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When Volunteers Pay to Take a Trip with Scientists—Participatory Environmental Research Tourism (PERT)

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This article defines and explores the current global level of the Participatory Environmental Research Tourism (PERT) subsector. This subsector refers to one type of volunteer vacation or conservation holiday, where participants pay to work as volunteers helping wildlife managers in environmental field research. From the wildlife manager's perspective the PERT subsector provides an alternative means of funding and another vehicle through which to achieve goals. Variations in models and styles of operating will impact on the resulting costs and benefits of running these programs. Initial research shows the PERT subsector is characterized by not-for-profit agencies, is wildlife-based and focused on the Americas. Marketing trends are also discussed. By highlighting existing activities in this area, the author aims to stimulate further research.

Keywords: environmental field research; participatory environmental research tourism; research expeditions; volunteer vacations; volunteering

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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