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The Vanuatu government is aiming to maximize local participation in the tourism industry and to plan and implement tourism projects with explicit attention given to the conservation of the country’s environmental and cultural heritage. This article provides an overview of the scuba diving operations in Vanuatu. It uses content analysis and operator and diver surveys to assess how the industry is minimizing its impact on the environment. It found operators were rotating dive sites and routes, providing predive briefings, and giving money to the custom owners. The divers were concerned and wanted to know more about Vanuatu’s heritage, yet most could not nominate any impact they might be having. The study suggests that as there is a high motivation to learn by divers and a high level of environmental knowledge among operators, a more sustainable industry, and a better diver-operator relationship would exist if education/interpretation services were improved.

Keywords: Environmental interpretation; Scuba diving; Sustainable tourism; Vanuatu

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Protected Area Management, Johnstone Centre, Charles Start University, PO Box 789, Albury NSW 2640, Australia

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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  • Pacific Tourism Review is designed to meet the needs of the fastest growing tourism region. The tremendous changes in outbound and inbound travel patterns occurring in the wider Pacific area and their associated effects on the economy and environment demand a publication that specifically focuses on this area. Pacific Tourism Review aspires to advance excellence in tourism research, promote high-level tourism education, and nourish cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in Pacific tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism policy and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changes in tourism patterns throughout the Pacific region.
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