Principles for including conservation messaging in wildlife‐based tourism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


1. There is growing evidence that wildlife-based tourism can be a valuable pathway to transform the environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of tourists, if complemented by effective conservation messaging and proactive interpretive experiences.

2. Yet, such conservation messaging is not always a priority for many wildlife-based tourism operators, who often avoid exposing happy tourists to the daunting biodiversity crisis. In this paper, we argue that failing to encourage tourists to do more on behalf of wildlife represents a missed opportunity for conservation.

3. Based on a comprehensive review of the academic literature, we show that conservation messaging is virtually absent from many mainstream wildlife-based tourism operations, often failing to connect global audiences to conservation issues.

4. We found that the scholarly literature on the effectiveness of different techniques, approaches and contents of conservation messaging in wildlife-based tourism is meagre at best. Yet, alternative forms of communicating conservation-related messages are opening new avenues to broaden the conservation potential of wildlife-based tourism.

5. We suggest a set of principles for improving the implementation of conservation messaging in wildlife-based tourism operations in order to maximize their educational potential. We end by calling for further research efforts on the factors implicated in effective conservation messaging in wildlife-based tours in order to pave the way for a new era of conservation-oriented tourism
Original languageEnglish
JournalPeople and Nature
Issue number3
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

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