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1 PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE ECOTOURISM IN THE GALPAGOS ISLANDS: EXPLORING GALPAGOS TOURISTS PROF ILES AND THEIR INTEGRATION INTO COMMUNITY-BASED TOURISM By JENNY F. BASANTES A THESES PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009
2 2009 Jenny F. Basantes
3 To my parents Jenny and David
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank a ll those who helped w ith the developm ent and completion of this thesis. First, I must thank my advisor, Dr. Tayl or Stein, for his patience, guidance, and constant support. His interest in my proj ect, frequent discussions, and cons tructive comments, as well as scientific input have greatly improved my research. Thank you for all your advice and help throughout my undergraduate and gr aduate career and for making this learning experience a successful and fulfilling one. I would also like to express my appreciation to my other graduate advisory committee members, Dr. Mickie Swisher and Dr. Stephe n Holland for their contribution and insightful advice. Thank you for the suggestions and valuable tips that helped to enhance this project. I would also like to thank th e School of Natural Resources and Environment for granting me the assistantship that opened the doors to a superior academic training. My gratitude to the Tinker Foundation and the Center for Latin American Studies for their financial support in the form of research travel grants. Special thanks to Eddy Araujo, current direct or of San Cristbal technical office of the Galpagos National Park, who helped me recrui t tourists in Santa Cr uz Island and provided essential information for the development of this project. I would also like to thank my friends in Galpagos and colleagues at the University of Florida for their support and encouragement. Thanks especially to Juan Carlos Rodriguez for his revisions and personalized help. I hope that my si ncere gratitude compensate s part of the effort and invaluable contribution that many people have offered to this work. Finally, I would like to thank my parents, Jenny Villao and David Basantes, for their time and dedication, and unconditional support through all th is process. I am really grateful for their confidence in me and for letting me stand on th eir shoulders and observe high above the horizon.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................7LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................8ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... ...............9 CHAP TER 1 PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE ECOTOURISM IN THE GALPAGOS ISLANDS: EXPLORING GAL PAGOS TOURISTS PROFILES AND THEIR INTEGRATION INTO COMMUNI TY-BASED TOURISM ............................................... 11Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........11Research Objectives ........................................................................................................... .....132 EXAMINING ECOTOURISM PROFILES: HARD AND S OFT SEGMENTATION OF THE GALPAGOS ECOTOURISTS .............................................................................15Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........15Methods ..................................................................................................................................19Study Area .......................................................................................................................19Study Participants ............................................................................................................21Sampling Approaches ......................................................................................................21Data Collection ................................................................................................................23Results .....................................................................................................................................25First Objective: Ecotourist Segmentation ........................................................................25Second Objective: Hard and Soft Ecot ourists Characteristics and Travel Preferences ................................................................................................................... 281) Visitor characteristics ...........................................................................................282) Trip characteristics ...............................................................................................303) Travel preferences ................................................................................................33Analysis of the Sample .................................................................................................... 34Discussion .................................................................................................................... ...........35Theoretical Implications .................................................................................................. 38Management Implications and Recommendations for Enhancing the Galpagos Ecotourism Model ........................................................................................................ 39Future Research ...............................................................................................................413 INTEGRATING GALPAGOS VISITO RS INTO CONSE RVATION AND COMMUNITY-BASED TOURISM: VISI TORS WILLINGNESS TO SUPPORT ECOTOURISM POLICY MEASURES ................................................................................. 43
6 Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........43The Value Belief Norm Theory ....................................................................................... 46Personal Values ...............................................................................................................48Methods ..................................................................................................................................49Study Area .......................................................................................................................49Galpagos Entrance Fee ..................................................................................................50Sampling Approaches ......................................................................................................51Data Collection ................................................................................................................53Results .....................................................................................................................................55First Objective: Acceptability of Ecotourism Policies ....................................................57Second Objective: Travel Preferences, Bios pheric, Altruistic, and Egoistic Values ...... 58Third Objective: Factors Influencing Willingness to Support Ecotourism Policies ....... 60Analysis of the Sample .................................................................................................... 62Discussion .................................................................................................................... ...........64Management Implications and Recommendations for Enhancing the Galpagos Ecotourism Model ........................................................................................................ 67Future Research ...............................................................................................................694 CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................................................... .71Ecotourist Segmentation Study ...............................................................................................71Study About the Acceptability of Ecotourism Policy Measures ............................................ 72Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ..........73APPENDIX: GALPAGOS TOURIST QUESTIONNAIRE ...................................................... 75LIST OF REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................78BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .........................................................................................................83
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Classification of behavioral statem ents ............................................................................. 24 2-2 Behavioral statement means by hard and soft ecotourists a ...............................................27 2-3 Visitor characteristics be tween clusters (in %) ..................................................................29 2-4 Trip characteristics between clusters (in %) ...................................................................... 31 2-5 Travel method(s) chosen between clusters (in %) ............................................................. 33 2-6 Mean attitudes towards met hods chosen between clusters ................................................34 3-1 Distribution of Galpagos Is lands entrance fees, year 2007 ..............................................51 3-2 Test of normality ......................................................................................................... .......55 3-3 Descriptive statistics of each eco tourism policy ................................................................58 3-4 Descriptive statistics of each biospheric, altruistic, a nd egoistic valu e ............................. 60 3-5 Relationship between lodging service and accep tability of ecotourism policies ............... 62 3-6 Relationship between travel method a nd accep tability of ecotourism policies ................. 62
8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Map of the Galpagos Islands ............................................................................................ 20 3-1 The VBN Theory. Adapted from Stern P. C. (2000). Toward a coherent theory of environm entally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues 56(2). ............................ 47 3-2 Map of the Galpagos Islands ............................................................................................ 50 3-3 Relative frequency distribution of employm ent status for sampled Galpagos foreign visitors ................................................................................................................................56 3-4 Relative frequency distribution of highest level of education attained for sam pled Galpagos foreign visitors .................................................................................................56 3-5 Relative frequency distribution of main lodging service used by sam pled Galpagos foreign visitors ...................................................................................................................59 3-6 Relative frequency distribution of travel m ethod used by Galpagos foreign visitors ......59
9 Abstract of Theses Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE ECOTOURISM IN THE GALPAGOS ISLANDS: EXPLORING GALPAGOS TOURISTS PROF ILES AND THEIR INTEGRATION INTO COMMUNITY-BASED TOURISM By Jenny F. Basantes May 2009 Chair: Taylor Stein Major: Interdisciplinary Ecology Ecotourism as defined by the International Ecotourism Society (1998) is responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of the local people and, therefore, should result in important benefits for local communities and the environment. Even though the Galpagos Islands have been categorized as one of the best examples of a worldwide ecotour ism destination, the current t ourism model has shown not to enhance ecological conservation or improve the economic benefits to local communities. To change the current tourism model in the Galpago s, it is important to first understand the people who are driving the tourism process Galpagos visitors. The purpose of this project is to explore the integration of tourists into conservation and local tourism activities by studying Galpagos foreign visitors profiles, their willingness to accept ecotourism measures, and some of the factor s that may influence their behavior. Results showed that: 1) distinctive hard and soft ecotourist segmentation was perceived for the Galpagos visitors revealing di fferences in terms of their eco tourism behavior, travel method, lodging services, and travel activities; 2) on av erage, foreign tourists were willing to accept ecotourism policies that directly benefit the en vironment and community in the Galpagos; 3)
10 biodiversity protection was priori tized by Galpagos ecotourists; and 4) differences in travel preferences among Galpagos foreig n tourists represented factor s that greatly influence the acceptability of ecotourism policies. The study incorporates management impli cations and recommendations for local and foreign tour operators, and policy makers as a way to create an ecotourism planning framework and move the Galpagos tourism model towards a socially and environmentally responsible approach. The project provides new alternatives to better integrate all Gal pagos foreign visitors into community-based tourism and conservation activ ities, and improve the quality of life of the Galpagos residents.
11 CHAPTER 1 PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE ECOTOURISM IN THE GALPAGOS ISLANDS: EXPLORING GAL PAGOS TOURISTS PROF ILES AND THEIR INTEGRATION INTO COMMUNITY-BASED TOURISM Introduction Nature-based tourism is one of the fastest gr owing sectors and largest industries in the world (Ceballos-Lascurin, 1996). The Ec otourism Society (TIES 1998) defines ecotourism as responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of the local people. This brief, generic defin ition has been often applied to a wide range of nature tourism activities and serv ices, which has created confusion as to what constitutes this segment of the nature tourism market (Vincent and Thompson, 2002). Even though the ecotourism term has been used as a marketing tool (Thomlinton and Getz, 1996), scholars have agreed that real ecotourism should embody a sustainability approach that starts from, and accounts for the needs, con cerns, and welfare of local host communities (Grenier, 2007, Sheynes, 1999). From a developm ent perspective, ecotourism ventures should only be considered successful if local communities have some measure of control over them and if they share equitably in the benefits emerging from ecotourism activities (Scheyvens, 1999, p.245). This is in contrast to tourism mode ls controlled mostly by outside operators and where the economic benefits of tourism accrue to the large-scale nati onal and international tourism companies. Consumer demand for ecotourism appears to be strong and continues to grow, and tourists have reported to have an increasing intere st in conserving the e nvironment at tourism destinations and contributing either economi cally or voluntary to host communities (Chafe, 2007). Similarly, consumers demand to visit remo te, exotic, and natural areas is increasing,
12 which has generated an expansion in tourism ventures, particularity in developing countries (Cater, 1993). Ecuador is a developing country with great tourism potential due to its strategic situation and great biodiversity. The Galpago s archipelago is part of Ecuador and it is categorized as one of the best examples of a worldwide ecotourism destination that will continue to experience tourism growth (Boo 1990, and Ceballos-Luscarian, 1996). One would imagine that a successful ecotour ism model should be exemplified by social and environmental responsibility, delineated by: ) an evolving commitment to environmental protection and conservation, (2) a generation of financial resources to support and sustain ecological and sociocultural resources, (3) an active involvement and cooperation of local residents as well as tourists in enhancing the en vironment, and (5) economic and social benefits to the host community (Vincent and Thompson, 2002, p. 153). However, tourism growth in the Galpagos cannot be conceded to reflect true eco tourism since it does not effectively incorporate active commitment and involvement of tourists in conserving the environment and directly contributing to the economic and social benefits of the local communities. The current tourism model in the Galpagos Islands involves tradit ional navigable tours supplied by national and international tour operators. This type of tour ism diminishes interaction between tourists and locals, does not promote active par ticipation of visitors into conservation activities, and creates economic leakage from the Galpa gos communities (Grenier, 2007). Empowering local residents and ensuring they attain an equitable supply of benefits requires a change to current tour ism planning in the Galpagos. To change the existing tourism model, it is essential to first understand the people who are driving the tourism process, and
13 investigate the possibility of in creasing participation of foreign visitors into community-based tourism services and activities. Research Objectives The purpose of this research is to explore th e Galpagos foreign vis ito rs profiles and their possible active involvement into community-bas ed tourism and conservation activities. Specifically, the objectives of the two studies described here are to: 1) segment Galpagos visitors on the basis of their ecot ourism behavior, trip characteris tics, and travel preferences; and 2) study tourists willingness to increase their local service usage, par ticipate in conservation activities, and support local deve lopment. Each study provides imp lications to shift the current tourism model of the Galpagos in order to prov ide real ecotourism opport unities in the islands. The first chapter investigates the Galpagos foreign tourists profiles and identifies potential differences in terms of demographics, travel patte rns, ecotourism behavior, and environmental and social values among the different types of visito rs. Understanding and accounting for these differences will help to identi fy what types of tourists might be valuable partners in sustainable tourism development and how to best direct marketing strategies and promotion efforts. In the second chapter, Galpagos foreign to urists willingness to accept ecotourism policy measures is analyzed, and some of the factors th at could influence this behavior are explored. Understanding the level of support of conservation activities and the degree to which the foreign visitors are willing to increase their participatio n in local tourism services, is highly important when planning for sustainable development. Pote ntial management actions to shift the current tourism model can be generated if trip itinerarie s, tourists concerns, and level of acceptance of ecotourism policy measures are taken into account.
14 To ensure successful ecotourism management practices, a study of the ecotourism demand needs to be incorporated into a planning framework. The results, management implications, and recommendations are directed to shift the Galpa gos tourism model and pr ovide new alternatives to better integrate all Galpagos foreign visito rs into community-based tourism and conservation activities, and improve the quality of life of Galpa gos residents.
