total annual revenue losses in 2020, 2030, and 2040 are about 29.6, 21.4, and 14 million US dollars, respectively, at an interest rate of 5%. The results suggest mitigation strategies and policy recommendations. The proposal includes improving the adaptation capacity to coastal erosion using innovative, smart, and wise solutions. Beach nourishment and coastal defense structures can be sustainable management tools combating coastal erosion only if the multicausal coastal processes are properly considered and a detailed cost–benefit analysis is performed.
Disturbance of wildlife by ecotourism has become a major concern in the last decades. In the Mediterranean, sea-based tourism and related recreational activities are increasing rapidly, especially within marine protected areas (MPAs) hosting emblematic biodiversity. We investigated the impact of ecotourism in the Scandola MPA (UNESCO World Heritage Site, Corsica island), on the population of a conservation flagship, the Osprey Pandion haliaetus. Over the 37-year study period, tourists flow increased sharply. Osprey breeding performance initially increased, but then dropped for pairs nesting within the MPA compared to those breeding elsewhere in Corsica. We examined several hypotheses that could explain such reduction in breeding performance. Recent osprey breeding failures in the MPA are not caused by food scarcity. Using underwater fish surveys, we showed that fish consumed by ospreys were more numerous within the MPA. Focal observation at nests revealed that the overall number of boat passages within 250 m of osprey nests were three times higher inside the MPA compared to a control area. Elevated boat traffic significantly modified osprey time-budgets, by decreasing prey provisioning rate by males, and increasing time spent alarming and flying off the nest in females. This caused stress, and corticosterone levels in chick feathers were three times higher in high-traffic areas compared to places with lower touristic flow in Corsica, the Balearic Islands and Italy. Overall, our integrative, long-term study demonstrates the negative impact of sea-based ecotourism on the Corsican osprey population. This stresses the worldwide importance of rigorously implementing sustainable ecotourism, within well-enforced MPAs.
The aim of this study was to determine the recreational value of the three major coral reefs in the Mexican Pacific: Cabo Pulmo, Islas Marietas and Huatulco. 488 and 455 domestic and international tourists respectively were interviewed, and their socioeconomic profile and perception of the coral reef they visited were determined. Using the dichotomous choice contingent valuation method, a willingness to pay of US$ 5.79 for conservation activities was determined, as well as a net annual benefit from the reef of US$1.4 million. The results of the study show that the tourists are willing to pay a higher entrance fee than that established by the federal government. Therefore, if a new entrance fee policy is implemented for entering to marine national parks, the federal government could increase its limited budget for monitoring and research activities in these ecosystems.
Wildlife tourism is often extolled for its contribution to conservation. However, understanding the effects of tourism activities on the health of target animals is required to fully assess conservation benefits. Shark tourism operators often use food rewards to attract sharks in close proximity to tourists, but nothing is known about the contribution of these food rewards to the energetic requirements of target species. In this study, hand feeding of bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas was directly observed on 36 commercial shark watching dives in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve (SRMR), Fiji. Mean number of tuna heads consumed per dive by focal individuals ranged from 1.3 to 3.7. Monitored bull sharks consumed an average of ~0.74 heads per provisioning day, and bioenergetics modelling suggests that some sharks might periodically be meeting their full energy requirement from provisioning at the SRMR. Knowing how much individual sharks consume at provisioning sites and how this relates to their energy requirements is crucial in order to better understand the effects of wildlife tourism and its contribution to conservation.
Feeding wildlife for the purpose of tourism is a contentious issue with for and against arguments being raised by tour operators, non-governmental organisations, researchers, and managers. Despite this situation, there is a growing trend in the feeding of marine wildlife to guarantee visitors an exciting up-close experience. This review investigates the scope and key findings of research conducted on the impacts and social aspects of tourism related wild fish feeding. This systematic quantitative literature review identified 58 peer-reviewed articles on feeding wild fish for tourism. Of those articles, 35 (60%) reported on ecological impacts on the fish. Only 14 articles explored fish feeding tourism from a social perspective, and of those only 9 (15%) investigated the perspectives of visitors. This review highlights that the impacts and management of complex human-wildlife interactions, such as feeding wild fish, are case and species specific. The impacts of feeding wild fish for tourism include changes in species distribution and behaviour, negative health effects, increased predation of some fish species, and risk of injury to tourists. There is less research on social aspects such as visitor attitudes and satisfaction with fish feeding operations. Further studies are required on visitor demand and interests, and the ecological implications of provisioning to ensure the scenarios in which fish feeding occur are sustainable, maximizing the tourism experience while minimizing negative impacts on fish populations. It is important that progress is made towards developing appropriate codes of conduct and nationally and internationally accredited standards of practice.
The Ministry of Tourism has created a 10-priority destination program in Indonesia. Pulau Seribu is one of the 10 destinations. Meanwhile, Bira Island is located in the Thousand Islands. To improve the performance of the Island, it is also necessary to increase the island of Bira. This mixed mode research, conducted for a year on the island of Bira to respond to the plans of the Ministry of Tourism. This study aims to discern Coastal Ecotourism in Bira Island, Indonesia. The results of data collection and tabulation show the existence of gap between the performances of the island at this time and expected. Ecotourism concept enhances CE performance on the island. In addition, the concept also creates jobs of women and anglers living along the coastline. Besides, environmental conservation efforts create marine ecotourism. Furthermore, their efforts also increase economic contribution to them and local governments. The economic improvement is accompanied by improved coastal environmental performance and improved performance of culinary and handicraft tourism.
Recreational SCUBA diving market is a rapidly developing industry, which during the last years focuses among others in the observation of marine fauna and flora. An innovative approach towards this direction is to study whether animal, and particularly fish behaviour, can contribute to the development of SCUBA diving tourism. The principal two axes of the current survey were the enhancement of SCUBA diving safety (via the promotion of swallow waters biocommunities) and the marine life protection (via environmental awareness). The two study areas are located in Chalkidiki peninsula (Greece, North Aegean Sea). The preliminary part of this study demonstrated a non significant difference between males and females regarding their age, their diving experience (training level and hours of diving) and their diving preferences (depth and type of sea bottom). Nesting and agonistic behavior of three Labridae fish (Symphodus ocellatus, Symphodus cinereus, Xyrichthys novacula) were used as motivation factors in the three testing hypotheses. Among those three hypotheses, diving in shallow rocky bottom aiming at the observation of Symphodus ocellatus seems to be the most attractive for the divers. As a general remark, briefing is a very useful tool that can inform, but also orientate the customers. Additionally, the very poor knowledge of Mediterranean undersea wildlife, especially by the recreational SCUBA diving staff should be mentioned. As a conclusion, the current approach can be used for the enhancement of SCUBA diving product (i.e. promotion of specialties such as Fish Identification) or increase of SCUBA diving equipment (i.e. underwater cameras).