Non-Consumptive Wildlife Tourism and Community-Based Conservation: a Case Study in Yunnan, China

Topics: Tourism, Wildlife, World Tourism Organization Pages: 35 (12511 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Non-consumptive wildlife tourism and community-based conservation: A case study in Yunnan, China

Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Environment and Natural Resources in the Graduate School of The Ohio State University

By Xiao Liu, B.S.

The Ohio State University 2013

MENR Project Committee: Dr. Jeremy Bruskotter, Advisor Dr. Stacey Fineran Dr. Eric Toman

Abstract
Wildlife tourism is a specialized, yet important, aspect of the tourism market. It has been heralded as a way to secure sustainable economic benefits while supporting wildlife conservation and local communities. To protect the various unique wildlife species, including Yunnan Golden Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti), and improve the livelihoods for local communities, the Natural Conservancy and Chinese partners launched a series of protection projects in Three Parallel Rivers Area in Yunnan province. To create sustainable ecotourism is one of the most important targets for these projects. Although there are many studies focused on ecotourism in protected areas in China, few of them discuss the status of wildlife tourism and the associated benefits it can bring to the participating communities in China’s protected areas. This report evaluates the status and value of non-consumptive wildlife tourism and found possible approaches to implement community based wildlife tourism in Laojun Mountain National Park. Key informant interviews, secondary data, and survey questionnaires were used as research tools to examine the local attitudes towards wildlife protection, tourists preference for wildlife tourism, and potential targeted ecotourists. The study results reveal that non-consumptive wildlife tourism development in China is still in the early stage and semi-captive wildlife tourism is currently the main form of wildlife tourism development in China, especially for primate tourism. Moreover, due to misunderstanding the meaning of ecotourism and driven by financial benefit, local governments and protected area authorities have often failed to develop sustainable ecotourism so that conventional tourism has generated great negative impacts in the protected areas. The findings indicate that with the increasing demand for outdoor activities, changing public preferences for wildlife tourism, and improving tourism infrastructures, non-consumptive primate tourism is feasible in LJMNP and with modification could be a model for future wildlife tourism in China.

Key words: Ecotourism, non-consumptive wildlife tourism, tourism impacts, tourism development, local attitudes, target tourists, Yunnan, Laojun Mountain, China.

Table of Contents
Abstract ................................................................................................................................ 2 1. Introduction....................................................................................................................... 7 2. Classification of wildlife tourism ....................................................................................... 8 2.1 Defining non-consumptive wildlife tourism ............................................................ 11 2.2 Conceptual framework of non-consumptive wildlife tourism .................................. 12 2.3 Importance of non-consumptive wildlife tourism .................................................... 13 2.3.1 Economics of Wildlife Tourism .................................................................... 13 2.3.2 Contribution in conservation ........................................................................ 15 2.4 Negative impacts of non-consumptive wildlife tourism........................................... 17 2.4.1 Disruption from access ................................................................................. 18 2.4.2 Disruption from observation......................................................................... 20 3. Wildlife tourism in China...

References: 2. Classification of wildlife tourism
Wildlife tourism is defined as “Tourism based on encounters with non-domesticated (non-human) animals” (Higginbottom, 2004)
Figure 1 Wildlife based tourism (Reynolds and Braithwaite, 2000).
Figure 2 The spectrum of tourist-wildlife interaction opportunities (Orams, 1996).
2.3 Importance of non-consumptive wildlife tourism
NCWT is an important segment of tourism and has grown rapidly in many countries in recent decades (Field, 2001)
Figure 4 A conceptual model of the responses of wildlife to disturbance (Knight & Cole, 1995).
Table 1 Access disturbance of wildlife tourism (Leung & Marion,1999).
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