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  1. 1. Exploring Ecotourism: The who, what, why, and how University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation
  2. 2. What is Ecotourism? <ul><li>Relatively unknown … industry, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>business, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>practice, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>concept, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>phenomenon????? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What do you think it is? </li></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  3. 3. “ Official” Definition of Ecotourism: <ul><li>“ Ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.” </li></ul><ul><li>- The Ecotourism Society </li></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  4. 4. Ecotourism as a market segment: Source: World Tourism Organization 2001 ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  5. 5. Local People Visitors Environment Ecotourism ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004 Source: Taylor Stein 2003
  6. 6. Ecotourism Provides… <ul><li>Benefits to Local People </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits to the Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits to Visitors </li></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  7. 7. Benefits of Nature-Based Recreation <ul><li>Nature-based recreation products? </li></ul><ul><li>Understood what other natural resource professionals produced. </li></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  8. 8. Benefit <ul><li>An improved condition (e.g., a gain) of an individual or a group of individuals or another entity (e.g., environment), </li></ul><ul><li>The prevention of an unwanted condition. </li></ul><ul><li>A desired condition. </li></ul>(Driver , 1994) ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  9. 9. Types of Benefits <ul><li>Personal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physiological </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social </li></ul><ul><li>Economic </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental </li></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  10. 10. What kinds of businesses fall into the ecotourism category? <ul><li>Guided nature tours- canoeing, hiking, birdwatching </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural tours- historical, archeological </li></ul><ul><li>Farms (Agritourism)- livestock, herbs, organic </li></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  11. 11. Who else benefits from ecotourists? <ul><li>Outfitters- birding store, hiking gear, camping </li></ul><ul><li>Restaurants- local cuisine </li></ul><ul><li>Craft sales- pottery, clothing, local artwork </li></ul><ul><li>Bed and Breakfasts </li></ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  12. 12. From a functional viewpoint ecotourism is: <ul><li>Mostly individual or small-scale tourism (tour groups <25 and hotels with <100 beds </li></ul><ul><li>Operated by small and medium sized companies in natural areas </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrates on leading and accommodating small groups in natural areas in an educational manner </li></ul><ul><li>Source: United Nations Environment Programme 2001 </li></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  13. 13. Who are these people??? <ul><li>Age: 35-54 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Gender: 50% female, 50% male </li></ul><ul><li>Education: 82% college grads </li></ul>Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000 ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  14. 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. 15. The Green Premium <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: The Travel Industry Association of America (1997) </li></ul>
  16. 16. How long do they stay? <ul><li>Trip length: 8-14 days </li></ul>Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000
  17. 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. 18. What do they want? <ul><li>Wilderness setting </li></ul><ul><li>Wildlife viewing </li></ul><ul><li>Hiking/trekking </li></ul>Information from Wight 1996 and TIES 2000
  19. 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. 20. Why do they do it?
  21. 21. Defining the Ecotourist <ul><li>Backpackers? </li></ul>Adventurers? Families? Foreign Visitors? Seniors? Hunters? Bird Watchers? ©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  22. 22. Recreation Behavior <ul><li>What are recreationists’ desired benefits (motivations)? </li></ul><ul><li>How do motivations relate to setting and activities? </li></ul><ul><li>What are visitors’ attitudes toward: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  23. 23. Psychology and Ecotourism Management <ul><li>Identifies definable market segments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct visitors to certain opportunities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide alternative opportunities. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aids in managing for social setting: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflicts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crowding </li></ul></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  24. 24. Motivations <ul><li>Enjoy Nature </li></ul><ul><li>Learn New Things </li></ul><ul><li>Family Relations </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce Tension </li></ul><ul><li>Escape Physical Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Share Similar Values </li></ul><ul><li>Independence </li></ul><ul><li>Introspection </li></ul><ul><li>Be with Considerate People </li></ul><ul><li>Achievement/Stimulation </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Rest </li></ul><ul><li>Teach/Lead Others </li></ul><ul><li>Risk Taking </li></ul><ul><li>Risk Reduction </li></ul><ul><li>Meet New People </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Nostalgia </li></ul><ul><li>Agreeable Temperatures </li></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  25. 25. How do you bring them in? <ul><li>Marketing to the ecotourist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember they are different than other tourists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They want nature-oriented, smaller-scale settings and are willing to pay for it </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. How do you keep them? <ul><li>“ Linking” ecotourism businesses to provide a diversity of experiences in an easy-to-access manner. </li></ul><ul><li>Training and education for ecotourism providers, managers, and community members so that visitors get a top-notch experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Birder-friendly communities </li></ul>
  27. 27. What are the impacts of ecotourism? <ul><ul><li>To the resource? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To the community? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To the visitor? </li></ul></ul>©Pandion Systems, Inc. 2004
  28. 28. Education <ul><li>Teaching decision makers about the potential benefits and impacts from ecotourism </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching operators about how to run a sustainable business while protecting the resource </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching community members how to welcome visitors and provide a positive experience </li></ul>Example: Florida ecotourism training programs
  29. 29. Ecotourism is: <ul><li>“ Responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.” </li></ul>
  30. 30. Thank you for your time .