• A Whale Of A Good Time: Whale Watches Spreading Conservation Through Education

      Ratner, Keith; Cooney, Shannon (2020-05-01)
      Ecotourists are more concerned with their impact on the environment compared to mainstream tourists. They have a strong commitment to preserving nature and look for educational experiences. These values and motives translate into the activities ecotourists choose to participate in while vacationing. Understanding ecotourist behavior is important, so that destination managers can better market their sites or activity. For example, whale watching is increasing in popularity. Whale watches are a good way to incorporate ecotourist values and help further the conservation of whales. Studies have shown whale watches have an educational component that satisfies visitor expectations. If people are satisfied with the experience, they are more likely to pass on the conservation related information they learned and get their peers to undergo a similar trip. This research project is a literature review of the history of whale watching, motivations of ecotourists, and case studies of whale watches in different areas. In addition to the literature review, I went on a whale watch tour in Cape Ann, Gloucester to see how tours on the North Shore of Boston compare to the case studies. The conclusions in this research project are important as they can be applied to any whale watch to improve visitor satisfaction and better incorporate ecotourist values.