Marine Tourism: Development, Impacts and Management

Marine Tourism: Development, Impacts and Management

Marine Tourism: Development, Impacts and Management

Marine Tourism: Development, Impacts and Management


Marine Tourism examines both successful and unsuccessful tourism in coastal and marine environments. The author provides an overview of the history, development and growth of marine tourism and describes the characteristics of 'marine tourists' and the 'vendors' of these tourist activities. The book includes case studies of specific types of tourism including:* the cruise ship industry, * whale and dolphin watching,* yachting - the America's Cup,* personal water crafts and other water sports* and maritime museums and festivals. in locations including Brighton, UK, the Florida Keys and Hawaii, USA Caribbean islands, New Zealand and Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The final section examines tourism impacts on marine ecosystems and coastal communities and explores management techniques aimed at reducing negative impacts and maximizing the benefits of marine tourism.


As a preliminary to this book, it is important for me to identify for the reader my paradigm of the marine environment. All writers are inevitably influenced by their experiences and training, and I am no exception. I am unashamedly a marine conservation advocate. It is obvious to me that the future health of our planet and all things that live on it is totally dependent on the sea. That is to say, the health of our world’s oceans is critical to the health of our planet. What concerns me, therefore, when looking at the rapid growth of tourism based upon marine resources is the impacts of those tourists’ activities and the associated infrastructural developments.

I am strongly influenced by writers such as Sylvia Earle, who expresses the critical importance of our marine environments so well:

It doesn’t matter where on Earth you live, everyone is utterly dependent on the existence of that lovely, living saltwater soup. There’s plenty of water in the universe without life, but nowhere is there life without water…

The living ocean drives planetary chemistry, governs climate and weather, and otherwise provides the cornerstone of the life-support system for all creatures on our planet, from deep sea starfish to desert sagebrush. That’s why the ocean matters. If the sea is sick, we’ll feel it. If it dies, we die. Our future and the state of the oceans are one.

(Earle, 1995:30)

Thus, I believe that the basis for analysing and managing marine recreational activities, including tourism, must be ensuring the sustainability of the resource upon which depend, not only the recreation, but the health of all living things. This may seem to be somewhat of an over-reaction. The sea is vast and by far the great majority of marine-based tourism occurs in but a small portion of that vastness. How then can recreational activities in the sea threaten the survival of the planet? This question is addressed in a reflection from one of the best-known of ocean explorers, Jacques Cousteau:

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