Tourism

Cashing in on Spinners: Revenue Estimates of Wild Dolphin-Swim Tourism in the Hawaiian Islands

Wiener C, Bejder L, Johnston D, Fawcett L, Wilkinson P. Cashing in on Spinners: Revenue Estimates of Wild Dolphin-Swim Tourism in the Hawaiian Islands. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00660/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1406443_45_Marine_20200818_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Wild dolphin-swim tourism has grown in specific locations where Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) have known resting habitat. The increased growth in dolphin-swim businesses has created an industry in Hawaii that earns an estimated $102 million (USD) annually in 2013. Semi-structured interviews with business owners, market research, and boat-based observations provide a platform for estimating revenue generated from dolphin tourism in two popular locations, Waianae, Oahu and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Island. A revenue analysis of dolphin-swim tourism is presented using a peak season and utilization rate model. These predictions offer an accountability exercise based on a series of assumptions regarding wild dolphin-swim demand and an annual estimate of the number of viewing participants and revenue earned. The results show that dolphin viewing companies are making a larger profit than dolphin-swim businesses by approximately $19 million (USD) per year, however, both avenues are generating large earnings. Sizable differences between businesses in Kona and Waianae are discussed. The average lifetime revenue generated by a dolphin in 2013 is estimated at $3,364,316 (USD) for Waianae and $1,608,882 (USD) for Kona, and is presented as a first step in scenario analysis for policy makers looking to implement management in the bays where tourism occurs. This study offers the first revenue estimates of spinner dolphin tourism in Hawaii, which can provide context for further discussion on the impact and economic role of the dolphin-swim industry in the state.

Engaging More Effectively With Visitors to Coastal Regions for Improved Management Outcomes: Insights From the Ningaloo Coast, Australia

Cvitanovic C, E. van Putten I, Kelly R, Feldman HR, van Steveninck TJ, Mackay M, Badullovich N, Gourlay T. Engaging More Effectively With Visitors to Coastal Regions for Improved Management Outcomes: Insights From the Ningaloo Coast, Australia. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00583/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1391749_45_Marine_20200730_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

A key component of successful coastal management efforts is an effective communication and engagement strategy focused on raising awareness of a region to different stakeholders to encourage more pro-environmental behaviors. Accordingly, in recent times there has been a proliferation of research focused on improving engagement and communication with different users of the coastal environment. Despite this effort, a paucity of evidence is available to guide better communication and engagement with visitors (i.e., tourists). Addressing this knowledge gap is critical given the adverse impacts of current global coastal tourism on ecosystem health, and projected future increases in coastal tourism. Using a case study of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area (WHA) in Australia, we contribute toward filling this gap by identifying visitors’ perception of the region and their self-reported and intended pro-environmental behaviors. We also identify the types of information they access and trust, and explore whether different message framings on the value of the WHA influence visitors’ intended pro-environmental behavior. We determine that although visitors to the Ningaloo Coast WHA are optimistic about the future sustainability of the region, they have low understanding of the rules and regulations in place to support its management. Further, we find that visitors consider tourism to be a serious threat to the future of the region. However, most participants in our study considered the quality of their own environmental behavior to be high, and thus not contributing to these threats, although this did differ by gender. Finally, we highlight that visitors to the Ningaloo Coast WHA, for the most part, obtain their knowledge of the region during their visit, primarily through local signage and visitors centers. We discuss the implications of these results, and highlight future considerations for coastal managers when developing visitor-focused communication and engagement strategies.

Rethinking tourism conflict potential within and between groups using participatory mapping

Lechner AM, Verbrugge LNH, Chelliah A, Ang MLi Ern, Raymond CM. Rethinking tourism conflict potential within and between groups using participatory mapping. Landscape and Urban Planning [Internet]. 2020 ;203:103902. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204619315853?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Tourism on small tropical islands in the Global South is a balancing act between development to improve local livelihoods and the conservation of fragile coastal and coral ecosystems. The objective of our study is to develop a series of new spatial metrics to support sustainable development through assessing the direction and magnitude of tourism development support and conflict between groups. We surveyed 317 individuals out of an estimated total population of 3300 using public participation GIS (PPGIS) on Tioman Island, Malaysia. Here we present a first example of how nuances in conflict can be articulated spatially across different levels of attitude toward tourism development within and between different segments of the population. Our results suggest that treating a population as homogeneous risks missing place specific development conflicts between segments of the population and locations of agreement where development can be managed sustainably with the support of the community.

