Abstract: Ecotourism can be defined by three core criteria: nature-based, learning and sustainability. Research aimed at identifying the ecotourist market has concentrated on motivations and activity related to the first two criteria. Although some research has considered ecological values, there is little evidence whether sustainability also has a role in ecotourist decision-making. This research aims to identify ecotourists based on the motivational and activity elements and then assess the pro-environment attitudes of those so identified as a measure of their support for sustainability, thus identifying the market by the three core criteria of ecotourism. A survey was undertaken of 243 visitors to Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia, prior to commencement of their visit. Results indicated that even on motivational and activity grounds the number of ecotourists was low but was even lower when their environmental attitudes were considered. Omitting the sustainability criterion from earlier studies may have resulted in an over-estimation of the size of the ecotourism market. This may account for a recent focus away from a distinct ecotourism segment and diversification of many ecotourism products. Other motivations may be just as important and tourists may not be concerned whether the ecotourism experience conforms to the three criteria of ecotourism.
To cite this article: Beaumont, Narelle. Identifying the Ecotourist Market Using the Core Criteria of Ecotourism: Is There a True Ecotourist That Seeks Nature, Learning and Sustainability? [online]. In: CAUTHE 2010: Tourism and Hospitality: Challenge the Limits. Hobart, Tas.: University of Tasmania. School of Management, 2010: -.
[cited 26 Nov 15].
Source: In: CAUTHE 2010: Tourism and Hospitality: Challenge the Limits. Hobart, Tas.: University of Tasmania. School of Management, 2010: -.
Document Type: Conference Paper, Research
Ecotourism; Tourists; Sustainable tourism;
(1) University of Southern Queensland
Database: Business Collection