Whale watching has boomed as a global tourist industry over the last three decades, bringing with it considerable economic gains to the local communities in which it operates, many of which are in less developed economies. However, it has also brought considerable biological harm to the cetacean populations exposed, which has led the International Whaling Commission to advocate for greater enforcement of established guidelines regulating the behaviour of operators. In this paper, a two-stage static common agency model is developed to assess the likely effectiveness of both heightened external enforcement and the alternative course of action of utilising whale-watching tourists as internal enforcers of established regulatory guidelines. The outcome strongly favours the alternative as being the most effective course of action.
A social-ecological system approach has been applied to measure the complexity of sustainable tourism development on small islands. In general, tourism development and ecosystem management have been shown to be relatively unbalanced. Tourism development attempts have not yet been accompanied by environmental management efforts. In this paper, the social-ecological status is measured to improve the sustainable development mechanism with appropriate indicators. Using the Gili Matra Islands as a case study, the social-ecological status of tourism in the region was examined using the social-ecological status index (SESI), a coupling index of the coastal waters quality index (CWQI), the coordination degree model (CCDM) and the index of information entropy weight (IEW) as tools for measuring and evaluating the social-ecological status and sustainable development of small island tourism.
Based on the Mare Nostrum programme; Project entitled: A heritage trail along the Phoenician maritime routes and historic port-cities of the Mediterranean Sea. This paper aimed at opening discussions concerning a new strategy of integrated tourism planning based on improving the competitive potential of tourist destinations in the Syrian coastal region within land/marine space alike. It is basically to reach a sustainable tourism industry, which could constitute the skeleton of the regional economy. When a step-by-step approach is adopted, including interviews and a questionnaire for a specific sample of respondents, then the TOWS matrix is applied to analyse the information collected, in parallel with the use of quantitative data from relevant directorates in the creation of regional tourism charts. Finally, the data were adapted to build the proposed scenario “2 + 1 Corridors and One Ring” for spatial tourism planning “STP”. Thus, three corridors emanate from the region’s marine gateways; two land corridors directed towards the regional interior to achieve an urban-rural integrated tourism planning as a non-partial unit, while the tourist investment corridor runs towards the marine space. The scenario completes by interaction/integration between these three corridors in one regional tourism network “tourist ring within Mediterranean series”. Hence, this paper is considered as one of the future directive bottom-up approaches to upgrading into multi-gateways tourist ring in the post-war stage for international tourist connecting ports. Therefore, this scenario could be classified as a policy to convey knowledge and culture between nations “Tourism for Peace”.
Manta ray watching tourism has become a popular tourist attraction over the past two decades, with a number of destinations offering different encounter experiences for tourists. This type of attraction has drawn worldwide attention because it can offer significant contributions to the local economy through snorkelling and diving services. Since its early development, a number of scientists have conducted research on the impacts of manta ray watching tourism, and have reported different findings regarding its sustainability. Based on published scientific articles, this study provides a literature review of manta ray watching tourism and examines the sustainability of its operation. This paper also highlights manta ray tourism hotspots in Indonesia including Nusa Penida, Komodo, and Raja Ampat as the study locations. Interviews with ten key persons including government officials, tourism operators, community, and non-governmental organization were conducted to collect and identify their perceptions. This study demonstrates different impacts of economy, ecology, and socialcultural aspects. Furthermore, different study areas apply different management approach in managing their tourist in terms of manta ray watching tourism operation. In conclusion, good governance, regulations/law enforcement, and collaborative management are significant factors to achieve sustainable manta ray watching tourism.
Coastal areas in the eastern sub-region of Thailand, a popular destination in Southeast Asia, are facing rapid tourism-related urbanization and associated consequences of environment and climate change (CC). Thus, this study aims to analyze the relationships between tourism, coastal areas, the environment, and CC in the context of tourism urbanization; and recommend strategies for enhancing the governance of coastal areas. Three popular destinations were selected as study areas, Koh Chang, Pattaya, and Koh Mak. Group discussions, questionnaire surveys, interviews, and observation were used for primary data collection together with secondary data. The results show that the development of these destinations has been incompatible with the coastal environment and CC patterns. Rapid urbanization from tourism development is the main driver of environmental changes and makes the areas vulnerable to CC-related risks. While water scarcity and pollution are found the most critical environmental issues of the destinations, coastal areas are negatively affected in terms of increased air and water pollution and resource degradation. They have also been exposed to different CC-related problems while the risks of accumulative impacts of both environment and CC have not been adequately recognized or addressed. Although some measures have provided synergies of improved environment and increased climate resilience, possible conflicts and gaps were also found. Public infrastructure integration and optimization to enhance coastal areas’ environment and climate resilience are suggested.
The Arctic is being influenced dramatically by climate change and new environmental conditions. As a result, there are increasing opportunities for local economic development and one of the sectors that is responding rapidly is marine tourism. In particular, Arctic cruise and yacht tourism has increased across all Arctic regions as sea ice declines and shipping season length increases with warming temperatures. The territory of Nunavut, in Arctic Canada, provides an interesting case study for examining the role of tourism in economic development in a region that is marketed as exotic and remote. Further, this is an important case study given the recent boom in marine tourism: the territory has experienced a 70% and 400% increase respectively in expedition cruise tourism and pleasure craft (yacht) tourism over the past decade. Nunavut is a settled land claim area and these changing environmental and economic conditions require focused attention within the context of adaptation to climate change and evolving self-determination. This chapter examines the place of marine tourism in economic development through the concepts of adaptation and ‘nation-building’ to explore the challenges and opportunities that are part of a complex and rapidly changing economic environment in the region of Nunavut Canada.
