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).
Scuba diving has attracted increased numbers of tourists on a global scale. While the beneficial as well as detrimental impacts of scuba diving tourism have been well documented, limited research attention is given to the perspectives of dive operators with respect to sustainable development. This study examined the perspectives and experiences of dive operators in relation to sustainable resource use in Mozambique and Italy, two countries that are home to popular coastal destinations and offshore marine parks. Interviews suggested that overall operators have positive attitudes towards sustainable resource use, engaging in actions such as deploying four-stroke engines, recycling equipment and waste, and favouring electric-over fuel-powered vehicles. Yet, they do not promote sustainable resource use at the dive centre, with reasons including limited time, lack of government incentives, and absence of rebate systems. Implications were discussed for sustainable diving operations in the study areas and generally.
Antarctica's status as a unparalleled place of international scientific collaboration was entrenched in the Antarctic Treaty 1959, and its designation as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science” formally referenced in the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (PEPAT) 1991 (PEPAT 1991, Article 2). The continent's importance for maintenance of the global ecosphere has more recently been confirmed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Anisimov et al., 2007). However, the expanded scale and scope of commercial tourism in Antarctica over the last quarter century raises issues about whether the laissez-faire approach to tourism management that has been taken under the auspices of Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) governance is sufficient to protect the Antarctic environment and its “wilderness” values from the negative impacts of tourism (PEPAT, Article 3(1)). This is an subject that has occupied a number of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties (ATCPs), who form the decision-making group within the ATS, and resulted in a recent question by The Netherlands to fellow ATCPs as to whether “a system of obligatory or voluntary payments by individual tourists or tourist organizations (as a payment for ‘ecosystem services’)?” should be established within the ATS (The Netherlands, ATCM XI, 2012).
This paper considers the Dutch question about payment for ecosystem services in Antarctica as a potential tourism regulatory tool. It also examines the legal and related political issues that a proposal for introduction of ecosystem services would generate in an area of the earth which, de facto, is treated as an international commons, but is also the site of continuing contestation and challenge over abeyant claims to sovereignty by seven states within the ATCP group. Issues canvassed in this context include: the different political-philosophical approaches to tourism and the environment evinced by the ATCPs; the limited number of states signatory to the Treaty and the increase in non-state actor activity in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters, and concomitant difficulties of monitoring and compliance in a geographically expansive and remote area of the earth; and the potential of ecosystem services in Antarctica to help realise some of the United Nations’ post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
There is global consensus that marine protected areas offer a plethora of benefits to the biodiversity within and around them. Nevertheless, many organisms threatened by human impacts also find shelter in unexpected or informally protected places. For coral reef organisms, refuges can be tourist resorts implementing local environment-friendly bottom-up management strategies. We used the coral reef ecosystem as a model to test whether such practices have positive effects on the biodiversity associated with de facto protected areas.
North Ari Atoll, Maldives.
We modelled the effects of the environment and three human management regimes (tourist resorts, uninhabited and local community islands) on the abundance and diversity of echinoderms and commercially important fish species, the per cent cover of reef benthic organisms (corals, calcareous coralline algae, turf and macroalgae) and the proportion of coral disease. We used multivariate techniques to assess the differences between reef components among the management regimes.
Reefs varied between the management regimes. A positive “resort effect” was found on sessile benthic organisms, with good coral cover and significantly less algae at resort islands. Corals were larger and had fewer diseases in uninhabited islands. Minor “resort effect” was detected on motile species represented by commercial fish and echinoderms.
In countries where natural biodiversity strongly sustains the tourist sector and where local populations rely on natural resources, a balance between tourism development, local extraction practices and biodiversity conservation is necessary. The presence of eco-friendly managed resorts, which practices would need to be certified on the long term, is beneficial to protect certain organisms. House reefs around resorts could therefore provide areas adding to existing marine protected areas, while marine protection efforts in local community islands should focus on improving fishing management.
Although tourism destination governance has been a subject of academic enquiry for some time now, in practice, governance is still a challenge for many tourism destinations around the world. Adaptive co-management (ACM) is a dynamic approach to governance whereby institutional arrangements and ecological knowledge are continually revised through a process of ‘learning-by-doing’. Founded on the active participation and collaboration of diverse stakeholder groups, ACM has been used extensively in the governance of natural resource contexts and so may offer valuable synergies for tourism governance; particularly the governance of tourism in protected areas. This review paper presents a critical review and synthesis of the ACM literature, identifying synergies and opportunities for enhancing tourism governance practices in protected area contexts through an ACM approach. A conceptual framework is developed from the review that identifies principles, stages, variables and expected outcomes of the ACM approach. Future research directions for ACM in tourism are proposed that incorporate governance, social learning and multi-stakeholder engagement.
- Since the implementation of the commercial whaling ban in the 1980s, whale-watching has become the most important economic activity involving whales worldwide.
- Whale-watching is promoted as a platform for education and conservation awareness of marine biodiversity. In Peru, where cetacean species are still in jeopardy, whale-watching may play an important part in promoting the protection of these species.
- This study aimed to determine the degree of whale-watching tourists' knowledge regarding cetacean ecology and conservation status and to evaluate if whale-watching tours could serve as platforms for educating the public and raising conservation awareness.
- The results of 196 closed-ended questionnaires and 20 open-ended interviews conducted before and after whale-watching tours, during the humpback whale season (winter–spring 2014) in northern Peru, revealed an overall lack of knowledge concerning the presence of species of cetaceans in Peruvian waters and threats to marine biodiversity. However, after the whale-watching excursion, participants said they would be more willing to change their behaviour with respect to cetacean conservation and marine environment protection.
- This study suggests that whale-watching platforms, when implemented with adequate interpreters, can serve as a source of environmental education and can raise conservation awareness. This is an important conservation strategy to consider in countries, such as Peru, where by-catch and direct hunting are decimating local cetacean populations.
There is a growing need for instruments to control and reduce the impacts of the increasing number of tourists visiting protected natural areas. Among these economic instruments, the use of access fees can have positive effects on enhancing environmental sustainability by reducing the number of visitors. Access fees are also a source of financing the management costs of a protected area. Among the negative impacts of tourism, users of beaches perceive congestion as a factor in reducing the final value of the touristic experience. This article analyses the perception of locals of an access fee to enter the small Canary island of Lobos, a protected natural area with high quality beaches, whose quietness is endangered by an increasing number of visitors, clearly exceeding the current carrying capacity. We approached the problem using different tools: firstly, we looked at visitors’ opinions on the website TripAdvisor to identify whether congestion is perceived as a problem; secondly, we carried out an opinion survey using Likert-type scale questions to capture opinions about crowding and pricing; and finally, we used a discrete choice experiment to estimate the willingness to pay (WTP) for accessing the island and reducing congestion. The results reveal a high degree of perception of congestion and the potential of an entrance fee as an effective tool in reducing that congestion and thus generating resources to cover the maintenance costs of the protected area.