Tourism in Marine Environments 13(2-3) Abstracts

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Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 65-71
1544-273X/18 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/154427318X
15270394903273

E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2018 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Conservation and Education Through Ecotourism: Using Citizen Science to Monitor Cetaceans in the Four-Island Region of Maui, Hawaii

Jens J. Currie, Stephanie H. Stack, and Gregory D. Kaufman

Pacific Whale Foundation, Wailuku, HI, USA

Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) Eco-Adventures operates a fleet of nine ecotour vessels in Maui, Hawaii and has used these vessels as an opportunistic research platform since 2010. The researchers at PWF have utilized ecotour vessels as a platform of opportunity (PoP) to collect photo-ID data, through a program called Researcher-on-Board (ROB) and for the development of an application to log cetacean sightings, called Whale and Dolphin Tracker (WDT). In this article we compare the amount of data collected using these two methods and contrast to systematic research surveys taking place in the same location and same time period to demonstrate the value of citizen science. Both the ROB and WDT programs have been shown to be cost-effective alternatives to surveys aboard dedicated research vessels, with the additional benefit of having tour operations contribute directly to the management and monitoring of marine mammals.

Key words: Ecotourism; Cetaceans; Management; Platform of opportunity (PoP); Whale and dolphin tracker (WDT); Photo-ID

Address Correspondence to Jens J. Currie, Pacific Whale Foundation, 300 Ma`alaea Road, Suite 211, Wailuku, HI 96793, USA. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 73-83
1544-273X/18 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/154427318X
15225564602926

E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2018 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The Blackfish Effect: Corporate and Policy Change in the Face of Shifting Public Opinion on Captive Cetaceans

E. C. M. Parsons* and Naomi A. Rose†

*Department of Environmental Science & Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA
†Animal Welfare Institute, Washington, DC, USA

In February 2010, a captive killer whale (Orcinus orca), or orca, killed his trainer at SeaWorld Florida. A cascade of events followed, including successful federal enforcement action against Sea-World for employee safety violations. In 2012 and 2015, nonfiction books about SeaWorld’s history with orcas were published; however, the 2013 documentary Blackfish has done the most to raise public awareness of captive orca welfare and trainer safety. It spawned a massive social media response, leading to the so-called “Blackfish Effect.” SeaWorld’s visitor numbers declined, business partners ended their relationships, and stock price plummeted. In 2012, Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta applied for a permit to import 18 wild-caught beluga whales from Russia; the permit was denied in 2013, the first time a public display permit had ever been denied in the history of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act. In 2014 and 2016, the California legislature considered bills phasing out captive orca exhibits in the state; the 2016 bill passed and became law in January 2017. In November 2015, a similar bill was introduced (and reintroduced in March 2017) in the US House of Representatives. In March 2016 SeaWorld announced it would end its orca breeding program company-wide and in January 2018 the Vancouver Aquarium announced it would no longer display cetaceans. Shifts in public perception of captive cetacean display strongly suggest policy makers should reconsider the legislative and regulatory status quo.

Key words: Killer whale; Orcinus orca; SeaWorld; Blackfish; Legislation; Captivity; Public display

Address correspondence to Naomi A. Rose, Animal Welfare Institute, 900 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 85-108
1544-273X/18 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/154427318X
15225542424207

E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2018 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Profiling Scuba Divers to Assess Their Potential for the Management of Temperate Marine Protected Areas: A Conceptual Model

Serena Lucrezi,* Martina Milanese,† Antonio Sara,† Marco Palma,‡ Melville Saayman,* and Carlo Cerrano§

*TREES–Tourism Research in Economics, Environs and Society, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
†Studio Associato GAIA s.n.c., Genova, Italy
‡UBICA s.r.l., Genova, Italy
§Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (DiSVA), Polytechnic University of Marche, UO CoNISMa, Ancona, Italy

Scuba diving tourism may both positively and negatively affect the natural environment, as well as human economies and societies. Marine protected areas (MPAs) in particular attract scuba diving tourism. Even though the activities of scuba divers could conflict with the conservation agendas of MPAs, they also potentially could endorse and support the management of MPAs. Thus, depending on the types of interactions that develop between scuba diving tourism and MPAs, more or less rigid management actions may be required. Although studies in temperate locations are rare, there is evidence that scuba divers in these locations tend to be more experienced, knowledgeable about local issues, responsible towards the environment, and willing to participate in stewardship, compared with divers at tropical destinations. This study assessed the profile of scuba divers at a temperate MPA in Italy, to determine which types of diving management actions are needed, and to understand how the potential of scuba divers could be exploited for the management of temperate MPAs. Data on the profile of 279 scuba divers in the Portofino MPA, Italy, were collected during the summer of 2015. Scuba divers in Portofino are generally experienced, loyal, satisfied, aware of the code of underwater conduct, knowledgeable of ecosystems in the MPA, and willing to participate in marine conservation activities. Although some important considerations must be taken into account regarding the management of scuba diving activities, a case is made that scuba divers could exert many positive impacts on MPAs. A conceptual model of the conservation-oriented behavior of scuba divers and its impacts both inside and outside MPAs is proposed. The positive messages and actions of scuba divers inside MPAs appear to exert potentially positive effects on other diving destinations outside the MPAs.

