Key stakeholder views of marine research tourism in Australia

Wood, Peter, and Rumney, John (2009) Key stakeholder views of marine research tourism in Australia. In: Proceedings of CMT2009, the 6th International Congress on Coastal and Marine Tourism. pp. 97-119. From: the 6th International Congress on Coastal and Marine Tourism, 23-26 June, 2009, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

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Marine research tourism (MRT) is defined as marine ecotourism where marine research is an important part of the tourism attraction. The the aim of this study was to further understand the supply side views of Australian MRT stakeholders towards the present and any potential development of MRT in Australia. An online survey of 49 key stakeholders views and subsequent analysis was undertaken. Stakeholders were asked 19 questions about their views on; the benefits of, driving forces, issues, and opportunities for, and the role of private industry and government in MRT in Australia.

This study identified three likely benefits of MRT that can be considered to be a core competitive advantage for MRT when compared with many marine tourism or ecotourism ventures. The potential for increased opportunities and benefits of MRT to indigenous Australians is also identified. Survey respondents also identified a range of potential coordination and service provision roles for Australian indigenous groups, environmental conservation organisations and marine education societies in any coordinated development of MRT in Australia. Academic publications and the involvement of marine research agencies with MRT were identified as important or essential to MRT.

Overall, conservation organisations, marine education societies, marine research students, tour organisations, and MRT operators had positive views about MRT in Australia. However, many marine managers, researchers and tour operators appeared to have a reticence towards MRT. This reticence is partly due to MRT related concerns that have not previously been identified in the literature. They are; possible independent influence from other MRT stakeholders on established marine research agendas, possible competition by MRT for traditional research funding, and the possibility of popular MRT science competing with less popular but important marine research priorities. To address such concerns, this paper recommends a range of strategies for any coordinated strategic plan to develop MRT in Australia.

Item ID: 10702
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-620-44213-8
Keywords: marine tourism; scientific research; stakeholders; ecotourism; volunteer tourism; adventure tourism
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Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2010 01:37
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150605 Tourism Resource Appraisal @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900303 Tourism Infrastructure Development @ 100%
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