Perceived impacts of ecotourism on environmental learning and conservation: Turtle watching as a case study

  • Tisdell C
  • Wilson C
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Abstract

Using a case study, involving turtle-based ecotourism, we explore the role of ecotourism in promoting environmental learning and in sustaining conservation of nature. The reported on-site experiences of respondents are analysed to identify important factors that alter their stated conservation attitudes and behaviours. The impact of these factors is quantified using regression analyses. The ecotourism experience, involving environmental education and seeing turtles, was found to have positive and statistically significant impacts on the visitors’ stated desire and intended behaviour to protect sea turtles. The study reveals the importance of learning and the interaction of tourists with wildlife as a contributor to their pro-conservation sentiments and actions.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Contingent valuation
  • Ecotourism
  • Environmental education
  • Sea turtles
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Wildlife conservation

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