15 CHAPTER 2 EXAMINING ECOTOURISM PROFILES: HA RD AND SOFT SEGMENTATION OF THE GALPAGOS ECOTOURISTS Introduction Ecotourism according to The International Ec otourism Society (TIES), is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the e nvironment and sustains the well-being of local people (TIES, 2008). It is widely acknowledged that ecotourism should entail management practices that adhere to the principles of ecological, sociocultural and economic sustainability (Blamey, 2001; Fennell, 1999; Weaver, 2001 a,b). Nature-based tourism (tourism to natural ar eas that might not adhere to ecotourism principles) is growing more rapidly than tourism in general (Fennell, 1999; Weaver, 1998), and much research is directed to studying the mana gement and marketing of this type of tourism (Weaver, 2002). Specifically, researchers are conti nually looking to identify and define naturebased tourism market segments. An improved unde rstanding of these market segments help develop effective and valid marketing strategies and improve the management of visitors at nature-based tourism destinations. For the purpose of this research, nature ba sed tourism is used interchangeably with ecotourism. Researchers have used many di fferent ways to categorize and understand ecotourists, generating a number of ecotourism segment profiles. A study by Galloway (2002) in Ontario Parks, Canada, segmented ecotourists on the basis of their motivation to seek sensation (e.g. stress escapers, active nature enjoyers, se nsation seekers); Palaci o and McCools (1997) segmentation of ecotourists in Belize was ba sed on ecotourism benefits (e.g. comfortable naturalists, passive players, nature escapists, and ecotourists ); Twynnam and Robinsons (1997) segmentation of Ontario Parks, Canada was based on ecotourism activ ity preferences (e.g. enthusiasts, adventures, natu ralists and escapists ); Blamey and Braithwaites (1997)
16 segmentation of Australian ecotourism market wa s based on their social values (e.g. Ideological Greens, Relativists, Dualists and Libertarians); and Zografos and Allcro fts (2007) segmentation of potential ecotourists in Scotland was based on their environmental values and human attitude towards nature (e.g. disapprovers, concerners, a pprovers, and scepticals). Nonetheless, these studies have not yet considered the ecotourism beha vior in its totality; they classified tourists based only on one ecotourism characteristic (e.g. ecotourism motivations, benefits, values, or ecotourism activity preferences). Recent research, however, has used a more comprehensive concept of ecotourism classifying visitors based on thei r ecotourism activities, preferences and attitudes. For example, a study by Weaver & Lawtons (2002) segmen ted visitors of Lamington National Park (Australia) based on the ecotourism behavior in the park. The resu lting groups were identified as hard and soft ecotourists. The concept of a spectrum that describes visitors as hard on one end of the spectrum to soft on the other end is receiving more attent ion and has served as the basis for ecotourist market segmentation. It involves a combination of associated ecotourism motivations, behaviors, and travel preferences. The hard and soft eco tourist segmentation has categorized the visitor behavior based on their interest for nature, their learning experience, and their support for sustainable activities (Weaver, 2002), which in turn, better integrate visitors behavior within the ecotourism concept. Pioneers of such a concept ha ve introduced a spectrum that progresses from biocentric to anthropocentric tendencies within the ecotourism market. However, research has only focused on studying customers of tour operato rs. Little is known about tourists who do not rely on tour operator or trav el agents for their visits.
17 In terms of accommodation and travel preferences, research has shown that hard ecotourists are far more likely to camp a nd patronize private residences, backpackers accommodations, recreational vehicles and homestays than other ecotourists, who in turn are more likely to use more developed lodging (e.g., resorts and hotels) (Weaver, 2002, p.30). However, it is impossible for any Galpagos touris t (regardless of their eco tourist classification) to visit the islands at their discretion. The Ga lpagos Islands are one of the more strictly managed national parks in the world. For exampl e, no tourist, regardle ss of their previous knowledge or experience, can visit the Galpago s National Park without a certified tour guide (Galpagos National Park Service, 2008). This stresses the importance of visiting national park areas with a broad knowledge of the Galpagos ecology and knowledge of the parks specific rules and regulations. Therefore, hard ecotourists who like to travel by themselves would not be able to visit the islands without the help and reliance of a tour guide. The behaviors tourists adopt when visiting the Galpagos Islands is not a matte r of choice or preference but a matter of order, norms, and conservation. This project attempts to generate a valid profile segmentation of Galpagos Islands visitors, by including those tourists who visit the islands without travel agencies. National and foreign tourists from all around the world visi t the Galpagos Islands every year. However, unlike national tourists, it is not yet clear what the main travel preferences and ecotourism behaviors are for Galpagos foreign visitors, especially for fore ign volunteer and students who have been under researched in tourism studies. Specifically, this study seeks to: 1) segment Galpagos foreign visitors on the basis of their ecotourism behavior, and 2) compare visitor and trip characteristics/ preferences for each ecotourist segment.
18 Soft and Hard Ecotourism : According to Fennel and Weav er (2005), ecotourism follows a spectrum that goes from hard to soft eco tourism. These are ideal types and have very distinct characteristics. Hard ecotourism involves strong envi ronmental commitment, specialized visits, and long trips for small groups, while so ft ecotourism indicates a strong connection to conventional mass tourism with higher relia nce on the formal travel industry. People who are under the hard ecotourism category are us ually considered free and independent travelers (FITs) who seek a physical challenge and, therefore, are physically active (Fennel and Weaver, 2005). They emphasize personal experiences, have a deep interaction with nature, and expect few if any services. Therefor e, this group generally doe s not rely on travel agencies for planning their trip, a nd they plan the details of their trip on their own. On the other hand, soft ecotourism implies a superficial enviro nmental commitment, with multi-purpose visits and short trip with larger groups. Visitors under the soft eco tourism category are physically passive and prefer physical comfort and extensiv e services and facilities, but only a shallow interaction with nature, with emphasis on interpretation. They usually rely on travel agents and tour operators for their visit. This high level of relia nce on the formal travel industry (e.g. tour operators, travel agents) indica tes a strong connection to a conventional mass tourism industry that may not always place a high priority on envi ronmentally sustainable management or client awareness (Fennel and Weaver, 2005, p.378). Ecotourist market segmentation studies ha ve been conducted to develop effective marketing strategies and product viability. A fact or of ecotourist market segmentation that is receiving increasing attention is the concept of hard-to-soft spectrum that considers a combination of motivations and behavior. Laar man and Durst (1987) appear to be the first authors who pioneered such a concept. Followi ng the same line, Lindberg (1991), introduced
19 four categories of ecotourists based on their eco tourism behavior and motivations: hard core, dedicated, mainstream and casual. Similarly, the Queensland Ecotourism Plan (Queensland, 1997), acknowledged the categorie s of: self-reliant, small group, and popular ecotourism, and Weaver & Lawtons (2002) segmented vi sitors of Lamington National Park (Australia) based on the ecotouris m behavior in the park. The resulting groups were identified as hard-cor e and soft ecotourists. All these studies have one thing in co mmonthe spectrum progresses from strong biocentric (i.e. environment-oriented) to more anthropocentric (i.e. human-oriented) tendencies within the ecotourist market. However, these stud ies only surveyed customers of tour operators and these categories are only applic able to those types of touris ts. Little is known about the profile of tourists who visit ecotourism sites without the reliance on to ur operator or travel agents. This project aims to investigat e hard and soft ecotourism beha viors of tourists visiting the Galpagos Islands, a well recognized example of a world-wide ecotourism destination (Boo, 1990; Ceballos-Luscarian, 1996). In addition, this project will broaden ecotourism market profiles by including free independe nt travelers (FITs) into the study, therefore, integrating not only the tourists who visit the islands with travel agencies, but those who make their own travel arrangements and do not rely on tour opera tors to plan their tourism trips. Methods Study Area Located about six hundred m iles off Ecuadors coast, the Galpagos Islands are formed by 13 major islandsSanta Cruz, Floreana, San Cris tbal, Isabela, Santa Fe, Santiago, Darwin, Roca Redonda, Marchena, Pinta, Espanola, Genove sa, and Fernandinaand a large number of smaller islands and islets (Acosta, 1979) (Fi gure 2-1). The Galpagos Islands are known by its
20 unique flora and fauna and were declared a World Heritage site by the UNESCO1 in 1979. Ninety-seven percent of its total area was declared national park, limiting three percent for human habitation. Figure 2-1. Map of the Galpagos Islands There are more than 18,000 people living in the remaining 3% of Galpagos land area. The total population is distributed among San Cristbal, Santa Cruz, Isabela and Espanola islands in towns and places desi gnated for human development. Sa n Cristbal and Santa Cruz are the main populated islands; they both offer di verse tourism services, and have commercial airports, which represent ports of entry and exit for tourists visiting the Galpagos Islands. Ecuador has been a well-known nature tour ism destination for over 20 years because of the early popularity of the Galpa gos Islands (Epler W., 1998, p.12). Scientists such as Boo (1990) and Ceballos-Luscarian (1996) have categorized the Ga lpagos as one of the best 1 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
21 examples of a worldwide ecotourism destina tion, and are often cited as the place where ecotourism originated (Honey, 2008). Study Participants The theoretical population for the study was fo reign (non-E cuadorian) tourists who visit the Galpagos Islands. The accessible populatio n was non-Ecuadorian tourists visiting the islands of San Cristbal and Santa Cruz, the most visited islands that offer a large number of diverse local tourism services and activities. This project focused on foreign Galpagos visi tors since their ecotour ism behavior has not been studied in its totality. Recent studies have identified the travel preferences of the national tourists and have stressed their importance as boosters of the local economy (Honey, 2008; Epler B., 1993). Most Ecuadorian visitors stay in la nd-based hotels in Puerto Ayora or Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, and use day boats to visit na tional park sites on other islands, contributing directly to improve local economy. However, the main travel characteristics and behaviors are not yet clear for FITs especially foreign st udents and volunteers, whose travel methods and purpose of visit may be different from those of tour ists who use navigable t ours, but are still part of the Galpagos tourism market. Sampling Approaches A system atic random sampling approach was used to recruit tourists in San Cristbal. The sampling frame consisted of tourists at San Crist bal airport at time of departure from May to July of 2008. Tourists at the depa rture lounge were picked systema tically (a starting participant is chosen at random, and thereafter at regular in tervals). Once selected, participants were asked to consent to participate in th e study. Researchers collected data every other day of the week during the time period of May to July of 2008.
22 Transportation costs and time required to get to the Santa Cruz airport made it difficult to survey tourists at that airport at time of depart ure. Consequently, tour guides from Santa Cruz were asked to provide questionnaires to tourists on their last day of stay. As in San Cristbal, tourists were asked to consent to participate in the study. Only people who wished to participate completed the survey. To ensure heterogeneity of the sample, tourists from different cruises/travel agencies were surveyed every other day of the week, for approximately one month between June and July of 2008. To broaden the sample so it would include all types of foreign tourists, researchers worked with representatives from universities or or ganizations to recruit students, volunteers, researchers, scientists, or othe r tourists who stayed for long periods of time. The number of volunteers, scientists, and resear chers present in the islands of San Cristbal and Santa Cruz during May to July of 2008 was relatively small, and all of them were recruited. With the help of local municipalities and community leaders, researchers were able to identify all the organizations and universities that were in charge of bringing these types of visitors to both islands. Researchers then contacte d representatives of these organizations to find the number of visitors already present in th e islands and those who were coming between the months of May and July of 2008. Researchers and representatives th en set up a time and m eeting place to survey participants. Once identified, partic ipants were asked to consent to participate in the study. The survey was given orally and at convenien t times, and 97.5% of people who were asked to fill out the survey participat ed (464 out of 467). A total of 213 tourists were sampled in San Cristbal airport through systematic random sampling. One hu ndred fifty-five tourists were sampled in Santa Cruz through the intervention of tour guides. And a total of 96 students,
23 volunteers, and researchers were surveyed in bot h islands through the help of representatives from universities and local organizations. Data Collection A survey (see Appendix) was designe d to achieve the study objectives: 1) Segment Galpagos visitors on the basis of their ecotourism behavior Several statements were taken from Weave rs (2002) ecotourism behavior index (Section A) to develop a 16-item index, which was then tested for internal reliability ( =0.941). The 16item index reflects various facets of actual or in tended ecotourism behavior including those cited by Blamey (2001) as the three ecotourism criteri a (i.e. nature-based, learning or education oriented and environmentally and socioculturally sustainable). Two out of the 16 final items correspond to nature-based criteria ; three items relate to learning criteria; another three items refer to sustainability criteria ; and eight items were placed in the other category (Table 1). Participants were asked to rate their level of agreement with the 16 ecotourism statements from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Based on Weavers (2002) ecotourism classifi cation, ten out of the sixteen statements included in the questionnaire fall into the hard-core ecotourism cl assification; and the remaining six items correspond to the soft-ecotourism behavi or (Table 2-1). Weaver (2002) suggested that hard-ecotourism statements display higher leve l of biocentrism, apparent commitment to enhancement sustainability, preference for th e quality of environment over the quality of accommodations, lower dependence on tour guides or interpretation, and self reliance when traveling. On the other hand, soft-ecotourism statements show higher dependence on tour guides, higher level of tourism services, and higher expectations for comfortable accommodations. Segmentation studies use statistical methods and in particular cluster analysis to formulate market segments (Dolnicar, 2002). In line with previous tourism pr ofile segmentations of tourists
