Socio-economic driversinfluencing sustainability in asocial-ecological system: Insights from whale shark tourismin northern Quintana Roo, Mexico
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Wildlife tourism is promoted as a livelihood alternative activity to extractiveuse, such as the case of whale shark interaction in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Whale sharksseasonally aggregate (from May to September) northeast Yucatan peninsula, where theyannually attract about 20000 visitors.This study analyzes the socio-economic drivers, influencing the sustainability of thisrecreational activity, through semi-structured (n=44) and in-depth (n=4) interviews tolocal stakeholders, tourists surveys (n=262), and a cost-benefit analysis.Results indicate that intermediaries put pressure on the optimization of the operation, aswell as it decreases the economic return to local operators (licensees). Local operatorsare not aware of the real costs of operations, and additionally tourists are poorlyinformed of (1) the species, (2) the code of conduct (regulations) and (3) how to supportlocal community’s development. In conclusion, those factors along with the lack ofsurveillance threaten whale shark tourism sustainability. Inclusion of all stakeholders inmanagement and planning of wildlife tourism is necessary in order to obtain desirablepractices, as well as investment in environmental education.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 78 p.
sustainability, whale shark tourism, intermediaries, operation, market access
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-50958OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-50958DiVA: diva2:383343
UppsokLife Earth Science
Graham, Rachel T., PhD