Facing the wild: ecotourism, conservation, and animal encounters

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Earthscan, Jan 1, 2005 - Business & Economics - 312 pages
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* Reveals why we are so fascinated by wild animals, what they mean to us and how as ecotourists we may be loving animals to death * Richly illustrated with photographs and accompanied by annexes of original research * Essential and compelling reading for practitioners, students and academics in ecotourism, conservation, environment and cultural studies as well as ecotourists visiting animal encounter sites Ecotourism is the fastest growing segment of tourism, the world's largest industry. Encounters with wild animals, be it swimming with dolphins, going on safari or bird watching, are at the core. Yet little is known about why people seek out these experiences and the meaning for the ecotourism industry, conservation efforts and society at large. Facing the Wild is the first serious empirical examination of why people seek out animals in their natural environment, what the desire for this experience tells us about the meanings of animals, nature, authenticity and wilderness in contemporary industrialized societies and whether visitors change their environmental perspectives and behaviour, as the custodians of parks would like them to. The book explores the contradictions and ambivalence that so many people experience in the presence of 'wild nature'--in loving it we may diminish it and in the act of wanting to see it we may destroy it. Ultimately the book makes a case for 'respectful stewardship' of a 'hybrid nature' and provides insight for both practitioners and ecotourists alike.

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List of Figures and Tables vii
Responses to What Do You Think Should Be the Major Purpose
Introduction xiii

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About the author (2005)

Chilla Bulbeck is Professor of Women's Studies at Adelaide University where she teaches gender studies and social sciences. She has taught Australian Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University and Tokyo.

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