This research examines the donation behavior of tourists who are asked to donate to coastal conservation aimed at addressing a bundled mix of land and sea issues. Historically, the governance and financing of land and sea conservation have been separated; yet coastal tourism directly involves a mix of activities and development challenges which link land and sea together on the coast. Marine parks, and numerous studies examining their funding schemes, have typically focused on mandatory user fees targeting specific types of activities. For example, many studies focus only on scuba divers' willingness to pay (WTP) for marine conservation. Alternative funding mechanisms, such as voluntary contributions, may be preferred, or even necessary, to traditional government imposed fees, but much less is known about effective implementation. Relatively few studies focus on bundled cross-boundary conservation activities (i.e., land and sea conservation) from all visitors of a marine park (i.e., beachgoers, surfers, boaters, snorkelers) and its encompassing coastal area. In this study we target tourists visiting a popular island and employ field experimental methods to explore the optimal donation request mechanism and pricing levels that influence real voluntary payments for conservation. The field experiment examines voluntary payments under the treatment conditions: open-ended, a set of several suggested donation amounts, and default opt-in and opt-out at two price levels. The field experiment was conducted with tourists on the island of Gili Trawangan, Indonesia. Results reveal that tourists are willing to donate to bundled land-sea conservation issues and that there is a significantly higher propensity to donate in all treatment conditions compared to the open-ended condition. The default opt-out conditions garnered the highest rate of donations at 75% and 62% respectively for the lower and higher set amounts. The mean donation amount was largest in the higher default opt-out condition. Our results suggest that the optimal method of requesting voluntary donations is a set default amount requiring users to opt-out if they do not wish to donate. Implementing a default opt-out eco-donation targeting all types of visitors represents a significant source of funding and illustrates the potential for donations to finance land and sea conservation efforts, an important avenue for future investigation in many interconnected systems that have been historically governed and financed separately.
Livelihoods are a crucial factor in sustainable integrated coastal management and can bring big payoffs for people and coral reef resources but their role in encouraging collective engagement in management is not well understood. Dive tourism is often cited for its capacity to provide livelihoods to reduce reliance on coral reef resources, however, there is little evidence of its ability to achieve this goal. We use key stakeholder interviews with artisanal fishers, their community, local government and politicians and the sustainable livelihoods framework to study Oslob Whale Sharks, the most financially successful and controversial community based dive tourism site in the world. Oslob Whale Sharks has generated income from ticket sales of approximately US$18.4 m over five years. We found that Oslob Whale Sharks has created alternate livelihoods for 177 fishers, and diversified livelihoods throughout the community, reducing fishing effort and changing livelihood strategies away from reliance on coral reef resources. Livelihoods from Oslob Whale Sharks increase food security for fishers and their families and improve the wellbeing of their community. Livelihoods have galvanised fishers and their community to change behaviour and collectively engage in management. Our findings indicate connection between livelihoods and the provision of finance to protect whale sharks and manage five marine reserves, indicating that fishers and local government are protecting the whale sharks and coral ref resources their livelihoods depend on.
Ziegler et al. (2018) assessed tourists’ perceptions of the ethics of feeding an endangered species for tourism purposes. The ethical decisions made, and justifications provided, were assessed using utilitarian and animal welfare ethical philosophies. We concluded that despite the substantial social and economic benefits of this activity, it remains unclear whether these benefits outweigh the potential costs to the whale sharks, the community, and the greater environment. There is no evidence that provisioning is not detrimental to the sharks. Consequently, we invoke the precautionary principle whereby the onus to prove no detrimental impact should be on the proponents of provisioning whale sharks. Due to the lack of published, peer-reviewed “robust and unequivocal” scientific evidence of the impacts of this activity alluded to by Meekan and Lowe, our conclusions stand until thorough cost-benefit analyses are completed.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) effectively improve the biomass and diversity in heavily exploited marine systems, but often fail to reach their full potential because they require more space, time, and consistency of regulation. Recently, shark-based tourism, which utilises some of the remaining shark strongholds as tourism hotspots, has brought about increased awareness to exploited reef systems. In Fiji, specifically, shark diving companies include local community members in their operations to promote better understanding of their reefs. We seek to investigate whether seemingly denser shark populations during feeding times influence community composition and structure. Visual census data were collected from 50-m belt transects at four different reefs in Fiji: two MPAs with shark-based ecotourism with food provisioning, one MPA without shark-based ecotourism, and one unprotected area without shark-based tourism. Paradoxically, indices of evenness and diversity were highest in the non-protected site. However, there was significantly higher fish abundance and species diversity within reserves than outside of reserves. Within reserves, sites with shark feeding had lower fish abundance and higher richness, diversity, and evenness. Mean trophic level was highest at sites with shark feeding. Use of chum increased average fish abundance and diversity within shark-dive sites. These results indicate that there are evident differences between MPAs that do and do not offer trophic supplementation for shark-based ecotourism. Thus, tourism may be facilitating a shift of ecosystem composition in such areas. Furthermore, the results suggest that feeding methods may augment the impacts of shark-based tourism on the reef at large.