Scuba diving experience–which can include accumulated diving experience and familiarity with a diving location–is an important descriptor of diver specialisation and behaviour. Formulating and applying generalisations on scuba diving experience and its effects could assist the management of diving destinations around the world. This requires research that tests whether the influences of scuba diving experience are consistent across divers’ segments at different locations. The study assessed and compared the influence of scuba diving experience at two study areas in Italy and Mozambique. Scuba divers (N = 499) participated in a survey of diver segmentation, experience, and perceptions. The influence of diving experience on perceptions was determined using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). Experienced divers provided positive self-assessments, were less satisfied with dive sites’ health and management, and viewed the impacts of scuba diving activities less critically than novice divers. Scuba diving experience exerted similar influences on divers, regardless of the study area. However, remarkable differences also emerged between the study areas. Therefore, the use of generalisations on scuba diving experience remains a delicate issue. Recommendations were formulated for the management of experienced scuba diving markets and for the use of generalisations on diving experience to manage diving destinations.
Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga, is a well-established whale-watching destination in the South Pacific. Between July and October, the waters around the archipelago represent one of the most important breeding grounds for Oceania humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). The Tongan government allows tourist swimming activities with whales and tour operators strongly promote the practice of swimming-with-whales, focusing primarily on mother-calf pairs. However, there is increasing evidence, derived from empirical research on swim-with-cetacean tourism, that this kind of interaction affects cetacean behaviour and can lead to negative effects on the cetaceans involved. This study represents the first assessment of humpback whales’ behavioural responses to vessel and swimmer approaches in Vava’u. Fifty-six surveys took place during the 2016 and 2017 whale breeding seasons aboard dedicated research and tour vessels. Whale dive time, number of reorientation events, and respiration rates were documented in both the absence and presence of boats and swimmers. Vessel approach type, swimmer placement, and whale avoidance responses were also recorded. Results indicate that the average diving time and the proportion of time spent diving in the presence of swimming activities increased significantly for mother-calf pairs (F2,36 = 18.183, P < 0.001; F2,36 = 5.462, P = 0.009, respectively). Moreover, avoidance responses of whales towards tour vessels were observed for one third of vessel approaches (33.5%) and the avoidance rate was significantly affected by the boat approach type (95% CI: 20.7–69.2%, z = 3.50, P < 0.001). Finally, low levels of compliance to the existing Tongan swim-with-whales regulations were documented, in particular the stipulated whale resting time between interactions with tour operator vessels and swimmers was often not respected (38.4%). Vava’u is an important calving ground for the Oceania humpback whale population and these findings should be carefully considered by stakeholders in Tonga and at other locations where swim-with-whales opportunities are being undertaken. Effective strategies to reduce the risk of detrimental effects on the whales targeted by swimming activities, especially mother-calf pairs, are needed.
The use of mangroves as a travel and tourism destination has not received much attention, but provides a high-value, low impact use of these important ecosystems. This work quantifies and maps the distribution of mangrove visitation at global scales using keyword searches on user-generated content of the popular travel website, TripAdvisor. It further explores the use of user-generated content to uncover information about facilities, activities and wildlife in mangrove tourism locations world-wide. Some 3945 mangrove “attractions” are identified in 93 countries and territories. Boating is the most widespread activity, recorded in 82% of English-language sites. Birdlife is recorded by visitors in 28% of sites, with manatees/dugongs and crocodiles/alligators also widely reported. It is likely that mangrove tourism attracts tens to hundreds of millions of visitors annually and is a multi-billion dollar industry.
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.