Abstract or Introduction
There has been considerable debate whether the potential benefits of nature-based tourism can outweigh its much dreaded impacts on the ecological integrity of its natural venues. This paper argues that, under the currently prevailing socio-cultural conditions, nature-based tourism is an imperative feature of most areas of high conservation value, as it provides raison d'être and funding.
Fancied to be of even exceeding importance is its function as a communication platform reaching a broad audience. Best practice for effective interpretation has been repeatedly shown to result in reduced impacts on the spot, smothering claims for empirical substantiation of the intuitive notion, that visitors, aware of the consequences of their behaviours will adjust those accordingly. Wildlife tourism is spearheading this educationally based "soft" management approach, seemingly prising out the opposed to the "hard" physical and regulatory strategies, for a set of summarized characteristics predestining it.
Meanwhile sliding almost to oblivion, is the immense potential of interpretation to effectively spread environmental awareness and prudent behaviour beyond the scope of natural sightseeing in time and space. In its conclusion this paper tries to highlight some of the fundamental principles as well as main messages, interpreters should employ, to encourage especially long-term sustainable behaviour in visitors.
- Quote paper
- Alice Mercier (Author), 2010, Linking Conservation and Tourism. Potential and Fundamental Principles, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/914038