24 (Zografos and Allcroft, 2007), this project also applied the k-m eans cluster method to classify visitors into different segments. The 16 ecotouris m statements were used as the basis for the cluster analysis of respondents, while subsequent sections on visitor and trip characteristics, travel methods, etc., were used as independent variables to compare th e resulting clusters. Table 2-1. Classification of behavioral statements Statement Criteria Hard / Soft Ecotourism Classification 1. I prefer to see wildlife in its natural habitat Nature-based Hard 2. My ideal ecotourism destination is a w ilderness setting Nature-based Hard 3. I do my best to leave the s ite or arae in better condition than when I arrive Sustainability Hard 4. I support the local economy of places that I visit Sustainability Hard 5. The quality of a destinati ons natural environment is more important to me than the quality of the accommodations that I use Sustainability Hard 6. I would go on a long hike in miserable weather if this was my only opportunity to see a unique animal or plant species Other Hard 7. I like to be as self-reliant as possible when I travel Other Hard 8. I like to arrange my own tourism trips Other Hard 9. I like my ecotourism experiences to be physically challenging Other Hard 10. I like to engage in physically ch allenging activities Other Hard 11. I learn more about the natural environment on an escorted tour than through traveling on my (or our) own Learning Soft 12. I prefer ecotourism sites in which the natural attractions are interpreted or explained to me Learning Soft 13. I prefer to visit tourism ar eas with a professional tour guide Learning Soft 14. National parks should provide adequate services for those who want to go there Other Soft 15. Comfortable accommodations are a priority for me Other Soft 16. I like ecotourism but I also enjoy spending time at a beach resort Other Soft 2) Compare visitor and trip characte ristics/ preferences for each group. Demographic data such as gender, age, pl ace of residence, education attained, and employment status were used to examine visitor characteristics. Three variables were used to
25 help examine the trip characteristics: 1) travel activities, 2) length of the trip, and 3) main lodging service(s) used (questions 7, 8, and 9 in the survey). Specifically, study participants were asked to check all the travel activities they have participated in during thei r visit to the Galpagos Islands, provide the number of days of their sta y, and report the lodging se rvice (s) they used on their visit. To measure travel preferences, two variables were used: 1) tr avel method(s) used to visit the Galpagos, and 2) participants attitudes towards those methods (question 6). In order to compare visitor and trip characte ristics, and travel preferences for each category, tests of central tendency (Mann-Whitney U tests and Ch i-square tests) were performed. Results First Objective: Ecotourist Segmentation After running the cluster analysis, a two-cluste r solution revealed dis tinctive hard and soft ecotourism segmentations among the Galpagos vis itors. Hard ecotourists visiting the Galpagos revealed higher level of agreement on nine out of the ten hard-core ecotourism statements, and Galpagos soft ecotourists showed higher level of agreement to all 6 soft-ecotourism statements (Table 2-2). Similarly to Weavers (2002) classification of ecotourists in Lamington National Park (Australia), the Galpagos tourists also present characteristics and behaviors proper of hard and soft ecotourists. As expected, hard ecotouris ts who numbered 243 (52.4% of the sample), displayed higher level of biocentrism, apparent commitment to enhancement sustainability, preference for the quality of environment over th e quality of accommodations, self reliance when traveling, and higher engagement in physically ch allenging activities. On the other hand, soft ecotourists, who numbered 221 (47.6% of the sa mple), showed higher dependence on tour
26 guides, higher preference for interpretation a nd escorted tours, and higher expectations for adequate tourism services and comfortable accommodations (Table 2-2). In general, both hard and soft ecotourists re ported high level of agreement with most of the sustainability and to all the nature-based criteria statements. Both groups strongly agreed that they prefer to see wildlife in its natural setting (har d ecotourist mean = 4.93, soft ecotourist mean = 4.73). In addition, they agreed that: 1) the ideal ecotourism destination is a wilderness setting (hard ecotourist mean = 4.30, soft ecotourist mean = 4.00), 2) they do their best to leave the site in better condition than when they arrived (h ard ecotourist mean = 4.50, soft ecotourist mean = 4.35), and that 3) they support the local economy of the places that they visit (hard ecotourist mean = 4.45, soft ecotourist mean = 4.35). Even though both ecotourist groups rated these statements with a strong levels of agreement, hard ecotourists rev ealed significantly higher scores ( p 0.05) in each one of them, except for the st atement of I suppor t the local economy of the places I visit. This was the only statement th at did not reveal significant difference in the agreement scores among hard and soft ecotourists ( p = 0.12). Participants did not agre e with the learning and other criter ia statements as much as they did with the nature-bas ed and sustainability criteria, but a notable difference between the ecotourist segments was perceived. Soft ecotour ists had higher prio rities on comfortable accommodations (mean 3.78) than hard ecotourists (mean 2.81). In addition, soft ecotourists remained neutral to arranging their own trips, en gaging in physically challenging activities, and being self-reliant when trave ling (means = 2.95, 3.38, and 3.20 resp ectively). Hard ecotourists, on the other hand, revealed higher preferences to arrange their own tourism trips (mean = 3.93), engage in physically challenging activities (mean = 4.28), and to be as self-reliant as possible when traveling (mean = 4.10). Hard ecotourists stated that it is more important for them the
27 Table 2-2. Behavioral statement me ans by hard and soft ecotourists a Statement Hard Ecotourists Soft Ecotourists U p-level Cat.b 1. I prefer to see wildlife in its natural habitat 4.93 4.73 22374.0 <0.001N 2. I do my best to leave the site or area in better condition than when I arrive 4.50 4.35 24202.5 0.039 S 3. The quality of a destinations natural environment is more important to me than the quality of the accommodations that I use 4.46 3.62 11865.0 <0.001S 4. I support the local economy of places that I visit 4.45 4.35 24662.5 0.091 S 5. I would go on a long hike in miserable weather if this was my only opportunity to see a unique animal or plant species 4.45 3.61 13972.0 <0.001O 6. My ideal ecotourism destination is a wilderness setting 4.30 4.00 21732.0 <0.001N 7. I like to engage in physically challenging activities 4.28 3.38 11810.0 <0.001O 8. I like to be as self-reliant as possible when I travel 4.10 3.20 11934.5 <0.001O 9. I like my ecotourism experiences to be physically challenging 3.98 3.20 13681.5 <0.001O 10. I like to arrange my own tourism trips 3.93 2.95 11934.5 <0.001O 11. I learn more about the natural environment on an escorted tour than through traveling on my (or our) own 3.84 4.36 17693.0 <0.001L 12. I prefer ecotourism sites in which the natural attractions are interpreted or explained to me 3.79 4.16 20104.0 <0.001L 13. National parks should provide adequate services for those who want to go there 3.74 4.10 20579.0 <0.001O 14. I prefer to visit tourism areas with a professional tour guide 3.43 4.09 16698.0 <0.001L 15. I like ecotourism but I also enjoy spending time at a beach resort 3.12 3.39 23694.5 0.023 O 16. Comfortable accommodations are a priority for me 2.81 3.78 12338.0 <0.001O a 1 = Strongly disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Agree, 5 = Strongly agree b Categories: N = nature-based criteria; L = learning criteria; S = sustainability criteria; O = other Note: Double underline indicates that the mean agreement score for that statement is significantly different between each group of ecotourists at the 0.01 le vel. Underline indicates that the mean agreement score for that statement is significantly different between each group of ecotourists at the 0.05 level.
28 quality of a destinations natural environment th an the quality of the accommodations that they use (mean = 4.46), compared to soft ecotourists who had lower agreement to that statement (mean = 3.62). Hard ecotourists pr esented a higher willingness to go on a long hike in miserable weather to see a unique animal or plant species (mean = 4.45) th an soft ecotourists (mean = 3.61). Finally, soft ecotourists revealed higher pr eferences for interpretation and escorted tours (mean = 4.36) than hard ecotourists (3.84). Second Objective: Hard and Soft Ecotourists Characteristics and Travel Preferences 1) Visitor characteristics The variable age was not norm ally distribute d for hard ecotourists (Shapiro-Wilk = 0.830, df = 239, p<0.001) or soft ecotourists (Shapiro-Wilk = 0.929, df = 217, p<0.001). Therefore, Mann-Whitney U test was conducted to compare the age of each group. Participants categorized as hard ecotourists were significantly younge r than soft ecotourists (Mann-Whitney U = 18746.5, p<0.001). The mean ages for hard and soft ecotouris ts were 34 years and 45 years, respectively. Chi-square tests indicated signi ficant differences between the ecotourist segments in terms of visitors nationalities, employ ment status, and educational atta inment (Table 2-3). However, no significant differences between the groups in terms of gender were found. Even though the majority of soft and hard ecotourists were coming from the USA, a significantly higher percentage of soft ecotourists resided in the USA. There were more hard ecotourists coming from Europe, Canada, and Australia than soft ecotourists. Soft ecotourists main nationalities were USA and England. Chi-square tests (Table 2-3) revealed that there was a significantly larger percentage of soft ecotourists as full time employees than hard eco tourists (45% vs. 38%, respectively). On the other hand, the percentage of hard ecotourists who were full time students was higher than that of soft ecotourists (27% vs. 15% respectively), and significantly larger percentages of hard
29 ecotourists were unemployed compared to soft ecotourists (14.5% vs 3.7%, respectively). Finally, soft ecotourists were more likely to be retired (19.2% vs. 5.4 % respectively). Table 2-3. Visitor characteristics between clusters (in %) Note: Underline indicates that the percen tages are significantly different betw een each group of ecotourists at the 0.05 level The majority of hard and soft ecotourists have completed at least some university education. However, Chi-square te sts showed significant differences in terms of the education level attained for each ecotourist segment. A sign ificantly larger percentage of soft ecotourist Hard Ecotourists Soft Ecotourists Nationality 2= 22 df = 6 p = 0.001 USA 61.6 69.2 Europe 13.6 6.8 Canada 10.3 6.3 England 6.6 13.6 Australia 4.5 0.5 South and Central America 2.5 3.2 Other 0.8 0.5 Gender 2= 0.235 df = 1 p = 0.628 Male 45.7 43.4 Female 54.3 56.6 Employment Status 2= 49.1 df = 10 p < 0.001 Employed Full Time 37.6 45.2 Full Time Student 26.9 15.1 Unemployed 14.5 3.7 Employed Part Time 7.9 10.5 Retired 5.4 19.2 Full Time Homemaker 1.7 0.9 Part Time Student 0.8 0 Employed Part time and Full Time Student 4.1 5.0 Other combinations of employment status 1.2 0.5 Education Attained 2= 19.35 df = 6 p = 0.004 Less than High School or Secondary 0.4 0.9 Some High School or Secondary 2.5 1.8 High School or Secondary Graduate 6.6 11.8 Some University 31.7 18.1 University Graduate 25.1 24.4 Some Graduate School 5.3 2.7 Graduate Degree or Beyond 28.4 40.3
30 segment members attained a graduate degree or beyond compared to the hard ecotourist segment members (40% vs. 28%, respectiv ely). Although hard ecotourists include many members with a university degree (around 25%), th ey also include a considerable number (nearly 32%) of people who have attained some university but has not gr aduated yet. On the contrary, there were many more members of the soft ecotourist segment with a university degree (about 24%), compared to those who have attained some university education (18%). 2) Trip characteristics Overall, the survey indicated that the lodging service predominantly used by soft ecotourists was cruises/boats (Tab le 2-4). Seventy-one percent of the soft ecotourists stayed in cruises/boats as their m ain lodging service. A second lodging service used by soft ecotourists was hotels in local towns (13%). Hard ecotourists also showed a predominan ce of cruise/boats as their main lodging services (around 48%), but this wa s significantly lower than soft ecotourists. Nonetheless, hard ecotourists also tended to use ot her lodging services such as hotels in local towns (nearly 18%), local homes (14%), and a mixture of cruise/boat and other lodging services mostly in local towns (around 18%). The most popular activities for all visitors were national park visi ts, wildlife viewing, snorkeling, nature photography, guided trail walks, swimming hiking, bird watching, and shopping. Over 50% of the members of each ecotour ist segment participated in those activities. However, results of the Chi-square tests reveal ed that significantly higher percentages of hard ecotourists participated in wildlife viewing, snorkeling, swimming, and hiking. A larger number of soft ecotouritsts went shopping in the islands There were no significa nt differences in the participation levels for national park visits, nature photography, guided trail walks, and bird watching between the ecotourist segments.
31 Table 2-4. Trip characteris tics between clusters (in %) Hard Ecotourists Soft Ecotourists Lodging Service 2= 42.23 df = 9 p < 0.001 Cruise/Boat 48.1 71.0 Hotel in local towns 17.7 13.1 With local home 14.0 4.1 Cruise/Boat + hotel in local towns 9.9 3.6 Hotel in local towns + with local home 2.9 0.9 Other 2.5 0.5 Cruise/Boat + Other 3.7 2.3 Hotel in local towns + Other 1.2 4.5 Participation in travel activities 2= 0.042 df = 1 p = 0.837 National Park Visits 96.3 95.9 2= 5.89 df = 1 p = 0.015 Wildlife Viewing 95.5 89.6 2= 19.68 df = 1 p < 0.001 Snorkeling 91.8 76.9 2= 3.6 df = 1 p = 0.058 Nature Photography 89.3 83.3 2= 3.2 df = 1 p = 0.074 Guided Trail Walks 87.2 92.3 2= 22.25 df = 1 p < 0.001 Swimming 85.2 66.1 2= 6.41 df = 1 p = 0.011 Hiking 80.7 70.6 2= 0.006 df = 1 p = 0.938 Bird Watching 74.1 73.8 2= 3.89 df = 1 p = 0.049 Shopping 57.6 66.5 2= 15.58 df = 1 p < 0.001 Meeting Local People 56.8 38.5 2= 10.39 df = 1 p = 0.001 Sunbathing on the Beach 54.3 39.4 2= 5.06 df = 1 p = 0.024 Horse Back Riding 26.3 17.6 2= 3.98 df = 1 p = 0.046 Scientific Study 20.6 13.6 2= 9.35 df = 1 p = 0.002 Kayaking 15.2 6.3 2= 1.04 df = 1 p = 0.308 Scuba Diving 14.0 10.9
32 Table 2-4. Continued Hard Ecotourists Soft Ecotourists Participation in travel activities 2= 0.143 df = 1 p = 0.705 Sailing 11.5 12.7 2= 5.15 df = 1 p = 0.023 Camping 11.9 5.9 2= 7.42 df = 1 p = 0.006 Cycling 8.6 2.7 2= 4.6 df = 1 p = 0.032 Fishing 2.1 0 2= 1.83 df = 1 p = 0.177 Canoeing 0.8 0 2= 5.54 df = 1 p = 0.019 Other Travel Activities 5.3 1.4 Note: Underline indicates that the percentages for that activity are significantly different between each group of ecotourists at the 0.05 level Results of the Chi-square tests also revealed notable differences in the participation of activities such as meeting local people, sunbathing on the beach, horseback riding, and scientific study between the two ecotourist groups. Just over 56% of hard ecotourists participated in meeting local people, as opposed to 39% of so ft ecotourists. Fifty-four percent of hard ecotourists and 39% of soft ecotourists reported to have sunbathed on the beach during their trip to the islands. Twenty-six percen t of hard ecotourists and only 18% of soft ecotourists reported to have engaged in horseback riding on the Gal pagos Islands. Finally, 21 % of hard ecotourists reported to have participated in scientific study during th eir stay in the islands compared to only 14% of soft ecotourists. Activities such as kayaking, scuba diving, sa iling, camping, cycling, fishing, and canoeing had the lowest participation in both groups. Howeve r, significantly larger percentages of hard ecotourists participated in kayaking, campi ng, cycling, fishing, and canoeing than soft ecotourists.