Key words: Scuba diving; Marine protected area (MPA); Experience; Attitude; Management

Address correspondence to Serena Lucrezi, TREES, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520, North-West, South Africa. Tel: +27 18 299 4140; Fax: +27 18 299 4140. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 109-119
1544-273X/18 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/154427318X
15265996581008

E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2018 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Developing the Curriculum Content of Coastal and Maritime Tourism: Stakeholders’ Perspective of the Sector-Specific Skills and Knowledge in Finland

Sanna-Mari Renfors

Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Pori, Finland

Investing in people is a prerequisite for sustainable growth and competitiveness in coastal and maritime tourism. Therefore, the development of coastal and maritime tourism curricula should be stimulated in higher education institutions. The aim of this article is to increase understanding of the development needs of the content of the curriculum in coastal and maritime tourism in Finland from the stakeholders’ perspective. The data were collected by semistructured interviews from 25 different tourism stakeholders affected by the decisions on curricula. In addition, the most relevant and recent national, regional, and local reports and strategies were reviewed. All the data were analyzed with qualitative content analysis, which resulted in three categories describing the necessary curriculum content: 1) sustainable development of coastal and maritime tourism, 2) identification and use of coastal and marine resources, and 3) blue experience design. The results suggest that to meet the evolving needs of the stakeholders and to equip the graduates with sector-specific skills and knowledge, a themed curriculum in coastal and maritime tourism is needed. 

Key words: Coastal and maritime tourism; Tourism education; Curriculum development; Tourism stakeholders

Address correspondence to Sanna-Mari Renfors, Faculty of Service Business, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 1001, FI-28101 Pori, Finland. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 121-140
1544-273X/18 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/154427318X
15276699095989

E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2018 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The Experiential Carrying Capacity of a Barrier Island: A Norm-Based Approach at Cumberland Island National Seashore

Jeffrey C. Hallo,* Matthew T. J. Brownlee,* Matthew D. Hughes,† Jessica P. Fefer,* and Robert E. Manning‡

*Department of Park, Recreation and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA
†Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, Dallas, TX, USA
‡University of Vermont, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, Burlington, VT, USA

Balancing the demands for recreational use against the need to preserve places is one of the most contentious and fundamental challenges of coastal area and barrier island management. This creates an inherent need to address the carrying capacity of barrier islands in a thoughtful, deliberate, informed, and defensible manner. This article describes research that assessed the experiential carrying capacity of Cumberland Island National Seashore (CUIS), which is Georgia’s largest and southern-most barrier island. Continued demand for visiting this unique island has created a situation where the island’s existing management quota of 300 visitors per day, established in 1984, is often reached during the peak season. Two visitor surveys, using norm-based visual research methods, were administered at CUIS to identify experiential indicators and to quantify related thresholds. Results show that the level of crowding at main attraction sites and the beach were primary indicators of the visitor experience and could inform the development of an experiential carrying capacity. Thresholds derived from survey results indicate that the current number of people within view at main attraction sites and the beach are acceptable to most visitors. This suggests that acceptability thresholds for the number of people at the site have not been violated, and therefore the number of visitors to CUIS could be modestly increased without unacceptably degrading the experience of most visitors. The management quota of 300 people per day set in 1984 now seems outdated, and the methods and results presented in this article provide some of the information needed to accurately set and manage the experiential carrying capacity of CUIS now and in the immediate future.

Key words: Acceptable conditions; Indicators; Thresholds; Social norms; Visitor experience; Experiential carrying capacity

Address correspondence to Jeffrey C. Hallo, Clemson University, Department of Park, Recreation and Tourism Management, 280B Lehotsky Hall, 128 McGinty Court, Clemson, SC 29634-0735, USA. Tel: +1-864.656.3237; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 141-154
1544-273X/18 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/154427318X
15276699095970

E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2018 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Developing A Benchmarking Methodology for Marina Business

Sandra Jankovic and Dubravka Vlasic

Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

Measuring and monitoring the accomplished carrying capacity and business results of marinas provide managers with the information that gives them better understanding of their business decision effects. Today’s managers are regularly confronted with new business problems and opportunities in marinas. Running a marina requires the ability to look outside the business for solutions, ideas, and best practices. Benchmarking is the search for the industry’s best practice that will lead to superior performance. It is a systematic process for identifying and implementing best or better practices, which are used by highly successful organizations. It enables marina managers to choose the competitive enterprises to examine their operations, offering them the possibility of reacting in real time in order to improve their revenues and business results. This article aims to define the benchmarking methodology for marina business. For this purpose, the scientific literature and the possibilities of implementing benchmarking into marina business have been investigated. The research results show that there is no evidence in theoretical articles that benchmarking and revenue management have been developed and applied in marina business. Marina managers should understand that sharing information is a valuable business tool for them and not the enemy, and therefore the model of implementing benchmarking as an instrument of revenue management for marina business is presented. The article contributes to the development of theoretical framework of benchmarking methodology in marina business.