The Economic Value of Shark and Ray Tourism in Indonesia and Its Role in Delivering Conservation Outcomes

Mustika PLiza Kusum, Ichsan M, Booth H. The Economic Value of Shark and Ray Tourism in Indonesia and Its Role in Delivering Conservation Outcomes. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00261/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1320398_45_Marine_20200505_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

As a hotspot of species diversity and fishing pressure, Indonesia is a global priority for the conservation of sharks, rays and their cartilaginous relatives (herein “sharks”). The high value marine tourism industry in Indonesia can create economic incentives for protecting and sustainably managing marine ecosystems and species, including sharks. This study estimates the economic value of shark and ray tourism in Indonesia and explores tourist preferences and local community perceptions of the tourism industry to understand the current and potential future role of this industry in shark and ray conservation. We identified 24 shark tourism hotspots across 14 provinces, with primary data collected from 365 tourists and 84 local community members over six case study sites. We use Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and travel efforts to extrapolate expenditures to other tourism sites. We estimate that at least 188,931 dedicated or partially dedicated shark tourists visit Indonesia each year. The median annual expenditures of these shark tourists is estimated at USD 22 million (for 2017), accounting for at least 7% of the total USD 1 billion marine tourism revenue in Indonesia in 2017 and 1.45× the value of annual shark exports in the country (inflation-adjusted to 2017 values). If sharks were absent from the surveyed sites, Indonesia’s tourism industry could lose ∼25% of these dive tourist expenditures. Despite this considerable value, our study indicates a mismatch between the absolute economic value of shark and ray tourism and its role in providing an incentive for conservation. Results from interviews with local communities in or near shark and ray tourism sites indicate that shark fishers are not well placed to receive direct economic benefits from shark and ray tourism. Since overfishing is the primary threat to shark populations, failure to engage with and appropriately incentivize these stakeholders will be detrimental to the success of Indonesia’s shark conservation efforts. If shark populations continue to decline due to insufficient conservation actions, the tourism industry could suffer economic losses from shark and ray tourism of more than USD 121 million per annum by 2027, as well as detrimental impacts on species, marine ecosystems, fisheries and people.

The Economic Value of Shark and Ray Tourism in Indonesia and Its Role in Delivering Conservation Outcomes

Mustika PLiza Kusum, Ichsan M, Booth H. The Economic Value of Shark and Ray Tourism in Indonesia and Its Role in Delivering Conservation Outcomes. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00261/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

As a hotspot of species diversity and fishing pressure, Indonesia is a global priority for the conservation of sharks, rays and their cartilaginous relatives (herein “sharks”). The high value marine tourism industry in Indonesia can create economic incentives for protecting and sustainably managing marine ecosystems and species, including sharks. This study estimates the economic value of shark and ray tourism in Indonesia and explores tourist preferences and local community perceptions of the tourism industry to understand the current and potential future role of this industry in shark and ray conservation. We identified 24 shark tourism hotspots across 14 provinces, with primary data collected from 365 tourists and 84 local community members over six case study sites. We use Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and travel efforts to extrapolate expenditures to other tourism sites. We estimate that at least 188,931 dedicated or partially dedicated shark tourists visit Indonesia each year. The median annual expenditures of these shark tourists is estimated at USD 22 million (for 2017), accounting for at least 7% of the total USD 1 billion marine tourism revenue in Indonesia in 2017 and 1.45× the value of annual shark exports in the country (inflation-adjusted to 2017 values). If sharks were absent from the surveyed sites, Indonesia’s tourism industry could lose ∼25% of these dive tourist expenditures. Despite this considerable value, our study indicates a mismatch between the absolute economic value of shark and ray tourism and its role in providing an incentive for conservation. Results from interviews with local communities in or near shark and ray tourism sites indicate that shark fishers are not well placed to receive direct economic benefits from shark and ray tourism. Since overfishing is the primary threat to shark populations, failure to engage with and appropriately incentivize these stakeholders will be detrimental to the success of Indonesia’s shark conservation efforts. If shark populations continue to decline due to insufficient conservation actions, the tourism industry could suffer economic losses from shark and ray tourism of more than USD 121 million per annum by 2027, as well as detrimental impacts on species, marine ecosystems, fisheries and people.