33 Length of stay presented a non-normal distribution for hard ecotouris ts (Shapiro-Wilk = 0.574, df = 239, p<0.001) and soft ecotourists (Shapiro-Wilk = 0.855, df = 217, p<0.001). Therefore, Mann-Whitney U test was run to compare the length of stay for each group. Results of the test showed that hard ecotourists stayed longer periods of time visiting the islands, compared to soft ecotourists (Mann-Whitney U = 18334.5, p <0.001). Hard ecotourists stayed, on average, 11 days in Galpagos, while soft ecot ourists visited the islands for an average of 8 days. 3) Travel preferences Hard ecotourists chose study abroad programs (27%) and travel agencies (31%) as their main travel methods to travel to the Galpagos (Table 2-5). On av erage, they really liked their participation in those methods (Table 2-6). On the other hand, a higher preference of soft ecotourists chose travel agenci es (59%) as their main trav el method. Only 13% of soft ecotourists chose to engage in study abroad progr ams to visit the Galpagos. Soft ecotourists, on average enjoyed visiting through travel agencies and study abroad programs (means = 4.66 and 4.61, respectively) (Table 2-6). Table 2-5. Travel method(s) c hosen between clusters (in %) There were more hard ecotourists who engaged in self-planned visits than soft ecotourists (19% vs. 8%, respectively), and, on average, th ey stated that they really liked that method Hard Ecotourists Soft Ecotourists 2= 62.85 df = 10 p < 0.001 Travel Agency 31.4 58.9 Study Abroad 27.3 13.2 Self Planned Visit 18.6 7.8 Travel Agency + Self Planned Visit 8.3 3.2 Volunteer 4.1 0 Study Abroad + Travel Agency 4.1 4.6 Other 3.3 9.6 Study Abroad + Self Planned Visit 1.7 0.9 Other combinations of travel methods 1.2 1.9
34 (Table 2-6). A low percentage of hard ecotour ists engaged in voluntee r programs (4%) to visit the islands, and stated that, on av erage, they liked their engage ment in these programs (mean = 4.36) (Table 2-6). However, no soft ecotourists engaged in volunteer work when coming to the islands. Table 2-6. Mean attitudes towards methods chosen between clusters Travel Method a Mean Std. Deviation Hard Soft Hard Soft Study Abroad 4.67 4.61 0.57 0.72 Travel Agency 4.54 4.66 0.67 0.59 Self Planned Visit 4.77 4.60 0.51 0.50 Volunteer 4.36 0 1.08 0 Other 4.83 4.33 0.58 0.637 a1= Really dont like, 2 = Dont like, 3 = Dont care, 4 = Like, 5 = Really like Analysis of the Sample According to the Galpagos National Park Servic e (GNPS), the nationalities of visitors of the Galpagos Islands during 2007 were: USA ( 43.9%), Europe (18%), England (13.3%), Canada (5.5%), South and Centra l Am erica (5%), Australia (3%), and other countries (11.3%). The nationalities and the proportion of participants from the st udy sample from these countries were somewhat similar to those of the GNPS studys population. Sample participants came from USA (65%), England (10%), Canada (8%), Eur ope (10%), South America and Central America (3%), Australia (2%), and other countries (2%). Th erefore, compared to the entire year of 2007, this study oversampled USA visitors, which may bias the percentage of hard and soft ecotourist present in the islands. Therefore, this may limit the ability to generalize descriptive statistics regarding the visitors characteri stics (such as age, employment status, or education level) of each ecotourist segment. However, this difference in terms of nationality among tourists does not represent a constraint in classifying vi sitors as hard and soft ecotourists. There are no annual data, howev er, about travel methods, lodgi ng services, and length of stay for the true Galpagos foreign populat ion. The 2008 Galpagos Demand Report surveyed
35 tourists only between the months of Novemb er and December of 2007. For this 2007 sample, the majority (55%) of tourists used cruise/boats as their main lodging service, and 30% of the sample used land hotels only as their main lodging service. The results of the pres ent project showed a very similar percentage of touris ts staying in cruise ships or on boats only (59 %), but just 16% of respondents reported to use hotels in loca l towns. Without annual data about the lodging service of all type of tourists, the present pr ojects descriptive statistics regarding trip characteristics (lodging service and participation in travel activities ) cannot yet be generalized to all Galpagos foreign tourists. Similarly, there are no data about the true pe rcentages of Galpagos foreign tourists who come to the islands through a study abroad prog ram, self-arranged trip s, or through travel operators/agents. One reason for this is that st udents and volunteers have been under-researched in tourism studies in the Galpagos since they represent a low and incipient market demand. Due to this lack of information about the true populations travel method, the present projects descriptive statistics regarding visitors travel preferences or methods cannot yet be generalized to all Galpagos foreign tourists. Discussion The two-cluster solution explored in this study revealed distinctive hard and soft ecotourist segm entation for the Galpagos visitors. The eco tourist segmentation for Galpagos visitors resembles Fennel and Weavers ( 2005) ideal ecotourist types. According to Fennel and Weaver, the soft ecotourist segment indicates a strong connection to conventional mass tourism with higher reliance on the formal travel industry and emphasis on interpretation. Soft ecotourists are physically passive, prefer physical comfort and exte nsive services and facil ities, and usually have a shallow interaction with nature.
36 Similarly, the Galpagos soft ecotourists showed higher dependence on tour guides, higher preference for interpretation and escorted tours, and higher expectations for adequate tourism services and comfortable accommodations. Soft ecotourism behaviors are also indicated by the visitors preferences for lodging servic es and travel methods. Most Galpagos soft ecotourists used cruise/boat as their main lodging service, pref erred visiting the islands through travel agencies, and stayed for an average of ei ght days in the islands. Since the travel agency and cruise/boat are the main travel method and l odging service used by soft ecotourists, it can be inferred that they have a str ong connection to conventional ma ss tourism and prefer physical comfort through high quality of accommodations. Th ere were just a few soft ecotourists who came to the Galpagos through a study abroad progr am and none of them engaged in volunteer work when coming to the islands. Similar to the hard ecotourist behavior proposed by Fennel and Weaver (2005), the Galpagos hard ecotourists disp layed higher levels of biocentrism, apparent commitment to enhancement sustainability, preference for th e quality of environment over the quality of accommodations, self reliance when traveling, and higher engagement in physically challenging activities. Even though a significant percentage of Galpagos hard ecotourists used cruise/boats as their main lodging service, there were also a considerable number of them who used local hotels and homes and a mixture of cruise/boat and local hotels for their stay in the islands. In addition, Galpagos hard ecotourists tend to vi sit the islands through study abroad programs, travel agencies and self-planned visits and stay fo r an average of 11 days in the islands. A very small proportion of hard ecotouris t engaged in volunteer progra ms with the local community when visiting the islands.
37 The most popular activities for both groups we re national park visits, wildlife viewing, snorkeling, nature photography, guided trail walks, swimming hiking, bird watching, and shopping. These activities are typical of the conv entional mass tourism in the Galpagos. The itineraries for navigable tours (i.e. cruises/boats) include most of these activities and are usually performed in specific areas w ithin the national park desi gned for tourism purposes (2008 Galpagos Tourism Demand Report, GNP). On th e other hand, cycling, fishing, and canoeing were activities mostly offered by the local co mmunity, but were rated as the least common activities. Since a significantly larger percentage of hard ecotourists st ayed in local towns and planned their own trip and travel activities, they reve aled higher participation in these least popular activities, compared to soft ecotourists. In addition, a significantly larger percentage of hard than soft ecotourists participated in activities like meeting local people, sunbathing on the beach, horseback riding, scientific study, kayaking, and camping. These activities are also mainly offered by the Galpagos local community, indicating a higher part icipation of hard than soft ecotourists in local tourism services. The participati on of hard ecotourists in these types of activities may be closely related to the longer periods of stay and the usage of a combination of cruises/boats and land hotels when visiting the islands. According to the 2008 Galpagos Tourism De mand Report, tourists who use a combination of cruise/boats and land hotels as their lodging services, start with a navigable tour and then decide to stay additional time in the islands and use land hotels for the remaining of their stay. This implies that the vi sitors who stay for additional days in Galpagos use more local services and participate more in local tourism activities su ch as horseback riding, camping and kayaking than soft ecotourists.
38 Each ecotourist group also presented different visitor characteristics. Soft ecotourists were, on average, older than hard ecotourists, and we re mainly full-time employees. Hard ecotourists, on the other hand, were mostly full-time employ ees and full-time students. Although soft and hard ecotourists resided mainly in USA, more hard ecotourists vi sited the islands from different parts of Europe and Australia. Most members of both groups have completed some university educati on, but a significant larger percentage of soft ecotourists had a gr aduate degree. This may be explained by age and employment status differences between thes e groupson average, hard ecotourists were younger than soft ecotourists and a higher percenta ge of hard ecotourists were full time students pursuing a bachelors degree. Theoretical Implications This study confirm s distinctive hard and soft ecotourists in the Galpagos. However, the hard and soft continuum theory is unique for the t ype of tourists who visi t the Galpagos Islands. Galpagos attracts tourists because of its unique history and biodiversit y. Regardless of their ecotourism behavior classification, tourists who visit the islands e xhibit specific characteristics in terms of their travel methods, act ivities and preferences. Tourists in the Galpagos must follow the relatively strict rules a nd regulations of the Galpagos National Park Service and cannot behave as they would in ma ny other parts of the world. Hard ecotourists also showed a predominance of cruise/boats as their main lodging service. Nonetheless, hard ecotourists al so tended to use other lodging se rvices such as hotels in local towns local homes, and a mixture of cruise/boa t and other lodging servic es mostly in local towns. Even though Galpagos hard ecotourists do not possess the freedom they would have in other nature-based destinations, they have figur ed out a way to plan a more individual visit by using a combination of navigable tours and stay s in local hotels. By doing this they have
39 increased their interaction with the local commun ity and directly participated in local tourism activities such as horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, etc. Unlike hard ecotourists in other nature-based destinations, where they have the freedom to chose where they want to go, who they go with, or how they get to those places, the Galpagos ha rd ecotourists start by choosing the most common lodging service offered (cruises/boats) and then detaching themselves from the fixed schedules of navigable tours through the usage of more local tourism services and activities. Unlike soft ecotourists from other nature-based destinations, who are used to a life of luxury, are physically passive, pr efer physical comfort and have a shallow interaction with nature, the Galpagos soft ecoturists spend hours on land, visiting different areas of the national park, hiking, and observing nature and wildlife. This behavior might be expected because peoples main focus to visit the islands is to get to know the history of the islands and experiencing the uniqueness of the Galpagos wildlife. However, this might help us rethink what soft ecotourists are in a strictly managed park like the Galpagos. Management Implications and Recommendations for Enhancing the Galpagos Ecotourism Model This study explored the m arket niche for ecot ourism in the Galpagos Islands by means of conducting a market segmentation of potential ecotourists. Based on respondents ecotourism behavior, hard and soft ecotourist groups em erged. Those groups differ in some of their sociodemographic and trip characteristics, as well as their travel preferences. In general, Galpagos visitors who fit unde r the hard ecotourist profile have a strong environmental commitment and an apparent resp onsibility to enhance the local sustainability. This study showed that there is a significant numbe r of hard ecotourists who visit the islands as volunteers, scientists, students, and free indepe ndent travelers (who rely minimally on travel
40 agents), compared to soft ecotourists, who are main ly part of a tour package and visit the islands through the conventional mass tourism (i.e. cruises) Hard ecotourists in the Galpagos have a greater tendency than soft ecotourists to spend more time in local towns, use more local tourism lodging services, and presumably interact in a larger degree with the local community. Therefore, Galpagos should increase ma rketing to those ty pes of visitors. Since hard ecotourists tend to be younger, fairly well educated, and use cruises/tour packages as well as study abroad programs, t ourism marketing efforts should primarily target people such as students, volunteers scientists, and people developi ng a more specific activity in the islands. This market of tourists tend to stay longer periods in the island s, appear to use local tourism services (e.g. lodging in local hotels and homes) and participate in a larger degree in tourism activities offered by the local community. In addition, promotion should also focus on USA, Europe, Canada and Australian markets, sin ce those were reported to be the main places of residence of hard ecotourists. Soft ecotourists in the Galpagos tend to pa rticipate in less proportion in tourism activities and services offered by local communities. Th is may be explained by the low interaction between the navigable tour opera tors and the local tourism comm unity. The time scheduled to be spent on the local towns is very limited (e.g. mo rning or afternoon). Resu lts show, however, that larger proportions of soft ecotourists tend to go shopping, which may imply that they do spend money and time in local stores or souvenirs shops. This could be explained by two reasons. First, because most soft ecotourists are full-time employees or retirees, they have more money to spend when traveling. Second, most tourism ships itiner aries and schedules are built close to the pier where tourists are dropped off for their limited stay on the islands. Therefore, shopping is the most available opportunity for these tourists.