Key words: Benchmarking; Marina business; Performance measurement in marinas; Revenue management; Uniform System of Accounts for Marinas and Boatyards (USAMB)

Address correspondence to Sandra Jankovic, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management, University of Rijeka, Primorska 42 Ika, p.p. 97, 51410 Opatija, Croatia. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 155-164
1544-273X/18 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/154427318X
15225522881013

E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2018 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Research Note

To Educate or not to Educate: How the Lack of Education Programs on Whale-Watching Vessels Can Impact Whale Conservation and Tourism in the Dominican Republic

Christine M. Gleason and E. C. M. Parsons

Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA

Whales are watched in over 119 countries and territories earning $2.1 billion in revenue, with large growth seen in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic has the largest whale-watching industry in the Caribbean. Although the industry thrives in the Dominican Republic, on-board education programs are lacking. Currently in Samana Bay, only one of approximately 45 vessels offers a formal education program. In an effort to increase education and better tailor current education programs, a survey-based study was conducted to assess the conservation knowledge of whale-watching tourists. Only 5% of tourists considered themselves to be “very knowledgeable” about whales. Those who had been whale watching before were more likely to consider themselves as knowledgeable, whereas those who had not been whale watching were more likely to consider themselves less knowledgeable. Public education on whale conservation was ranked very or moderately important by over 80% of respondents. However, 29% of tourists did not know Samana Bay was a protected area. To improve tourist’s knowledge and conservation awareness, it is recommended a multilingual education program be created on all whale-watching vessels and that these programs have more conservation-based knowledge within them.

Key words: Dominican Republic; Onboard education; Conservation; Public awareness; Whale watching; Whale tourism

Address correspondence to Christine M. Gleason, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, 4400 University Ave, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444, USA. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 165-173
1544-273X/18 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/154427318X
15276699095952

E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2018 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Research Note

Potentials of Coastal and Marine Tourism in Nigeria

Ademuyiwa H. Oladele,* Oghenetejiri Digun-Aweto,† and Petrus Van Der Merwe†

*Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Federal University DutsinmaDutsinma, Nigeria
†TREES—Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Nigeria is blessed with diverse water resources that range from resources of the inland and marine waters. However, the country has not adequately channeled these resources into use for water-based tourism. Several socioeconomic gains obtainable from marine and coastal tourism, as one of the fastest growing forms of tourism, have been utilized by many countries. Therefore, this article reviewed coastal and marine tourism and highlighted its prospects from relevant literature as it relates to tourism development in Nigeria. Identification of aquatic resources in Nigeria and their sustainable utilization for tourism will offer the country several benefits of diversified economy, which is capable of withstanding the instability of an oil-based monoeconomy. Some of the prospects of coastal and marine tourism that Nigeria can tap include revenue generation, job creation, and resource conservation, among others.

Key words: Coastal and marine tourism; Prospects; Development; Nigeria

Address correspondence to Dr. Tejiri Digun-Aweto, Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society, Faculty of Economic & Business Sciences, Private Bag X6001, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Potchefstroom, South Africa 2520. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 175-185
1544-273X/18 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/154427318X
15266009297495

E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2018 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Review

Recent Advances in Whale-Watching Research: 2017–20181

E. C. M. Parsons and Courtney E. Smith

Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA

Whale-watching research encompasses a wide variety of disciplines and fields of study, from monitoring the biological impacts of whale-watching activities on cetaceans and assessments of the effectiveness of whale-watching management and regulations, to the sociological and economic aspects of whale watching. This article is the latest in a series of annual digests, which describes the variety and findings of whale-watching studies published over the past year, since June 2017.

Key words: Whale watching; Impacts; Code of conduct; Regulations; Compliance; Management; Whale watchers; Education; Human dimensions; Dolphin provisioning; Marine protected area

1This article is dedicated to the memory of Greg Kaufman, a staunch advocate for sustainable whale watching, a valuable member of the IWC Scientific Sub-Committee on Whalewatching, and a good friend. He will be greatly missed.
Address correspondence to E. C. M. Parsons, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, 4400 University Ave., Fairfax, VA 22030-4444, USA. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it