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Edgar Antipatrov and Janne Liburd Title : Ethics in Wildlife Tourism Management

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11:30 AM, Lundi 21 Juin 2021 (30 minutes)
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Wildlife tourism is based on interactions between tourists and non-domesticated wildlife (Ballantyne, Packer & Falk, 2011; Bertella, 2021). The range of opportunities in wildlife tourism encounters occur in wild, semi-captive or captive settings (Orams, 1996) and involve direct intervention on animals, or not, in the forms of consumptive/non-consumptive activities (Tremblay, 2001). This paper primarily focuses on the non-consumptive wildlife tourism within all types of settings, e.g. birdwatching, an animal farm and a sanctuary, to capture the complexities and variable experiential intensities. Consequently, ethical arguments should avoid simplistic generalizations as the types of encounters and experiential interactions are highly heterogenous. The range of ethical questions in wildlife tourism hinges on how to approach wildlife and what is ethically defensible in the context of tourist-animal interaction. So how can we begin to understand ethical management of wildlife-based tourist attractions? We propose that ethical management frameworks can be addressed as an ethical intersection between ethics of relevance to interaction between tourists and wildlife (Burns, 2017). Our ethical frameworks draw on multiple fields: tourism ethics (Lovelock & Lovelock, 2013), normative ethics (Copp, 2005), animal ethics (Regan, 2001 & 2004; Fennell, 2015), environmental ethics (Holden, 2005) and management ethics (Melé, 2012). Whilst an exploratory study, ethical insights gained from in-depth interviews with managers in three Spanish and Romanian wildlife tourism attractions are presented. Findings reveal how ethical implications are closely related with how the managers themselves defined and practiced ethical management in their wildlife tourism attractions. Ethical management is compared across the three contexts and captured as: heightened animal welfare, dedication to conservation and education, and visitor management. Moreover, managers placed importance on shared responsibility, context, and to enable ethical dialogue on the ethical responsibilities of wildlife tourism attractions.

 Reference list: 

Ballantyne, R., Packer, J., & Falk, J. (2011). Visitors’ learning for environmental sustainability: Testing short- and long-term impacts of wildlife tourism experiences using structural equation modelling. Tourism Management, 32(6), 1243-1252. 

Bertella, G. (Ed.) (2021). Wildlife Tourism Futures. Encounters with wild, captive and artificial animals. Bristol: Channel View Publications. 

Burns, G. L. (2017). Ethics and responsibility in wildlife tourism: lessons from compassionate conservation in the Anthropocene. In: I. B. de Lima & R. J. Green (Eds.) Wildlife Tourism, Environmental Learning and Ethical Encounters pp. 213-220. Cham: Springer. 

Copp, D. (2005). The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. New York: Oxford University Press. Fennell, D. A. (2015). Tourism and animal rights. Tourism Recreation Research, 37(2), 157-166. 

Holden, A. (2003). In need of new environmental ethics for tourism? Annals of Tourism Research, 30(1), 94-108.

 Lovelock, B., & Lovelock, K. (2013). The ethics of tourism: Critical and applied perspectives. New York: Routledge.

 Melé, D. (2012; 2011). Management ethics: Placing ethics at the core of good management. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. 

Regan, T. (2001). Defending animal rights. University of Illinois Press.

 Regan, T. (2004). The Case for Animal Rights. Berkeley.

Edgar Antipatrov


Janne Liburd


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