Reconciling Tourism Development and Conservation Outcomes Through Marine Spatial Planning for a Saudi Giga-Project in the Red Sea (The Red Sea Project, Vision 2030)

Chalastani VI, Manetos P, Al-Suwailem AM, Hale JA, Vijayan AP, Pagano J, Williamson I, Henshaw SD, Albaseet R, Butt F, et al. Reconciling Tourism Development and Conservation Outcomes Through Marine Spatial Planning for a Saudi Giga-Project in the Red Sea (The Red Sea Project, Vision 2030). Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00168/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1302118_45_Marine_20200416_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The Red Sea Project (TRSP) is a development that extends over 28,000 km2 along the shores of the Red Sea that will progress to become a sustainable luxury tourism destination on the west coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The destination incorporates the Al Wajh lagoon, a pristine 2,081 km2 area that includes 92 islands with valuable habitats (coral reefs, seagrass, and mangroves) and species of global conservation importance. The Red Sea Development Company, responsible for the execution of TRSP, has committed to achieve a net-positive impact on biodiversity while developing the site for sustainable tourism. This requires reaching conservation outcomes superior to those of a “business as usual” scenario for an undeveloped site. After careful optimization of the development plans to explore every opportunity to avoid impacts, we applied marine spatial planning to optimize the conservation of the Al Wajh lagoon in the presence of development. We subsequently tested five conservation scenarios (excluding and including development) using Marxan, a suite of tools designed to identify priority areas for protection on the basis of prescribed conservation objectives. We succeeded in creating a three-layer conservation zoning, achieving conservation outcomes as those possible in the “business as usual” scenario. Subsequently, we designed additional actions to remove existing pressures and generate net positive conservation outcomes. The results demonstrate that careful design and planning could potentially allow coastal development to enhance, rather than jeopardize, conservation.

To Feed or Not to Feed? Coral Reef Fish Responses to Artificial Feeding and Stakeholder Perceptions in the Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands

Prinz N, Story R, Lyon S, Ferse SCA, Bejarano S. To Feed or Not to Feed? Coral Reef Fish Responses to Artificial Feeding and Stakeholder Perceptions in the Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00145/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1286267_45_Marine_20200331_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Feeding wild animals is a regular habit in ecotourism worldwide with poorly known consequences for ecosystem functioning. This study investigates how effective bread feeding is at attracting coral reef fish in the South Pacific, which feeding groups of fish are most attracted, and how natural foraging rates of an omnivorous and a grazing-detritivorous fish are affected. Data were collected at sites where fish are regularly fed bread by snorkellers and at comparison sites where bread was only provided for this study, within the Aitutaki lagoon (Cook Islands). The fish community was censused and foraging rates of two model species (Chaetodon auriga, Ctenochaetus striatus) were quantified one hour before, during, and an hour after feeding events. Twenty-five percent of the species present at all sites (piscivores-invertivores) were effectively attracted to bread. Overall, mean fish density was higher at tourism feeding sites than at the comparison sites. During bread feeding events, taxonomic richness decreased, compared to the hours prior and after feeding across all sites. As piscivore-invertivores were consistently attracted to bread, localized shifts in their dominance over other trophic groups may be expected if bread feeding persists, likely carrying consequences for ecosystem functioning. The effect of bread feeding events on natural foraging rates differed between the model species. C. auriga ceased foraging on natural foods to feed on bread. Although C. striatus never fed on bread, its foraging rate on epilithic algal matrices decreased during bread feeding events. This indirect non-lethal ecological consequence of bread feeding contributes a previously unanticipated example relevant to the “ecology of fear” in marine fish. Stakeholder interviews revealed that locals favor feeding to sustain tourist satisfaction, whereas tourists appreciate snorkeling regardless of feeding. This indicates an opportunity for restrictions on fish feeding with minimal drawbacks for tourism. Future research on fish metabolism and cascading effects on the reef benthos may reveal further impacts of feeding on coral reef communities.

