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Successful Interpretation in Great Barrier Reef Tourism: Dive in or Keep Out of It?

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Marine wildlife tourism on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) focuses on: (i) “swim-with” programs, (ii) surface watching activities (whales and dolphins), (iii) diving (corals, sharks, etc.), (iv) reef snorkeling trips, and (v) glass-bottom boat tours. A 4-year study indicated significant differences in travel experiences and reef tour satisfaction between respondents (N = 3407) participating in different types of activities. Non-divers were less likely to have been to other reefs, less motivated to visit the region to see the GBR, and they were more likely to say that interpretation changed their appreciation of the reef and their behavior. It is proposed that management, product design and experience, and outcome will be different for each group and not all findings within marine wildlife tourism are transferable between tourism types.
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Keywords: ACTIVITIES; GREAT BARRIER REEF; INTERPRETATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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  • Tourism in Marine Environments is an interdisciplinary journal dealing with a variety of management issues in marine settings. It is a scientific journal that draws upon the expertise of academics and practitioners from various disciplines related to the marine environment, including tourism, marine science, geography, social sciences, psychology, environmental studies, economics, marketing, and many more.
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