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Title: Dragon tourism in Komodo National Park, Indonesia : its contribution to conservation & local development
Author: Walpole, Matthew J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2427 1962
Awarding Body: University of Kent at Canterbury
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 1997
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Tourism is the world's largest industry and is widely promoted as a panacea for sustainable development in developing countries. Nature tourism to protected areas is viewed as an ecologically sustainable means to offset the costs of annexation for governments and local communities. The rapid development of 'ecotourism' as a benign and beneficial form of nature tourism has occured with little examination of its true impact. This study adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to examine whether nature tourism based on Komodo National Park (KNP), Indonesia, conformed to the accepted definition of ecotourism as ecologically, economically and socially sustainable at a local level. It also examined whether different types of tourist have different impacts on conservation and local development. The findings suggest that tourism to KNP does not achieve the ideals of ecotourism. Although ecological disturbance was minimal, the financial contribution to conservation barely offset the costs of tourism for KNP, and could be substantially increased by raising entrance and other fees. Contributions to the local economy were small relative to total expenditure on visits to KNP, and benefits accruing to village communities within KNP, which bear the greatest opportunity costs, were negligible. Independent tourists contributed the most to the local economy, whilst package tourists contributed very little. Cruise passengers, the most affluent visitors to KNP, contributed virtually nothing due to the enclave nature of cruise operations. The limitations of current tourism development in and around KNP reflect traditional patterns of tourism evolution rather than a reorientation towards ecotourism. Continued evaluation will be necessary to ensure that future development adheres to sustainable principles. This study has provided a template for rapid, cost effective evaluations of nature-based tourism which could be implemented elsewhere.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography ; GN Anthropology