Tourism in Marine Environments 9(1-2) Abstracts

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Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 9, No. 1-2, pp. 5–17
1544-273X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/154427313X13659574649867
E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Increased Use Levels, Effort, and Spatial Distribution of Tourists Swimming With Dwarf Minke Whales at the Great Barrier Reef

Matthew I. Curnock,*† R. Alastair Birtles,* and Peter S. Valentine†
*School of Business, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
†School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

A permitted tourism industry has developed at the Great Barrier Reef based on swimming with dwarf minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata subsp.). Using sightings reported by tourism operators and vessel effort data, this study found a 91% increase in the number of whale encounters over six seasons (2003–2008) and a small number of encounter “hotspots” accounted for a substantial proportion of these encounters. Analysis of industry effort data revealed that a shift in effort among existing permitted operators was the most likely cause of the increase in whale encounters. Although the number of permitted operators has remained capped since permits were introduced in 2003, this study found substantial latent capacity in these permits. Further research is needed to identify social carrying capacity-related issues for high use areas targeted for minke whale encounters, and it is recommended that the number of permits not be increased while the potential for cumulative impacts of tourist interactions on whales remains unknown.

Key words: Use levels; Dwarf minke whales; Encounters; Permits; Latent capacity

Address correspondence to Dr. Matthew I. Curnock, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, ATSIP Building, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811, Australia. Tel: +61-7-4753-8607; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 9, No. 1-2, pp. 19–34
1544-273X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/154427313X13659574649902
E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Encounters, Norms, and Crowding at Six Coastal and Marine Areas in Hawai‘i

Mark D. Needham

Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA

This article examined encounters, norms, and crowding of 1,422 individuals at six coastal and marine areas in Hawai‘i. Encounters and crowding differed among these sites with 38–55% of users feeling crowded. On average, however, users encountered fewer than half as many people (i.e., 63–192 per 500 × 200 yards) compared to their normative standard for the maximum use density they felt should be allowed at each site (i.e., 206–381 people per 500 × 200 yards). Only 11–21% of users encountered more people than their norm, and these individuals felt more crowded than those who encountered fewer than their norm. Crowding and encounters were important indicators at each site, and there was relatively high agreement regarding use densities that should and should not be allowed at each site. All three concepts (i.e., encounters, norms, crowding) should be measured when addressing social capacity issues.

Key words: Encounters; Norms; Crowding; Social carrying capacity; Indicators; Standards of quality

Address correspondence to Dr. Mark D. Needham, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA. Tel: +1-541-737-1498; Fax: +1-541-737-1393; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 9, No. 1-2, pp. 35–51
1544-273X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/154427313X13659574649948
E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Perceived Crowding and Encounter Norms of Kayakers in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Canada

Carleigh Randall* and Rick B. Rollins†

*Institute for Coastal Research, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
†Department of Recreation and Tourism, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada

This article investigates crowding and encounter norms of 375 kayakers visiting the Broken Group Islands in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Canada. To measure encounter norms, kayakers evaluated photographs showing increasing densities of (a) kayaks on the water, (b) motorboats on the water, and (c) tents at a campsite. Norm curve characteristics helped to define kayaker standards for quality marine tourism and recreation experiences, including minimum acceptable conditions at one time (4.8 kayaks, 2.2 motorboats, 4.7 tents). In addition, significant differences existed between marine (39% felt crowded while on the water) and terrestrial (80% felt crowded while at campsites) perceptions of crowding. Implications for park management include a need to assess the appropriateness of both terrestrial and marine conditions when managing for kayak activity. This may include a consideration of user quotas in marine and terrestrial settings, as well as expanding the number of available campsites.

Key words: Marine parks; Tourism; Crowding; Encounter norms; Kayaking

Address correspondence to Dr. Carleigh Randall, Institute for Coastal Research, Vancouver Island University, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9R 5S5. Tel: +1-250-753-3245 (2022); Fax: +1-250-740-6256; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 9, No. 1-2, pp. 53–67
1544-273X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/154427313X13659574649984
E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Normative Evaluations Among Paddlers: A Comparison of Two Dimensions of Experience

Laura E. Anderson* and Robert E. Manning†

*College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI, USA
†Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA

A mail survey (n = 298) was conducted to examine potential relationships between level of experience and normative evaluations of encounter levels, shoreline development, and campsite impacts among paddlers (kayakers, canoeists) along a water trail on Lake Champlain in northeastern USA. Paddler perceptions of use-related issues and normative evaluations of a range of motorboat and sailboat use, shoreline development, and impacts at campsites were determined and compared among groups with different levels of experiences (trip frequency, duration). In most cases, perceptions and normative evaluations did not differ according to either measure of experience. However, respondents differed in their perception of problems related to access and development and in their normative evaluations of shoreline development and campsite impacts based on the length of their longest paddling trip. Findings suggest that trip duration may be a somewhat more useful measure of experience than trip frequency for understanding differences in paddler perceptions of social and resource conditions.

