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  • 1. Exploring Ecotourism: The who, what, why, and how University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation
  • 2. What is Ecotourism?
    • Relatively unknown … industry,
      • business,
      • practice,
      • concept,
      • phenomenon?????
    • What do you think it is?
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 3. “ Official” Definition of Ecotourism:
    • “ Ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.”
    • - The Ecotourism Society
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 4. Ecotourism as a market segment: Source: World Tourism Organization 2001 ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 5. Local People Visitors Environment Ecotourism ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004 Source: Taylor Stein 2003
  • 6. Ecotourism Provides…
    • Benefits to Local People
    • Benefits to the Environment
    • Benefits to Visitors
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 7. Benefits of Nature-Based Recreation
    • Nature-based recreation products?
    • Understood what other natural resource professionals produced.
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 8. Benefit
    • An improved condition (e.g., a gain) of an individual or a group of individuals or another entity (e.g., environment),
    • The prevention of an unwanted condition.
    • A desired condition.
    (Driver , 1994) ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 9. Types of Benefits
    • Personal
      • Psychological
      • Physiological
    • Social
    • Economic
    • Environmental
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 10. What kinds of businesses fall into the ecotourism category?
    • Guided nature tours- canoeing, hiking, birdwatching
    • Cultural tours- historical, archeological
    • Farms (Agritourism)- livestock, herbs, organic
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 11. Who else benefits from ecotourists?
    • Outfitters- birding store, hiking gear, camping
    • Restaurants- local cuisine
    • Craft sales- pottery, clothing, local artwork
    • Bed and Breakfasts
    • Others?
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 12. 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
    • Source: United Nations Environment Programme 2001
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 13. Who are these people???
    • Age: 35-54 years old
    • Gender: 50% female, 50% male
    • Education: 82% college grads
    Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000 ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 14. 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
  • 15. 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)
  • 16. How long do they stay?
    • Trip length: 8-14 days
    Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000
  • 17. 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
  • 18. What do they want?
    • Wilderness setting
    • Wildlife viewing
    • Hiking/trekking
    Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000
  • 19. 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.
  • 20. Why do they do it?
  • 21. Defining the Ecotourist
    • Backpackers?
    Adventurers? Families? Foreign Visitors? Seniors? Hunters? Bird Watchers? ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 22. Recreation Behavior
    • What are recreationists’ desired benefits (motivations)?
    • How do motivations relate to setting and activities?
    • What are visitors’ attitudes toward:
      • Management
      • Policies
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 23. Psychology and Ecotourism Management
    • Identifies definable market segments
      • Direct visitors to certain opportunities.
      • Provide alternative opportunities.
    • Aids in managing for social setting:
      • Conflicts
      • Crowding
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 24. Motivations
    • Enjoy Nature
    • Learn New Things
    • Family Relations
    • Reduce Tension
    • Escape Physical Stress
    • Share Similar Values
    • Independence
    • Introspection
    • Be with Considerate People
    • Achievement/Stimulation
    • Physical Rest
    • Teach/Lead Others
    • Risk Taking
    • Risk Reduction
    • Meet New People
    • Creativity
    • Nostalgia
    • Agreeable Temperatures
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 25. 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
  • 26. 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
  • 27. What are the impacts of ecotourism?
      • To the resource?
      • To the community?
      • To the visitor?
    ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  • 28. 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
    • Teaching community members how to welcome visitors and provide a positive experience
    Example: Florida ecotourism training programs
  • 29. Ecotourism is:
    • “ Responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.”
  • 30. Thank you for your time .