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A Study of the Impact of Ecotourism on Environmental Education and Conservation: The case of Turtle Watching at an Australian Site

By Clement A. Tisdell and Clevo Wilson

Abstract

The importance of environmental education as a component of ecotourism is highlighted. The extent of environmental education and its impact on attitudes to conservation of sea turtles and actions by ecotourists to support such conservation as a result of their visits to Mon Repos Conservation Park (Queensland), an important marine turtle rookery, is examined. To do this, results from 519 usable survey forms completed by ecotourists are analysed. It is found that a considerable amount of environmental education is obtained by visitors and that this has positive and statistically significant impacts on their desire to protect sea turtles and their intended actions to do so. The importance of the interaction of tourists with wildlife as a contributor to their pro-conservation sentiments and actions is also discussed.ecotourism, environmental education, sea turtles, sustainable tourism, wildlife conservation, Environmental Economics and Policy,

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