41 One alternative to better integrate the Galpagos soft ecotourist into the local tourism is to consider the sale of local-based activities as co mplementary to the itinerary of visitors using navigable tours. For example, instead of stayi ng the usual five to seven days in Galpagos, tourists engaged in navigable tours can stay for additional time (e.g. two to four days) exclusively on land hotels, and participate in tour ism activities offered by locals. That way these tourists will have the opportuni ty to learn about the Galpagos culture and local towns, and interact more with the Galpagos community. For this tourism model shift to happen, it would be essential that travel agents/operators promote in a coordinated way the complementary activities offered by local towns. The lodging preferences are associated with the navigable tourism modality. In other words, the preference by most tourists in th e Galpagos is to use cruises or boats. In consequence, it is important to improve the serv ice quality in local hotel s and restaurants to a level similar or superior to thos e offered in the cruises/boats with the aim of attracting additional stays in the local towns. Long-te rm training of local personnel would be needed in order to be able to offer a high quality customer service to the Galpagos tourists. Future Research Since the present project only sam pled touris ts in the months of May to July of 2008, future research should develop an adequate yearly recruitment and sample of students, volunteers, and free independent trav elers to properly account for a ll foreign visitors. In order to completely assess the characteri stics of the true foreign Gal pagos tourist population and make valid generalizations of the present study, an a nnual sample of all fore ign visitors travel characteristics and methods is needed. Annual information about travel methods and lodging services used by this group of tourists is needed to correctly determine the true profile of visitors who travel the islands without tour packages.
42 To promote the complementary activities offe red by local towns with the navigable tour itineraries, it would be necessary to first establ ish a record of all of the activities currently offered by the local community, their costs, a nd the level of satisfaction and acceptance by tourists. In addition, research should focus on investigating the potential demand of new local activities that are most adequate to be offered in the Galpagos. It would be necessary to investigate the demand level for th ese new activities and the visitors willingness to participate in the activities as a complementary service.
43 CHAPTER 3 INTEGRATING GALPAGOS VISITORS INTO CONSE RVATION AND COMMUNITYBASED TOURISM: VISITORS WILLINGNE SS TO SUPPORT ECOTOURISM POLICY MEASURES Introduction Ecotourism according to The International Ec otourism Society (TIES), is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the e nvironment and sustains the well-being of local people (TIES website, 2008). This definition suggest s that ecotourism must result in important benefits for the local community and environm ent, which implies systematic and holistic planning that incorporates both ecological and social processes. If ecotourism, as defined by TIES, is taking place in the Galpagos Island s, one would expect ecological conservation successes and improved economic benefits to the local communities. However, this is not the case in the Galpagos Islands. The tourism model in the Galpagos since 1960 implies tourism managed by large-scale national and internati onal tourism operators, which negatively impacts the Galpagos ecology and local residents. This tourism model is now referred to as Network Tourism (Grenier, 2007), and uses cruise ship s as their main transportation means. The direct ecological impact of network tourism is relatively small in the terrestrial part of the Galpagos National Park (GNP), thanks to the GNP Service administration. However, the remarkable tourism growth1 has a great ecological impact on the seamore tourists result in more ships, consequently more contamination of the coastal areas by fuel and waste water. Additionally, this direct impact increases in relationship with the si ze and accommodation level of the ships. If cruise ships and boats operating in the GNP con tinue to get bigger (the average 1 The number of tourists increased 3.6 times between 1992 (39,510) and 2006 (142,600)1. In 30 years, the number of visitors increased 22.5 times more. There were 6,300 touris ts in the GNP in 1976. Estimate is based on the 16.4 % growth between the 6 first months of 2005 and the first semester of 2006 (Grenier, 2007)
44 number of beds per cruise ship was 17 in 1996 and 21 in 20042), faster and more luxurious boats will generate even more contamination on the mari ne reserve. For example, the oil spill of cargo ship Jessica on the Galpagos Marine reserve in 2001 illustrates one of the consequences of maintaining huge cruise ships in operation: the Jessica was bringing gasoline for the Galpagos Explorer a cruise ship with more than 100 beds (Ospina and Falcon, 2007). There are also indirect ecological impacts ca used by the massive tourism growth in the Galpagos. In order to work economically, big cr uise ships need great quantity of cheaper resources such as fuel, food, souvenirs, and even laborers brought from the mainland, and this requires maritime and aerial transport from the Ecuador mainland to the islands. This transport of food and people to the islands implies the intr oduction of new invasive species, altering the ecological functioning and stability of the endemic ones (Grenier, 2007). Not only is the Galpagos ecology impacted by network tourism, the Galpagos local economy is also affected. The objective of network tourism is to keep the tourists inside the system that the enterprise manages or opera tes (Ospina and Falcon 2007). Tourists are immediately embarked onto cruise ships after thei r arrival in the islands; therefore, they spend little time on the populated islands, which limits their use of local tourism services (Opsina and Falcon, 2007). This situation has created a hi gh rate of economic leakage from Galpagos communities. Both island residents and researcher s generally agree that little of the income generated by tourism enters the local economy (d e Miras, 1995). In fact, Epler B. (2007) and Taylors (2006) estimates for 2006 about the distri bution of tourism expenses report that of the $156 million spent on tourism activities in Galpagos, $12 million (7.5%) go to local-based services and activities, $11 million (7%) to ho tels, $12 million (7.5%) to management, control, 2 Data taken from the Galpagos National Park Serv ice tourism statistics from Ospina, 2007, p.136)
45 and basic service for tourism in local towns, and the difference of $121 million (78%) to the cruise ships/boat operators. Recent research and reports about Galpagos tourism demand has focused on the socioeconomic situation of the Galpagos human co mmunity (Ospina and Falcon, 2007; Edward et al., 2003) and has stressed the importance of a sh ift in the tourism model promoting a real ecotourism in the Galpagos Islands (Greni er, 2007; 2008 Galpagos Tourism Demand Report, GNP). If the Galpagos Islands were to reflect ecotourism as defined by TIES, tourism would be better integrated into the local communities, enabling local residents to participate in, and the benefit from the tourism business. To change the current tourism model in the Galpagos, it is importa nt to first understand the people who are driving the tourism proce ss foreign tourists. Non-Ecuadorian foreign tourists visiting the Galpagos re present the target market of the network tourism modelmost of them use travel agencies and cruise ships wh en visiting the islands. In addition, they pay the highest entrance-fee to access th e islands, generating most of the economic benefits for the Galpagos National Park (Kerr, 2005, 515)twi ce as many foreigners visit Galpagos as domestic tourists3 and pay an entrance fee of 100 U.S. dollars compared to 6 U.S. dollars for national tourists (Galpagos National Park Service, 2008). However, the fact that foreign visitors are present in larger propor tions in Galpagos and pay higher entrance fees to ente r the park does not imply that th ey are directly spending their money in the Galpagos community and utilizin g local tourism services. Willen and Stewart (2000) showed that foreigners were spendi ng on average 3.5 times more than Ecuadorians ($3,676 and $936 per person, respectively) to tour the Galpagos, but a far larger percentage of 3 97,396 foreign tourists and 47,833 national tourists vi sited Galpagos in 2006. Galpagos National Park data
46 the money spent by national tourists stays in the local economy. In fact, just 15.1% of the foreign expenditures stayed in the Gal pagos local economy, compared to 95.2% of the money spent by Ecuadorians. This may be explained by the fact that domestic tourists usually stay in local land hotels, participate more in local tourism servi ces, and have more interactions with Galpagos residents than foreign tourists (Honey, 2008, p.130). Although much research has occurred in the Galpagos Islands, not much research has systematically examined the islands foreign visitors and how tourism policies and planning frameworks could work better with these tourists to ensure more equitable distribu tion of tourism benefits and promote greater community involvement and ecosystem preservation. The purpose of this project is to explore the integration of foreign tourists into conservation and local tourism activities More specifically this research seeks to investigate: 1) Galpagos foreign visitors wil lingness to accept ecotourism m easures directed to increase tourists local service usage, support local welfare, and enhan ce participation in conservation activities; 2) Galpagos foreign visitors travel preferences, and concerns for the environment and human beings; and 3) how these factors may influence the willingness to support ecotourism measures. The Value Belief Norm Theory The Value Belief Norm (VBN) theory of environmentalism will serve as a base to understand the tourists values towards the Ga lpagos ecosystem and local community, and explain the visitors willingness to support ecotourism measures. Th is theory was successful in explaining various environmental behaviors (i.e. consumer behavior, environmental citizenship, willingness to reduce car use, and acceptability of energy policies) (Ste rn et al., 1999; Nordlund and Garvill, 2003; Steg et al., 2005), suggesting that biospheric or environmental values are the
47 most responsible ones for adopting pro-envi ronmental behaviors (Steg, 2006, Nordlund and Garvill, 2003). Literature has identified many different theori es that influence indi vidual behavior, since human activities and actions impact the envir onment and other human beings. The VBN theory offers a way to understand individuals environmentally significant behavior This theory states that there is a direct relations hip between values, beliefs, norms and behavior. The VBN theory has distinguished three general va lue orientations: an egoistic va lue orientation, in which people try to maximize individual outcome; an altruistic value orientation, which reflects concern for the welfare of other human beings; and a biospheri c value orientation reflecting concern with nonhuman species or the biosphere (Stern, Dietz, and Kalof, 1993). These three value orientations have been considered the foundation stone when predicting environmental behavior (Figure 3-1) and will be the basis for this research in determining and measuring tourists concerns for the Galpagos environment and welfare of local people. Figure 3-1. The VBN Theory. Adapted from Stern P. C. (2000). Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues 56(2). Values Biospheric Altruistic Egoistic Proenvironmen tal personal norms : Sense of obligation to take proenvironment al action Behavior Activism Nonactivist behavior in the public sphere (e.g. acceptability policies) Private-sphere behaviors Organizational behavior Beliefs Ecological Awareness of Ascription of worldview consequences responsibility (AC) (AR)
48 Personal Values Rokeach (19 68) defined values as centrally held and enduring beliefs that guide actions and judgments across specific situations and bey ond immediate goals to more ultimate end-states of existence (p.159). More recently, Schwartz and Bilsky (1987) and Schwartz (1992, 1994) have moved forward the understanding of values in the field of social psychology. Schwartz (1994) defines values as desirab le trans-situational goals, varying in importance, that serve as guiding principles in the life of a person or othe r social entity (p.21). Th ere are many definitions of values, but Schwartz and Bils ky (1987) identified that most of them incorporate five key dimensions: values are concepts or beliefs, relate to desirable end states or behavi ors, transcend specific situations, guide selec tion or evaluation of behaviors and events, and are ordered by relative importance (Schwartz & Bilsky 1987, p. 551). Values, therefore, form the basis upon wh ich behaviors are grounded (Higham and Carr, 2002). However, it is important to differentiate values from attit udes. Values are distinct from attitudes, as Lawson et al. (1996) explain, because values work at a higher level of abstraction and are deeper seated more perv asive influences on behavior ( p.81). This means, that values influence the attitudes that to urists may hold towards specific objects and situations, and are likely to bear directly upon visito r behavior (Higham and Carr, 2002). Specifically in the tourism sect or, social, cultural and environm ental values have been used as the basis of market segmen tation (Higham and Carr, 2002). For example studies have used personal values (Madrigal, 1995; Muller, 1991), social values (Blamey & Braithwaite, 1997), and cultural values (Blamey & Braithwaite, 1997; Diamantis, 1999) as the basis for studying the profiles of tourists, generally ecotourists. Recent research suggests that potential ecot ourists concern for biodiversity conservation ranks higher than their concern for the wellbei ng of local people (Zografos and Allcroft, 2007,
49 p.58). Authors such as Nilsson et al. (2004, p.274) suggest that environmental values, but not altruism values (such as equality and social justice) were successful to predict the acceptance of environmental policy measures at the organizatio nal level. However, if the objective is to analyze the acceptance of ecotourism policy measur es, the concerns for the environment and for the local welfare should be closel y related. Ecotourism not only has the objective to conserve the environment but to sustain the well-being of local communities. The ecotourism policy measures presented in the research aim to directly benefit environmental conservation and local reside nts, through regulation proposals intended to increase tourists local tourism service usage, support local welfare, and enhance visitors participation in conservation activities. Therefor e, it is expected that tourists environmental values and altruistic concerns would positively influence acceptance of ecotourism policies. Methods Study Area Located about six hundred m iles off Ecuadors coast, the Galpagos Islands are formed by 13 major islandsSanta Cruz, Floreana, San Cris tbal, Isabela, Santa Fe, Santiago, Darwin, Roca Redonda, Marchena, Pinta, Espanola, Genove sa, and Fernandinaand a large number of smaller islands and islets (Acosta, 1979) (Figur e 3-2). The Galpagos Islands are known for their unique flora and fauna, and were declared a World Heritage site by the UNESCO4 in 1979. Ninety-seven percent of its total area was declared national park, limiting three percent for human habitation. There are more than 18,000 people living in the remaining 3% of Galpagos land area. The total population is distributed among San Crist bal, Santa Cruz, Isabela and Espanola islands in towns and places designate d for human development. San Cristbal and 4 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