Key words: Paddling; Social carrying capacity; Experience; Encounters; Norms

Address correspondence to Laura E. Anderson, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, 800 Reserve Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481, USA. Tel: +1-715-346-4182; Fax: +1-715-346-4554; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 9, No. 1-2, pp. 69–80
1544-273X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/154427313X13659574650027
E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Measuring Variability in Encounter Norms Among Scuba Divers and Snorkelers: An Application of the Potential for Conflict Index2

Jerry J. Vaske,* Lauren M. Heesemann,† David K. Loomis,‡ and Stuart C. Cottrell*

*Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
†National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, Newport News, VA, USA
‡Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA

The structural norm approach was combined with the Potential for Conflict Index (PCI2) to examine differences in normative tolerances for varying levels of people at one time (PAOT) both within and between scuba divers and snorkelers. Data were obtained from scuba divers (n = 975) and snorkelers (n = 609) in the Florida Keys. Each group evaluated their encounter norms for seeing 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and> 25 scuba divers (and snorkelers) at one time on scales from “extremely unacceptable” to “extremely acceptable.” Both groups rated 0 in-group PAOT less positively than 5 PAOT, perhaps a function of safety. In general, however, as the number of scuba divers or snorkelers increased, mean acceptance decreased. Scuba divers could tolerate about 10 other divers or snorkelers. Snorkelers could tolerate more snorkelers (about 17) than divers (about 10). PCI2 values suggested that there was greatest consensus that 25 or more PAOT was unacceptable and 5 PAOT was most acceptable. Combining the structural norm approach with PCI2 facilitates understanding research findings and formulating management standards.

Key words: Encounter norms; Crystallization; Snorkelers; Scuba divers; Potential for Conflict Index2 (PCI2)

Address correspondence to Dr. Jerry J. Vaske, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA. Tel: +1-970-491-2360; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 9, No. 1-2, pp. 81–94
1544-273X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/154427313X13659574650063
E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Willingness to Pay to Avoid High Encounter Levels at Dive Sites in the Caribbean

Peter W. Schuhmann,* Michelle Cazabon-Mannette,† David Gill,‡ James F. Casey,§ and Adrian Hailey†

*Department of Economics and Finance, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, USA
†Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
‡The Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados
§Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, USA

This research estimates willingness to pay (WTP) to avoid high numbers of encounters with other divers at dive sites in Barbados and Tobago. A survey of scuba divers from 2007 to 2010 examined demographics, experience, satisfaction with conditions (e.g., coral cover, visibility, diversity of fish and marine life, crowding), dive characteristics (e.g., divers encountered), and maximum WTP for the dive. WTP was a function of dive location, diver income, encounters, and amount paid for the dive. On average, divers may be willing to pay up to US$4.51 per additional diver to avoid encounters with others. Results can inform management regarding pricing and spatial planning of reef use and can aid in policies for maximizing economic returns from diving while reducing impacts of diving on reefs and diver experiences.

Key words: Scuba diving; Encounters; Crowding; Willingness to pay (WTP); Marine tourism

Address correspondence to Peter W. Schuhmann, Department of Economics and Finance, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, USA. Tel: +1-(910)-962-3417; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 9, No. 1-2, pp. 95–115
1544-273X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/154427313X13659574650108
E-ISSN 2169-0197
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Stakeholder Perceptions of Indicators of Tourism Use and Codes of Conduct in a Coastal Protected Area in Alaska

Emily F. Pomeranz,* Mark D. Needham,† and Linda E. Kruger‡

*Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
†Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
‡USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Juneau, AK, USA

This article focuses on a collaborative approach for addressing impacts of watercraft-based tourism in Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness, Alaska. This approach is the Wilderness Best Management Practices (WBMP) and involves codes of conduct for managing use in this area. This article examines use-related indicators that stakeholders prioritize for inclusion in the WBMP and stakeholder motivations for complying with these codes of conduct. Interviews with tour operators, agency personnel, cruise industry representatives, and local residents showed that vessel use levels, noise, pollution, and impacts on wildlife (e.g., seals) were important social and environmental indicators. Economic and institutional indicators were considered to be less important and included opportunities for inclusive stakeholder communication. Motivations for compliance mainly involved self-interest reasons (e.g., company image, public relations), but some stakeholders were motivated by peer pressure, awareness, and a sense of stewardship.

Key words: Indicators; Codes of conduct; Use levels; Prism of sustainability; Stakeholders; Protected areas

Address correspondence to Dr. Mark D. Needham, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA. Tel: +1-541-737-1498; Fax: +1-541-737-1393; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it