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A framework to guide the sustainability of wildlife tourism operations: examples of marine wildlife tourism in Western Australia

Rodger, K., Smith, A., Davis, C., Newsome, D. and Patterson, P. (2010) A framework to guide the sustainability of wildlife tourism operations: examples of marine wildlife tourism in Western Australia. CRC for Sustainable Tourism, Gold Coast, Queensland.

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    Abstract

    Growth in the wildlife tourism industry has been significant in recent years with an increasing focus on tourism centered on free-ranging wildlife. In Australia tourism based in the marine environment, including observing and interacting with coastal and marine wildlife, is increasing in popularity. The future potential for increased growth in marine tourism is dependent upon the abundance and diversity of Australia’s marine wildlife.

    Negative impacts of tourism on marine wildlife are difficult to assess as in many cases little is known about the animals or their environment. With the rapid growth in marine tourism the potential for both biophysical and social impacts needs to be recognised. Given the potential impacts and the variable nature of wildlife tourism operations the need arises for a formal auditing and monitoring framework that can identify potential or actual problems and the need for management. This report will examine the opportunities and the barriers in producing a simple, yet reliable framework to assess knowledge available on visitor satisfaction and expectations, identify key areas of product/service improvement, gauge the quality of interpretation programmes, evaluate the effectiveness of impact mitigation strategies and also evaluate the application of key performance indicators for monitoring systems for marine wildlife tourism.

    Publication Type: Report
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
    Publisher: CRC for Sustainable Tourism
    Copyright: © CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd 2010
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/2633
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