Why Tourist Perceptions Matter: Exploring Safari Tourism and its Environmental Impacts

Authors: Anna Solberg*, Kent State University
Topics: Tourism Geography, Africa, Behavioral Geography
Keywords: Tanzania, Tourism, Environmental Impacts, Perceptions
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8228, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Tourism is an ever-growing industry in the world; it is particularly popular in places of cultural, historical, and natural significance. The diverse countries of Sub-Saharan Africa constitute one such area. Sub-Saharan Africa's tourism sector has been substantially increasing over the last few decades; driving the necessity to understand the dichotomy between the tourists of the developed world and the local destination of the developing world. A tremendous amount of research has been conducted pertaining to social, economic, and environmental impacts of tourism within both developed and developing countries. There has been, however, little research in regard to how the tourists feel they influence the local environment of a destination. This research explores perceptions of the tourists that visit such areas of natural significance within Tanzania while on safari. Through web-based surveys of both international tourists as well as the local tour operators, results conclude that tourists have varying perceptions of 12 different environmental impacts based on the type of impact as well as their own personal engagement with the local environment.

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