50 Santa Cruz are the main populated islands; they both offer diverse tourism services, and have commercial airports, which represent ports of en try and exit for tourists visiting the Galpagos Islands Ecuador has been a well-known nature tour ism destination for over 20 years because of the early popularity of the Galpa gos Islands (Epler W., 1998, p.12). Scientists such as Boo (1990) and Ceballos-Luscarian (1996) have categorized the Ga lpagos as one of the best examples of a worldwide ecotourism destinati on, and they are often cited as the place where ecotourism originated (Honey, 2008). Figure 3-2. Map of the Galpagos Islands Galpagos Entrance Fee Several ecotourism policies examined in this project explore the acceptance level of an increase in the Galpagos Islands entrance fee. Th is increase aims to directly benefit the local residents and support conservation efforts. Fifty percent of the entrance fee goes towards local safety, regional planning, establishment of polic ies, and coordination and management of actions
51 with different social, economic, cultural, and environmental actors. Th e entities designated to coordinate these actions are the national navy, Galpagos National Institute (INGALA), provincial government, and local municipalities (Table 3-1). On the other hand, the Galpagos National Park, Marine Reserve, and Quarantine a nd Inspection Service recei ve the other 50% of the entrance fee. These entities are responsible fo r the conservation of the terrestrial and marine protected areas, and for the avoidanc e of introduced species into the islands. In sum, the entrance fee for visitors to the park aims to support environmental conservation efforts and Galpagos regional planning, and improve the functioni ng of the local government structure. Table 3-1. Distribution of Galpagos Islands en trance fees, year 2007 Recipient Distribution of entrance fees (%) Galpagos National Park 40 Galpagos municipalities ( municipios) 25 Galpagos provincial government 10 Galpagos National Institute (INGALA) 10 Galpagos Marine Reserve 5 Quarantine and Control System (SICGAL)5 Ecuador National Navy 5 TOTAL 100 Source: Galpagos National Park Service. 2008 Galpagos tourism demand report Sampling Approaches The theoretical population for this study was non-Ecuadorian (foreign) tourists who visit the Galpag os Islands. The accessible populatio n was non-Ecuadorian tourists visiting the islands of San Cristbal and Santa Cruz, the most visited islands that offer a large number of diverse local tourism services and activities. A systematic random sampling approach was used to recruit tourists in San Cristbal. The sampling frame consisted of tourists at San Crist bal airport at time of departure from May to July of 2008. Tourists at the depa rture lounge were picked systema tically (a starting participant is chosen at random, and thereafter at regular in tervals). Once selected, participants were asked
52 to consent to participate in th e study. Researchers collected data every other day of the week during the time period of May to July of 2008. Transportation costs and time required to get to the Santa Cruz airport made it difficult to survey tourists at that airport at time of depart ure. Consequently, tour guides from Santa Cruz were asked to provide questionnaires to tourists on their last day of stay. As in San Cristbal, tourists were asked to consent to participate in the study. Only people who wished to participate completed the survey. To ensure heterogeneity of the sample, tourists from different cruises/travel agencies were surveyed every other day of the week, for approximately one month between June and July of 2008. To broaden the sample so it would include all types of foreign tourists, researchers worked with representatives from universities or or ganizations to recruit students, volunteers, researchers, scientists, or othe r tourists who stayed for long periods of time. The number of volunteers, scientists, and resear chers present in the islands of San Cristbal and Santa Cruz during May to July of 2008 was relatively small, and all of them were recruited. With the help of local municipalities and community leaders, researchers were able to identify all the organizations and universities that were in charge of bringing these types of visitors to both islands. Researchers then contacte d representatives of these organizations to find the number of visitors already present in th e islands and those who were coming between the months of May and July of 2008. Researchers and representatives th en set up a time and m eeting place to survey participants. Once identified, partic ipants were asked to consent to participate in the study. The survey was given orally and at convenien t times, and 97.5% of people who were asked to fill out the survey participat ed (464 out of 467). A total of 213 tourists were sampled in San Cristbal airport through systematic random sampling. One hu ndred fifty-five tourists were
53 sampled in Santa Cruz through the intervention of tour guides. And a total of 96 students, volunteers, and researchers were surveyed in bot h islands through the help of representatives from universities and local organizations. Data Collection A survey (see Appendix) was designed to achieve the th ree objectiv es of the project: 1) Study Galpagos visitors willingness to accept ecotourism measures directed to increase tourists local serv ice usage, support local welfare and enhance par ticipation in conservation activities To measure visitors willi ngness to accept ecotourism measures a seven-item index (Question 11 in the survey) was developed. The ecotourism policies were directed to increase tourists local service usage (f irst, second, and seventh policy), support local welfare (third and fifth policy), and enhance participation in cons ervation activities (fourth and sixth policy). Ecotourism policy items were created with the help of Galpagos National Park representatives and local community members. The items selected were tested for validity and reliability ( =0.867). Participants were asked to rate th e seven ecotourism policy statements from Certainly oppose to Certainly accept. 2) Study Galpagos visitors travel prefer ences, and concerns for the environment and human beings The variables of biospheric, altruistic and egoistic values introduced by Stern et al. (1993) were used in the study with the objective of measuring the visitors concer ns for personal wellbeing, the welfare of others, and the ecosystem, respectively (question 12 in the survey). The biospheric value orientation reflects concern with non-human species or the biosphere; the altruistic value orientation reflects concern fo r the welfare of other human beings; and the egoistic value orientation reflects concerns for self-interest and personal well-being; this is,
54 concerns that are based on a person's valuing himself or herself above other people and above other living things (Stern et al ., 1993). Three indices were developed to measure each of the value orientations. Index items were taken from Steg et al. (2005) Value Index, and their response format ranges from Not at all important to Very important. Three items were selected for the biospheric value orientation (Protection of wildlife, Respecting non-human beings, and P reventing contamination of the environment), four for the altruistic value orientation (Equal opportunity for all, Correcting injustice, Care for the weak and poor, and W orking for the welfare of others), and three items for the egoistic value orientation (My fina ncial security, Control over others, and The amount of money I have in my bank account). The lodging service used, length of stay in the islands, and me thod (s) chosen to visit the Galpagos were used to study the visitors tr avel preferences (survey questions 9, 7, and 6, respectively). Specifically, study participants were asked to check all the accommodation services and travel methods used, as well as the duration of their stay. 3) Investigate how these fact ors may influence the willingness to support the ecotourism measures. Correlation tests were performed to analyze the relationship between values and the acceptability of ecotourism policies. Biospheric, al truistic, and egoistic values were not normally distributed (Table 3-2). Therefore, Spearmans rho correlation coefficient was used to measure the strength and direction between egoistic, biospheric, and altrui sitic values and the level of acceptance of ecotourism policies. Acceptability of ecotourism policies did present a normal distribution (Table 3-2). Hence, ANOVA tests were used to test the relationship between lodging
55 service used, method (s) chosen to visit the Galpagos, demographic data, and acceptability of ecotourism policy measures. Table 3-2. Test of normality Variables Shapiro-Wilk Statistic Df Sig. Biospheric values 0.794 464 <0.001 Altruistic values 0.952 464 <0.001 Egoistic values 0.971 464 <0.001 Acceptability of ecotourism policies 0.988 464 0.108 Post-hoc ANOVA analysis was conducted to look for or control for patterns that were not specified a priori that may affect the outcomes of the re search. A priori analysis implies the sample and creation of groups according to specif ic characteristics thought about ahead of time (de Vaus, 2001). In this case, post-hoc compar ison groups were generated, if possible, for demographic data (i.e. gender, age, place of re sidence, education attained, and employment status), lodging service used, tr avel method, and length of stay. Results The average age of respondents was 39 years old, and ranged between 18 and 86 years old. The age dis tribution is skewed to the rightthe majority of the distribution is located between 18 and 33 years old. Approximately, 44.6% were male and 55.4% female. Almost 65% of respondents resided in the USA, 10% in England, 8% in Canada, 10% in Europe, 3% in South America and Central America, 2% in Australia, and the remaining 2% in other countries. Fortyone percent of partic ipants were employed full time, 21% were full time students, and approximately 12% were retired (Figure 3-3). Th irty-four percent of respondents achieved a graduate degree or beyond, 25% were university graduates, 25% attained some university, and the remaining 12% of respondents attained high school or less than high school (Figure 3-4).
56 Figure 3-3. Relative frequency di stribution of employment status for sampled Galpagos foreign visitors Figure 3-4. Relative frequency di stribution of highest level of education attained for sampled Galpagos foreign visitors
57 First Objective: Acceptability of Ecotourism Policies Results show that, on average, tourists were willing to ac cept ecotourism policies in the Galpagos (Table 3-3). Participants showed the hi ghest level of acceptance to an increase in the entrance fee if the increa se is directed to environmental conservation activities (mean = 4.38). However, they had a lower level of acceptance of paying higher entrance fees if this increase is conditioned by a higher participa tion in conservation activities (mean = 3.33). In other words, tourists did not agree or disa gree that the entrance fee should be based on the level of participation in conservation activities during their trip. Two out of the three ecotourism policies directed to increase tourists local service usage were moderately accepted by the respondents (m eans = 3.91 and 3.90). On average, respondents were willing to increase their use of local touris t services; however, they were less enthusiastic about the entrance fee being ba sed on the amount of time and money spent on local services (mean = 2.85). The ecotourism policies directed to support lo cal welfare were also moderately accepted. Tourists had a positive attitude about directing an increase in the en trance fee towards the improvement in drinking water quality (mean = 3.66) and Galpagos community quality of life (mean = 3.84). On average, the four policies relate d to increasing particip ation in local tourism services and increasing the entr ance fee to improve conservation efforts and well-being of local residents were accepted by respondents (tourists should increase their usage of local tourists services; tourists should increase th eir usage of local lodging servi ces; if there is an increase in the entrance fee for tourists it should be direct ed to improve the quality of drinking water in Galpagos; if there is an increase on the entrance fee for tourists it should be directed to environmental conservation activities). However, tourists in general neither accepted nor opposed paying higher entrance fees if this increa se is conditioned by a higher participation in
58 conservation activities (mean = 3.33) and a larg er amount of time and money spent on local tourism services (mean = 2.85) (Table 3-3). Table 3-3. Descriptive statis tics of each ecotourism policy Ecotourism Policy Measures N Mean a Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean If there is an increase in the entrance fee it should be directed to environmental c onservation activities 464 4.38 .74 .034 Tourists should increase their us age of local tourists services 464 3.91 .80 .037 Tourists should increase their us age of local lodging services 464 3.90 .80 .037 If there is an increase on the entrance fee it should be directed to improve the quality of lif e of the Galpagos community 464 3.84 .92 .043 If there is an increase in the entrance fee it should be directed to improve the quality of drinking water 464 3.66 .96 .045 Tourists who do not participat e in conservation activities should pay higher entrance fees 464 3.33 1.13 .052 Tourists who do not spend much time and money using community services should pay higher entrance fees 464 2.85 1.10 .051 a 1= Certainly oppose, 2 = Oppose, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Accept, 5= Certainly accept Second Objective: Travel Preferences, Bios pheric, Altruistic, and Egoistic Values The average length of stay in the islands was nine days and ranged between three and eighty-seven days. The length of st ay distribution, however, is highly skew ed to the left since the majority of the distribution is located between six and eighty days. Fift y-nine percent of the respondents used only cruise ships or boats as their main lodging se rvice. Almost 16% stayed in hotels in local towns only, 9% stayed in local fam ily homes, 6% used hotels in local towns and another type of lodging service, and the remain ing 10% used boats and hotels in local towns (Figure 3-5). Twenty-one percent of the respondents chose to visit the islands through a study abroad program. Approximately 45% of the respo ndents used travel agencies, 13% did their own travel arrangements, 9% engaged in other trav el methods, 7% used bot h travel agencies and study abroad programs, and the remaining 6% of the respondents chose a combination of travel agencies and self planned visits when coming to Galpagos (Figure 3-6).
