Mar 24, 2010
Exploring Ecotourism: The who, what, why, and how University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation
What is Ecotourism? ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Relatively unknown … industry,
“ Official” Definition of Ecotourism: ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
“ Ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.”
Ecotourism as a market segment: Source: World Tourism Organization 2001 ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Local People Visitors Environment Ecotourism ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004 Source: Taylor Stein 2003
Ecotourism Provides… ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Benefits to the Environment
Benefits of Nature-Based Recreation Nature-based recreation products? ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Understood what other natural resource professionals produced.
Benefit An improved condition (e.g., a gain) of an individual or a group of individuals or another entity (e.g., environment), (Driver , 1994) ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
The prevention of an unwanted condition.
Types of Benefits ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
What kinds of businesses fall into the ecotourism category? Guided nature tours- canoeing, hiking, birdwatching Cultural tours- historical, archeological ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Farms (Agritourism)- livestock, herbs, organic
Who else benefits from ecotourists? Outfitters- birding store, hiking gear, camping Restaurants- local cuisine ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Craft sales- pottery, clothing, local artwork
From a functional viewpoint ecotourism is: Mostly individual or small-scale tourism (tour groups <25 and hotels with <100 beds Operated by small and medium sized companies in natural areas Concentrates on leading and accommodating small groups in natural areas in an educational manner ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Source: United Nations Environment Programme 2001
Who are these people??? Gender: 50% female, 50% male Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000 ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Education: 82% college grads
Where do they stay? Ecotourists are more likely to select from a range of intimate, adventure-type accommodations such as cabins, lodges/inns, camping, bed and breakfasts, or ranches. Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000 ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
The Green Premium 83% of US travelers are inclined to support “green” travel companies and are willing to spend on average 6.2% more for travel services and products provided by environmentally responsible travel suppliers.
Source: The Travel Industry Association of America (1997)
How long do they stay? Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000
When do they travel? North American ecotourists prefer to travel in the summer, however experienced ecotourists will travel during the off season. Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000
What do they want? Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000
Overall, ecotourism trends suggest that the ecotourist is no longer representative of a small segment of the population. As ecotourism becomes more mainstream and the term more widely used, ecotourism is drawing a diverse audience. This opens up many opportunities to develop nature-based tourism for a broad audience.
Why do they do it?
Defining the Ecotourist Adventurers? Families? Foreign Visitors? Seniors? Hunters? Bird Watchers? ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Recreation Behavior What are recreationists’ desired benefits (motivations)? How do motivations relate to setting and activities? ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
What are visitors’ attitudes toward:
Psychology and Ecotourism Management Identifies definable market segments Direct visitors to certain opportunities. Provide alternative opportunities. ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Aids in managing for social setting:
Motivations ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Be with Considerate People
How do you bring them in? Marketing to the ecotourist Remember they are different than other tourists
They want nature-oriented, smaller-scale settings and are willing to pay for it
How do you keep them? “ Linking” ecotourism businesses to provide a diversity of experiences in an easy-to-access manner. Training and education for ecotourism providers, managers, and community members so that visitors get a top-notch experience.
Example: Birder-friendly communities
What are the impacts of ecotourism? ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
Education Teaching decision makers about the potential benefits and impacts from ecotourism Teaching operators about how to run a sustainable business while protecting the resource Example: Florida ecotourism training programs
Teaching community members how to welcome visitors and provide a positive experience
“ Responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.”
Thank you for your time .