Conservation and education benefits of interpretation on marine wildlife tours

Zeppel, Heather, and Muloin, Sue (2008) Conservation and education benefits of interpretation on marine wildlife tours. Tourism in Marine Environments, 5 (2-3). pp. 215-227.

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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 learning about marine species and ocean environments. There has been limited assessment of marine wildlife tourism experiences and educational programs to identify whether these increase tourists' knowledge, promoting attitudinal shifts and also lifestyle changes that aid marine conservation and help to conserve marine wildlife. Similarly, there has been little evaluation of on-site and longer term conservation intentions, or behaviors, of visitors that benefit marine wildlife and environments. This article reviews the education and conservation benefits of marine wildlife experiences in Australia using Orams' framework of indicators to manage marine tourism. The key indicator for tourists assessed in this article is behavior/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 proenvironmental attitudes and improved on-site behavior changes, with some longer term intentions to engage in conservation actions that benefit marine species.

Item ID: 7172
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1544-273X
Keywords: marine wildlife; interpretation; education benefits; environmental behavior; conservation actions
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2010 05:17
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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