59 Figure 3-5. Relative frequency di stribution of main lodging serv ice used by sampled Galpagos foreign visitors Figure 3-6. Relative frequency di stribution of travel method used by Galpagos foreign visitors
60 Study participants reported their highest priority for biosphe ric values. This means that respondents reflected higher concerns for th e protection of wildlife and prevention of environment contamination than they did for other values. Altruistic values were scored with a moderate importance and were not rated as importan t as the concerns for nature. Finally, egoistic values presented the lowest score, and one egoist ic value (control over others) was rated as the least important (mean = 2.53) (Table 3-4). Table 3-4. Descriptive statistics of each biospheric, altruistic, and egoistic value Biospheric, Altruistic and Egoistic Values N Mean a Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean Protection of wildlife (Biospheric Value ) 464 4.77 .46 .021 Preventing contamination of the environment (Biospheric Value ) 464 4.65 .57 .026 Respecting non human beings (Biospheric Value ) 464 4.52 .64 .030 Equal opportunity for all (Altruisitic Value ) 464 4.29 .78 .036 Care for the weak and poor (Altruistic Value ) 464 4.15 .71 .033 Correcting injustice (Altruistic Value ) 464 4.08 .77 .036 Working for the welfare of ot hers (Altruisitic Value ) 464 3.99 .82 .038 My financial security (Egoistic Value) 464 3.99 .84 .039 The amount of money I have in my bank account (Egoistic Value ) 464 3.38 1.02 .047 Control over others (Egoistic Value ) 464 2.53 1.02 .047 a 1= Not at all important, 2 = Not important, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Important, 5= Very important Third Objective: Factors Influencing W illingness to Support Ecotourism Policies The correlations between biospheric, altruis tic v alues, and acceptability of ecotourism policies, were statistically significant, weak, and positive. On the other hand, the correlation between egoistic value and acceptability of policies was negative but not significant (Spearmans rho = -0.76, p = 0.103). The correlation between altruistic values and the acceptability of policies was stronger (Spearmans rho = 0.30, p<0.001) than the correlation between biospheric values and acceptability of policies (Spearmans rho = 0.20, p<0.001). This means that tourists who had
61 higher concerns for the welfare a nd well-being of others were s lightly more willing to support ecotourism policies than those who presented higher concerns for the environment. ANOVA tests revealed that mo st demographic data (i.e. employment status, education attained, and age) do not show any significan t influence on the accepta bility of ecotourism policies. However, ANOVA tests showed that gender does display a relationship with the acceptability of ecotourism policies. Female respondents presented significantly higher acceptance of ecotourism policies than male respondents, (F (1, 462) = 4.995, p = 0.027). All the variables measuring travel preferen ces (i.e. lodging service used, travel method, and period of stay) do display a relationship w ith the acceptability of ecotourism policies. Correlations run for period of stay showed that the longer the period of stay in Galpagos, the higher the acceptability of ecotourism policies (r = 1.36, p <0.01). Participants using different lodgi ng services revealed significant differences in terms of the acceptability of ecotouris m policies (F (9,454) = 2.429, p = 0.011). Post hoc tests conducted for lodging services showed that t ourists who stayed in local town hotels only, displayed a significantly higher score on the mean acceptabilit y of policies (3.87) th an the tourists who stayed only in cruise ships or boats (3.61) ( p <0.05). No other type of lodging service revealed significant differences in terms of their level of acceptance with ecotourism policies (Table 3-5). Travel methods also revealed significant di fferences in terms of the respondents acceptability of ecotourism policies (F (10,450) = 2.422, p = 0.008). The results of post hoc tests showed that tourists who come to the is lands through a study abro ad program reported significantly higher level of acceptance of policies co mpared to tourists who used travel agencies to visit the Galpagos ( p <0.05) and those who arrange their trip by themselveswithout travel agencies or tour operators ( p <0.05). According to the results tourists who chose a different
62 method or a combination of several methods do not show significant differences in terms of their acceptability of policy measures (Table 3-6). Table 3-5. Relationship between lodging serv ice and acceptability of ecotourism policies N Mean a Std. Deviation Lodging Service Used 1. Ship/Boat 274 3.61 2 0.56 2. Hotel in local towns 72 3.87 1 0.58 3. With local home 43 3.77 0.62 4. Hotel in local towns + other 29 3.80 0.57 5. Cruise/Boat + hotel in local towns 46 3.70 0.55 Total 464 3.7 0.58 a 1= Certainly oppose, 2 = Oppose, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Accept, 5= Certainly accept Note : The superscripts refer to a sta tistically significant difference ( p <0.05), using the Tukey test, between the reported mean score and the mean score of one, or more, other categories. In th is case, the mean score for category 1 is statistically significantly different from the mean of category 2. Table 3-6. Relationship between travel me thod and acceptability of ecotourism policies N Mean a Std. Deviation Travel Method 1. Study abroad 95 3.90 2,3 0.6 2. Travel agency 205 3.65 1 0.57 3. Self planned visit 62 3.55 1 0.54 4. Other 39 3.70 0.65 5. Study abroad + travel agency 31 3.76 0.48 6. Travel agency + self planned visit 29 3.59 0.52 Total 461 3.69 0.58 a 1= Certainly oppose, 2 = Oppose, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Accept, 5= Certainly accept Note: The superscripts refer to a sta tistically significant difference ( p <0.05), using the Tukey test, between the reported mean score and the mean score of one, or more, other categories. In th is case, the mean score for category 1 is statistically significantly different from the mean of category 2 and the mean of category 3. Analysis of the Sample According to the Galpagos National Park Servic e (GNPS), the nationalities of visitors of the Galpagos Islands during 2007 were: USA (43.9%), England (13.3%), Canada (5.5%), Europe (18%), South and Centra l Am erica (5%), Australia (3%), and other countries (11.3%). The nationalities and the proportion of participants from the st udy sample from these countries were somewhat similar to those of the GNPS studys population. Sample participants came from
63 USA (65%), England (10%), Canada (8%), Eur ope (10%), South America and Central America (3%), Australia (2%), and other countries (2%) Even though the proporti ons of the different nationalities among the sample participants were not representative of that of the true population, people coming from different countries did not reveal si gnificant differences in terms of their acceptability of ecotouris m policies (F (6,456) = 1.897, p = 0.08); their biospheric values (F (6,456) = 1.242, p = 0.283); altruistic values (F (6,456) = 1.445, p = 0.196); or egoistic values (F (5,456) = 1.286, p = 0.262). The Galpagos National Park Service data5 also show that very similar percentages of females (50.87%) and males (49.13%) visited the islands during 2007. The sample proportion of male and female respondents, however, was different.61% were male and 55.39% were female. In this case, signifi cant gender differences were reported in terms of the level of acceptance of ecotourism measures. According to the results, female respondents were more willing to accept ecotourism policie s than male respondents. This implies that the actual mean level of acceptance of ecotourism policies (mean = 3.696) is biased towards female respondents. However, after weighting and adjusting the m ean acceptability of ecotourism policies of the sample to the true gender proportions, the result s reported only a slight change (mean = 3.6883). Travel method, lodging services, and length of stay were also shown to influence the acceptability of ecotourism policies; howev er, there are no annual data about these characteristics for the true Galpagos fo reign population. The 2008 Galpagos Demand Report surveyed tourists only between the months of November and December of 2007. Results revealed the presence of more European tour ists (42.5%), followed by North American (USA 5 Galpagos National Park Service web page Galpagos visitors statistics, 2007
64 and Canada) encompassing 30.9% of the sample. For this 2007 sample, the majority (55%) of tourists used cruise/boa ts as their main lodging service, and 30% of the sample used land hotels only as their main lodging service. The results of the present project show ed a similar percentage of tourists staying in cruise ships or on boats only, but just 16% of res pondents reported to use hotels in local towns only. Nonetheless, there are no data about the true percentage of Galpagos foreign tourists who come to the islands through a study abroad prog ram, self-arranged trip s, or through travel operators/agents. One reason for this is that st udents and volunteers have been under-researched in tourism studies in the Galpagos since they represent a low and incipient market demand. Due to this lack of information about the true populations travel me thod and lodging service proportions, the present projects de scriptive statistics re garding visitors valu e orientations and acceptability of ecotourism policies cannot yet be generalized to all Galpagos foreign tourists. Discussion This study shows that foreign Galpagos visitors who participated in the study, in general, are willing to support ecotourism policies. More specifically this projec t shows that surveyed foreign Galpagos visitors are willing to: 1) accept an increase in the entrance fee, which suggests that the increase should be directed to support environm ental conservation activities and improve the quality of life of the Galpagos co mmunity; and 2) increase their participation in local tourism services. In addition, the project showed that differences in travel preferences among tourists represent factors that influen ce the acceptability of ecotourism policies. Past studies about visitors characteristics and travel preferences sh owed that tourists who are part of the network tourism model visit the islands through travel agen cies, use cruise ships or boats as their main lodging service, and stay, on average, six or se ven days in the Galpa gos. On the other hand,
65 tourists who visit the islands through other types of travel methods are generally free independent travelers, do not rely on travel agen cies, stay mainly on local family homes or local hotels, and usually remain in the islands fo r longer periods of time (Honey, 2008; Epler B., 2007). This study shows that these tw o groups of tourists are different in terms of their level of acceptance of ecotourism policies. Tourists who stayed in land hotels, visit the islands as students or through a study abroad program, and st ayed for longer periods of time tend to have the highest acceptability for ecotourism policy measures compared to tourists who use cruise ships or boats as their travel method a nd stay for shorter periods of time. Two different tourist profiles emerge from this project. One group, mostly formed by students and free independent tr avelers, present higher willi ngness to interact with the community and participate in c onservation activities than tourists who come to the islands through a tour package or travel agent. In general, t ourists have higher academic education level higher than high school, which allows a better u nderstanding about the ecological and social dynamics in the islands. The lodging, length of stay, and travel method preferences are associat ed with the network tourism model. In other words, tourists preferences are to engage in navigable tours or cruise/boat tours arranged by trav el agencies and whose length ra nges from five to seven days. However, there are a small percentage of touris ts who stay in both crui ses and land hotels, and according to the 2008 Galpagos tourism demand report, tourists who use a combination of cruise/boats and land hotels as th eir lodging services, start with a navigable tour and then decide to stay additional time in the islands and use la nd hotels for the remaining of their stay. The 2008 report revealed that the number of tourists who decide to spe nd additional time in the islands, after their normal cruise itineraries, appears to be increasing, and that the majority of Galpagos
66 foreign tourists are willing to stay for longer periods of time in the islands developing localbased tourism activities (2008 Gal pagos tourism demand report, GNP) Furthermore, this research shows that not only differences in travel preferences among Galpagos foreign tourists represent factors that influence the acceptability of ecotourism policies, but visitor value orientations can also have an effect on the le vel of acceptance of the ecotourism measures. The Value Belief Norm Theory introduced three potential value orientations (biospheric, altrui stic, and egoistic valu es) that form the basis upon which behaviors are grounded (Higham and Carr, 2002). Past studie s have suggested that biospheric values were the most responsible for adopting pro-envir onmental attitudes and behaviors (Steg, 2006, Nordlund and Garvill, 2003), including the acc eptance of environmental policy measures (Nilsson et al.204). For this study in partic ular, it was expected that biospheric and altruistic values could positively influence the acceptability of ecotourism policy measures, given that ecotourism criteria incorporates both ecological and social pro cesses. The results support the initial hypothesis of altruistic and biospheric values influencing positively the acceptability of ecotourism policies. Similarly to Zografos and Allcrofts (2007) study about environmenta l values of potential ecotourists, this studys participants ranked biodi versity conservation high er than their concern for the wellbeing of local people, and even hi gher than the concerns to maximize individual outcomes. This may be explained by the fact that Galpagos is rec ognized worldwide by its distinctive biodiversity and exceptional habitats, and this natural uniqueness component is what mainly motivates tourists to visit the is lands (2008 Galpagos Tourism Demand Report). Understanding tourists main concerns and motiva tions to visit the islands is essential when
67 developing tourism products. Galpagos biodiversity and landscapes are still considered a unique attraction and highly valued by tourists Management Implications and Recommendations for Enhancing the Galpagos Ecotourism Model Broadly speaking, the literature oriented to conservation has perceived local comm unity development as directly conf licting with the objectives and practice of biodiversity conservation(Hulme and Murphee, 2001). In fact, development is seen as the problem and the main cause of biodiversity loss. However, some scholars have presented evidence that a shift in conservation thinking has created the idea of a new conservation (Hul me and Murphee, 2001), which sees people not as a cons ervation threat, but as potenti al partners in sustainable development strategies. Combini ng conservation and development goals has been approached in various ways. The creation of protected areas or national parks, community-managed forest enterprises (CFEs), or ecotourism projects are seen as attempts to join these two concepts. This research shows that Galpagos Islands foreign visitors can be potential partners in sustainable development. Most are willing to incr ease their contribution to protect the islands and improve Galpagos residents welfare by: 1) a ccepting an increase in the entrance fee and directing it to environmental conservation and local development projects, and 2) investing more time and money using community-bas ed tourism services. The main local-based tourism services currently offered by the Galpagos community in clude food and lodging, and activities such as hiking, horseback riding, cycling, sailing, ka yaking, scuba diving, canoeing, camping, and fishing. Nonetheless, the majority of tourists who engage in navi gable tours do not participate in local-based tourism services/activ ities because of their planned and short itineraries in local towns. However, as this study shows, even t ourists who come through travel agencies or navigable tours have a positive attitude toward a higher usage of local services. In consequence,
68 the sale of local-based activities should be considered as comp lementary to the itinerary of visitors using navigable tours (the biodiversity reasons that visitors valu e need to be maintained as priority). For example, instea d of staying the usual five to se ven days in Galpagos, tourists engaged in navigable tours can stay for additi onal time (e.g. two to four days) exclusively on land hotels, and participate in tourism activities offered by locals. That way, these tourists will have the opportunity to intera ct more with the Galpagos community. For this tourism model shift to happen, it would be essent ial to substantially diversify the itinerary system offered by the tour operators. Travel agents/operators should promote in a coordinated way the complementary activities offered by local towns. Tourists, in general, showed a relatively high concern for the Galpagos environment and well being of local people. Taking this into c onsideration, Galpagos c ould develop a seal to orient tourists when buying their tour or tourism products. This id ea of providing an informative seal is also suggested by the 2008 Galpagos Demand Report. Such a seal could indicate environmental impacts (e.g. with representative Galpagos land and marine animals such as tortoises or sharks) and social impacts (e.g. with drawings of men/women/children). Consequently, this seal would give the tourists information regarding fa ctors that they might consider important at the tim e of buying their tour packag e. Ecolabel and ecotourism certification for tourism products have been used as a mechanism for encouraging sustainable practices in the tourism industry (Font and Buckley, 2001). In the private sector, ecolabels are primarily seen as a marketing tool that guarant ees the customer that the tourism products and services that a company sells are sustainable or are committed to improving its environmental sustainability (Font and Buckle y, 2001). Despite a boom in the ecotourism industry, there is no international system to monitor the ecotouris m labels and only tw o national certification
69 programs in the world: Costa Rica and Aust ralia (Wood, and Halpenny, 2001). Therefore, a purchase orientation symbol or seal could motivat e (or press on) tour oper ators to improve their quality performance, and address thei r environmental and social impacts. People who come to the Galpagos Islands with out a travel agency or tour operator (i.e. student, researcher, and free independent traveler) ha ve a higher willingness to interact with the community and participate in c onservation activities and would, th erefore, provide more direct environmental and community benefits. In order to capture this tourist market, it would be necessary to promote local-based activities and services throu gh the creation of an official web page that sells Galpagos as a real ecotour ism destination. The web page should include information about land hotels, and tourism activities that the community can potentially offer and those that are already being offered: where to go, who to talk to, how much it costs, how to reserve, pictures, etc. There is a large number of Galpagos websites out there whose main focus is either on ecosystem preservation to attract donations for conservation purposes, or advertisements of navigable tours only to the islands. The Ecua dorian government could force outbound travel agents to use the official website as an effort to promote local-based tourism. However, it would be crucial to improve the mark eting mechanism of the comple mentary activities that have significantly less demand in order to increase the economic benefits of the local community. Future Research If touris ts agree to participate in conservati on activities and invest more time and money using local services, then there should be a wi de range of products offered by the community. Therefore, future research should identify the activities and ecotourism services that can be potentially offered in the islands and meet the n eeds and expectations of the different Galpagos
70 tourists. In addition to addr essing actual Galpagos tourism demand, these potential products should also meet the ecotourism core criteria of benefiting local communities and environments. Besides exploring potential Galpagos tourism demand, it is also important to study its supply. It would be necessary to investigate resi dents desire to get involved in the tourism business, their tourism resources, expectations of ecotourism activities in the local community, and their entrepreneurial and leadership capacity. The present project only sampled tourists in th e months of May to Ju ly of 2008. In order to completely assess the characteri stics of the true foreign Gal pagos tourist population and make valid generalizations of the present study, a yearly sample of all foreign visitors travel characteristics and methods is needed. Student s, volunteers, and free independent travelers should be adequately recruited and sampled to pr operly account for all foreign visitors. Annual information about travel methods and lodging service used by this group of tourists is needed to correctly determine the true profile of visitors who travel the islands without tour packages.
