Marine wildlife tourism: education and conservation benefits

Zeppel, Heather and Muloin, Sue (2007) Marine wildlife tourism: education and conservation benefits. In: 5th International Coastal and Marine Tourism Congress: Balancing Marine Tourism, Development and Sustainability (CMT2007), 11-15 Sep 2007, Auckland, New Zealand.


Marine wildlife tourism can provide a range of education and conservation benefits for visitors. These benefits derive from close personal encounters with marine wildlife and visitor leaming about marine species and ocean environments. There has been limited assessment of marine wildlife tourism experiences and educational programs to identify whether these increase tourist knowledge, promoting attitudinal shifts and also lifestyle changes that aid marine conservation and help to conserve marine wildlife. The on-site and longer-term conservation intentions, or behaviours, of visitors that benefit marine wildlife and environments have also been little evaluated. This paper reviews the education and conservation benefits of marine wildlife experiences in Australia using Oram's (1999) framework of indicators to manage marine tourism. The key indicator for tourists assessed in this paper is behaviour/lifestyle change that benefits marine species, along with three indicators of conservation outcomes for marine environments. Information is drawn from selected case studies of research on guided tourist encounters with whales, dolphins and marine turtles from 1996 to 2007, mainly in Australia. This analysis found tourist learning during mediated encounters with marine wildlife contributes to pro-environmental attitudes and improved on-site behaviour changes, with some longer-term intentions to engage in conservation actions that benefit marine species.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: c. Auckland University of Technology.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2011 11:07
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: marine wildlife tourism; interpretation; education benefits; environmental behaviour; conservation actions
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1506 Tourism > 150601 Impacts of Tourism
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050203 Environmental Education and Extension
Fields of Research (2020): 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3508 Tourism > 350801 Impacts of tourism
35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3508 Tourism > 350806 Tourist behaviour and visitor experience
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410403 Environmental education and extension
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960703 Environmental Education and Awareness

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