A new guide training model for an emerging trend in ecotourism and sustainable behaviours

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Walker, K 2014, 'A new guide training model for an emerging trend in ecotourism and sustainable behaviours', in PM Chien (ed.), Proceedings of the 24th CAUTHE Conference: Tourism and Hospitality in the Contemporary World: Trends, Changes and Complexity, Brisbane, QLD, 10-13 February. ISBN 9780987050755

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A component of ecotourism is emerging as a rapidly growing trend - interactive marine wildlife experiences. Their sustainable future is dependent upon not only operational best practices, but also the extent to which the ecotourism guide can facilitate a positive environmental perspective and foster tourist behaviours to protect these animals and their habitats beyond the ecotourism experience. Hence, the guide's role has become more complex, and this paper's primary objective is to present a new training model based on empirical research addressing these goals and bridging the current gaps between cognitive learning models, interpretive outcomes and resultant sustainable behaviours. The "Guiding Model" results from research that linked the tourists' intentional post-experience behaviours with the interpretive elements of ecotourism activities (using Means-end analysis) and was recently incorporated into the first nationally accredited whale guide training program in the South Pacific Islands.