Tourism in marine protected areas: Can it be considered as an alternative livelihood for local communities?

Pham TThi Thanh. Tourism in marine protected areas: Can it be considered as an alternative livelihood for local communities?. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2020 ;115:103891. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X19303690
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The promotion of tourism has been considered to be a key strategy in reducing people's dependence on marine resources and for creating alternative livelihoods for the communities living in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This paper studies the determinants for the decision of participation in tourism-related activities and examines whether tourism could be regarded as an alternative livelihood for the local people living in the MPAs. The propensity score matching approach is employed and a case study of Nha Trang Bay MPA is used for analysis with data from 140 locals. The results show that the tourism industry in the MPAs does not secure a better income for the local people if they stop their traditional livelihoods and enter the tourism industry. In other words, tourism should not be viewed in isolation with other existing income generating activities. Furthermore, low education, long distances between home and tourism destinations, and the pressure of supporting the whole family are the primary rationales preventing local people living in MPAs from participating in tourism industry. This paper discusses implications for the management of MPAs in developing countries, where tourism is used as the main strategy to diversify the local people out of traditional fishing or aquaculture.

Ecotourism and marine protected areas: Case Study of perceptions of tourism operators in Nova Scotia

VanIderstine E. Ecotourism and marine protected areas: Case Study of perceptions of tourism operators in Nova Scotia. Halifax: Dalhousie University; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10222/77795
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Thesis

As “Canada’s Ocean Playground” Nova Scotia relies on a healthy ocean to support its economy and citizens’ livelihoods. As part of the economic development strategy, the province is seeking to significantly increase its tourism industry from $2 billion CAD to $4 billion CAD by 2024. Because much of the province’s tourism products is nature-based an increase in tourism will result in more pressure being put on coastal and marine ecosystems. With the government of Canada recently announcing the protection of 13.8 per cent of its ocean, the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs) may provide the opportunity for growth in ecotourism. As stakeholders, the view of tourism operators regarding marine protected areas and ecotourism are important to understand because they conduct their business in coastal areas that could become MPAs in the future. A case study method was used to describe tourism businesses perceptions of ecotourism and MPAs. Perceptions were derived from interviews with five tourism operators. Each case provided unique insights to the potential opportunities and concerns related to MPA designation in Nova Scotia. Although there are concerns about restricting regulations and the need for proper management and planning, ecotourism in MPAs provide a unique opportunity to advance conservation objectives and support the local economy of communities simultaneously through using MPAs may be a useful marketing tool for ecotourism leading to increased employment, cultural exchange, and environmental education.

Tourism-driven ocean science for sustainable use: A case study of sharks in Fiji

Ward-Paige CA, Brunnschweiler J, Sykes H. Tourism-driven ocean science for sustainable use: A case study of sharks in Fiji. bioRxiv [Internet]. 2020 . Available from: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.04.932236v1
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Manuscript

The oceans are in a state of rapid change – both negatively, due climate destabilization and misuse, and positively, due to strengthening of policies for sustainable use combined with momentum to grow the blue economy. Globally, more than 121 million people enjoy nature-based marine tourism — e.g., recreational fishing, diving, whale watching — making it one of the largest marine sectors. This industry is increasingly threatened by ocean degradation and management has not kept pace to ensure long-term sustainability. In response, individuals within the industry are taking it upon themselves to monitor the oceans and provide the data needed to assist management decisions. Fiji is one such place where the dive tourism industry is motivated to monitor the oceans (e.g., track sharks). In 2012, 39 dive operators in collaboration with eOceans commenced the Great Fiji Shark Count (GFSC) to document sharks (and other species) on 592 dive sites. Here, using 146,304 shark observations from 30,668 dives we document spatial patterns of 11 shark species. High variability demonstrates the value of longitudinal data that include absences for describing mobile megafauna and the capacity of stakeholders to document the oceans. Our results may be used to guide future scientific questions, provide a baseline for future assessments, or to evaluate conservation needs. It also shows the value of scientists collaborating with stakeholders to address questions that are most important to the local community so that they have the information needed to make science-based decisions.

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