Title

Melting the ice: arctic tourists’ epiphanies and connections to wildlife

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2021

Abstract

A key outcome for ecotourism is providing conservation benefits. These benefits are of particular concern when experiences include wildlife. One mechanism for delivering conservation benefits is tourists’ participation in pro-conservation behaviors (PCB). Conservation psychology provides a framework to understand how ecotourism experiences facilitate PCB. Environmental epiphanies (EE) and conservation caring are two constructs that can model the relationship between experiences and PCB. The purpose of this study was to explore (1) if arctic tourism is capable of stimulating an EE; (2) conservation caring levels, and (3) the relationship between EE and conservation caring. Data were obtained from 72 tourists aboard an arctic cruise. Thirty-nine percent experienced an EE during the trip. Tourists who experienced an EE had significantly higher conservation caring scores than those who did not experience an EE (p <.01). Results support ecotourism experiences can connect people to nature, which in turn is a strong PCB predictor.

DOI

10.1080/14724049.2020.1849229

Publication Title

Journal of Ecotourism

Volume Number

20

Issue Number

1

First Page

89

Last Page

97

ISSN

14724049

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