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Antarctica is a rugged, austere, and yet stunningly beautiful continent with charismatic fauna including several species of penguins, whales, and seals. Mass media, writings from the early explorers, and modern film all describe firsthand experiences as delightful, beautiful, challenging, humbling, and even awe-inspiring. This dramatic allure of Antarctica now fuels one of the fastest growing tourism markets in the world with over 30,000 visitors annually traveling to the continent. Despite the fact that Antarctic tourism has occurred for over 30 years, little research has investigated the psychological and affective influence of these immersive tourism experiences in the Antarctic environment. This study explored visitors' affective judgments regarding their Antarctic tourism experience. An onsite post experience survey was administered to Antarctic tourists to investigate their satisfaction with a range of tour attributes. In addition, the researchers used the open-ended question, “How did this Antarctic experience affect you?” to explore tourists’ affective response to their interaction with the Antarctic tourism environment. These open ended responses were coded using a priori themes generated from Kellert's environmental values typology. Additionally, each response was analysed for the presence of an awe experience. Further analysis revealed that tourists described five sub-dimensions of an ‘awe’ experience (nature-human relationship, spiritual connection, transformative experience, goal clarification, and sense of feeling humbled), with many individuals experiencing multiple dimensions of awe. Consequently, this analysis reveals that the impact of an Antarctic tour experience is powerful, rich, and extremely complex.
The Biosphere Reserve concept potentially appears to be an extremely important basis for enhancing global land protection—particularly, although not exclusively, in developing countries. Far more clarification and education will be required, however, to produce the level of public appreciation that will be necessary to make this concept an effective force for conservation. It may be argued that a clear delineation of the Biosphere Reserve concept is less important than an adequate public understanding of the values to be derived from this land protection strategy. While this distinction may be useful, it would seem that the potential benefits of the Biosphere Reserve would be considerably enhanced by far more precise public appreciation of the meaning and intent of this land designation category.
Two complementary studies were conducted to investigate both the immediate and longer-term influence of Antarctic cruise tourism experiences on participants’ knowledge of Antarctica, attitudes toward management issues facing the Antarctic region, and environmental behaviours and future intentions. In addition, the study investigated tourists’ attitudes toward visitor guidelines. The results suggest that Antarctica nature-based tourism operators have the potential to provide experiences that educate the public to the importance of Antarctica.
Community-based conservation (CBC) has been projected as the most practical approach to stem biodiversity loss in developing countries. Since CBC is 'people-centred' and experience with it is relatively new, it is important to know the views of local communities regarding implemented policies and programmes. This paper examines the attitudes of local communities toward policy and programmes implemented by a project under the CBC approach in the Makalu-Barun National Park and Conservation Area of Nepal, based on a 1996 survey of 400 people living in it.
Overall, respondents did not have a particularly favourable perception of the community development programmes implemented. Strong support existed for ecotourism development in the Conservation Area. Respondents overwhelmingly endorsed community forestry. Wildlife protection remained a low priority amongst a significant majority of respondents. Some demographic and socio-economic factors exerted important influences on the attitudes of respondents. This study suggests that the project should continue addressing local development needs, encourage women's participation in community forestry, work toward dispute settlement of community forest-user groups, and allow hunting of pest wild animals, if it wants to win the support of local communities for long-term biodiversity conservation goals.