71 CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSIONS Planning for sustainable ecotourism development in the Ga lpagos involves fostering a tourism model that portrays ecological conser vation successes and improved economic benefits to local communities. This thesis applied ma rket segmentation processes to understand the visitors characteristics and ecot ourism behaviors to effectively di rect promotion strategies to a specific group of tourists who showed stronge r environmental and social commitment. In addition, this project also explored visitors acceptance of ecotourism policies, and factors that can affect this behavior. Using consumer profiles from market studies, and examining the larger responsible purchasing sector, c ould determine new alternatives to link this sector with the local community while accounting for their concer ns and priorities. This thesis shows that tourists who engage in navigable tours represen t the largest percentage of visitors to the Galpagos. By harnessing latent consumer dema nd for ecotourism, understanding the disposition of consumers to extend their tourism schedules an d itineraries to help the environment and local communities, and creating complementary travel information sources, ecotourism has the potential to reap the benefits of conserving th e environment and sustaining the well-being of local people. Ecotourist Segmentation Study This study revealed distinctive hard and so ft ecotourism segments for the Galpagos visitors. Each of the two groups has different characteristics in regard s to their ecotourism behaviors, travel methods, lodging services, and travel activities. Hard ecotourists who visit the islands are mainly young visitors who come to th e islands through tour packages, universities or organizations, and tend to stay for longer periods of time in Galpagos; therefore, using a variety of local services. They tend to stay in land hotels and participat e in local tourism activities.
72 Soft ecotourists, on the other hand, have hi gher reliance on travel agencies and tour operators when visiting the isla nds. This high level of relian ce on the formal travel industry (e.g. tour operators, travel ag ents) indicates a str ong connection to a conventional mass tourism industry that may not always place a high priority on environmentally sustainable management or client awareness (Fennel and Weaver, 2005, p.378). The Galpagos ecotourists, however, are certainl y different from other types of ecotourists in other parts of the world. Galpagos tourists are subject to the conservation norms established by the Galpagos National Park Service. In we ll-managed parks like the Galpagos, hard and soft ecotourists tend to behave in a different way compared with tourists in other national parks. Study About the Acceptability of Ecotourism Policy Measures In general, Galpagos foreign v isitors are willing to accept new polic y measures that will directly lead to conservation and community be nefits. In particular, many are willing to pay higher entrance and direct the incr ease towards projects that cons erve the environment and help the local welfare. Factors that affect the accepta bility of the proposed ecotourism policies include differences in regards to environmental and so cial values, travel me thods (e.g. through travel agencies, universities, or self-planned visits), lodging services used (e.g. hotel in local towns only vs. stays in cruise ships/boats), and gender. This suggests that tourists who have higher willingness to support ecotourism policyand cons equently present higher disposition to interact with locals, actively conserve the envi ronment, and directly contribute to the local economyhave the following characteristics: 1) ha ve higher priorities for the welfare of others and the protection of the environment, 2) vis it the islands through a st udy abroad program, 3) stay in local town hotels, a nd 4) are female visitors. This may have important implications for managers and policy-makers when trying to assess possible increases in entrance fees, explori ng extensions in the period of stay, and setting
73 up minimum requirements for tourists in terms of their lodging serv ices used and their participation in conservation activities. Results indicate that biodiversity protection and wellbeing of local people are prioritized by Galpagos ecotourists. It is clear in this study that, overa ll, Galpagos ecotour ists have strong biospheric and altruistic values. This prevalence should be recogni zed by tour operators and local tourism businesses seeking high levels of visi tor satisfaction. One suggestion is to emphasize biodiversity protection, polluti on prevention, and consideration of social impacts when promoting tourism products. Furthermore, the Galpagos National Park Service, Galpagos National Institute (INGALA) and the Galpagos municipalities and government should target these benefits when developing tour ism policies and planning frameworks. Conclusion Results a lso show that the large majority of ecotourists use naviga ble tours when visiting the islands. This means that tourists preference is to engage in cruise/ boat tours. Both studies have suggested that an alternative to integrate the majority of tourists with community-based tourism is to market the sale of local-based ac tivities and services as complementary. That is, complement the itinerary of navigable tours with the offer and promotion of local activities. For example, tourists can stay for additional time (e.g. two to four days) ex clusively in towns and participating in local tourism services and activities. For this to happen, the community and navigable tour operators should wo rk cooperatively to offer local to urism activities as part of the tour package, so that tourists have an oppor tunity to increase thei r interaction with the community. It would be important to: Fortify the capacity of local operators that offer complementary activities so that their service quality attracts additional stays in Galpagos by tourists who engage in navigable tours;
74 Establish a network of integrative promotion for the Galpagos tourist services, framed within the principles of cons ervation, sustainable developmen t, and complementarity of the visit. Establish strategic agreements between na vigable tour operators and local tourism entrepreneurs, so that visitors who have had their experience on board complement their visit to Galpagos developing co mmunity-based tourism activities. Generate an official website (between Ministry of Tourism and environment, Galpagos National Park, CAPTURGAL, etc.) that prom otes Galpagos as a whole, including information on local hotels and complementary activities: where to go within which communities, who to speak with, how much it co sts, how to reserve, etc. The Galpagos Tourism Chamber together with the Ecuadoria n government could poten tially instigate or stimulate travel agents to use this website as the main source of information about local tourism products and provide incentives for its usage. Both studies suggested alternatives to provide ecotourism opportunities in the islands that directly benefit the Galpagos local economy, and promote visitors active commitment and involvement in conserving the environment, and interacting with the local communities. Understanding differences among fore ign visitors, the level of suppor t of conservation activities, and the degree to which foreign visitors are willi ng to increase their participation in local tourism services, suggests that tourists are likely to be come partners in develo ping sustainable planning and management actions that will result in successful ecotourism practices.
75 APPENDIX GALPAGOS TOURIST QUESTIONNAIRE Ecotourism Policy Measures in the Galpagos Islands The purpose of this survey is to better understand tourists thoughts about ecotourism policy measures in the Galpagos Islands. This information will be used for a Master Thesis of the University of Florida (USA), and by the Galpagos Municipality and Galpagos Tourism Chambe r. All information will remain confidential. Demographics : This information will be used for statistical analysis only. 1. What is you gender? [ ] Male [ ] Female 2. What year were you born? 19_____ 3. Where is your permanent residence? City _______________, State or Province ________________ Country _____________ 4. What is the highest level of education you have completed? (please mark one) [ ] Less than High School or Secondary [ ] Some High School or Secondary [ ] High School or Secondary Graduate [ ] Some University [ ] University Graduate [ ] Some Graduate School [ ] Graduate Degree or beyond 5. Are you presently [ ] Employed Full Time: Occupation ________________ [ ] Employed Part Time: Occupation ________________ [ ] Unemployed [ ] Full Time Homemaker [ ] Retired: Previous Occupation ___________________ [ ] Full time student [ ] Part time student The Galpagos trip 6. How do you feel about the method (s) you chose to come to the Galpagos? Really dont like Dont like Dont care Like Really like Didnt use it Through a study abroad or university program Through a travel agency or a tour package It was a self planned visit Volunteer program Through a different type of program or organization (Please specify)______________________________ 7. How long was (or will be) your stay in the Galpagos Islands? ________ days 8. Please check the activities you have participated (and/or will participate) in your visit to the Galpagos Islands (mark all that apply)
76 [ ] National Park visits [ ] Hiking [ ] Wildlife viewing [ ] Nature photography [ ] Swimming [ ] Bird watching [ ] Guided trail walks [ ] Snorkeling [ ] Camping [ ] Scientific study [ ] Cycling [ ] Fishing [ ] Meeting local people [ ] Sailing [ ] Canoeing [ ] Sunbathing on the beach [ ] Shopping [ ] Kayaking [ ] Horseback riding [ ] Scuba diving [ ] Others (Specify) ___________________________________________________________________ 9. What was (were) your main lodging service(s) in the Galpagos? (Please mark all that apply) [ ] On a boat/ship [ ] Hotel in the local towns [ ] With a local family home [ ] Bed and Breakfast program [ ] Stayed in a friends house [ ] Other (Please specify) ______________________________________________________ 10. Visitors travel for a variety of reaso ns and have many trip preferences and service expectations. Please ra te your level of agreement of the following statements: Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree I do my best to leave the site or area in better condition than when I arrived 1 2 3 4 5 I prefer to see wildlife in its natural habitat 1 2 3 4 5 I support the local economy of places that I visit 1 2 3 4 5 I learn more about the natural environment on an escorted tour than through traveling on my (or our) own 1 2 3 4 5 My ideal ecotourism destination is a wilderness setting 1 2 3 4 5 National parks should provide adequate services for those who want to go there 1 2 3 4 5 I would go on a long hike in miserable weather if this was my only opportunity to see a unique animal or plant species 1 2 3 4 5 I prefer ecotourism sites in which the natura l attractions are interpreted or explained to me 1 2 3 4 5 I prefer to visit tourism areas with a professional tour guide 1 2 3 4 5 I like to be as self-reliant as possible when I travel 1 2 3 4 5 I like to arrange my own tourism trips 1 2 3 4 5 Comfortable accommodations are a priority for me 1 2 3 4 5 The quality of a destinations natural environment is more important to me than the quality of the accommodations that I use 1 2 3 4 5 I like ecotourism but I also enjoy spendi ng time at a beach resort 1 2 3 4 5 I like my ecotourism experiences to be physically challenging 1 2 3 4 5 I like to engage in physically challenging activities 1 2 3 4 5
77 11. Ecotourism policies are directed to improve local welfare and promote ecosystem preservation. Please rate your level of acceptance to the following ecotourism mea sures for the Galpagos Islands: Certainly oppose Oppose Neutral Accept Certainly accept Tourists should increase their usage of local tourists services 1 2 3 4 5 Tourists should increase their usage of local lodging services 1 2 3 4 5 If there is an increase in the entrance fee for tourists it should be directed to improve the quality of drinking water in Galpagos 1 2 3 4 5 If there is an increase on the entrance fee for to urists it should be directed to environmental conservation activities 1 2 3 4 5 If there is an increase on the entrance fee for tourists it should be directed to improve the quality of life of the Galpagos community 1 2 3 4 5 Tourists who do not participate in conservation activities should pay higher entrance fees. 1 2 3 4 5 Tourists who do not spend much time and money using community services should pay higher entrance fees. 1 2 3 4 5 12. Tourists have many concerns and priorities in life. Please rate how important the following topi cs are to you Not at all important Not important Neutral Important Very important Protection of wildlife 1 2 3 4 5 Equal opportunity for all 1 2 3 4 5 My financial security 1 2 3 4 5 Respecting non-human beings 1 2 3 4 5 Control over others 1 2 3 4 5 Correcting injustice 1 2 3 4 5 Care for the weak and poor 1 2 3 4 5 Working for the welfare of others 1 2 3 4 5 Preventing contamination of the environment 1 2 3 4 5 The amount of money I have in my bank account 1 2 3 4 5 Thank you very much for your time and participation!! If you have any questions regarding this project, you may contact: Jenny Basantes at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Dr. Taylor Stein at email@example.com. If you have any questions or comments, please write them in the space below.
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80 Laarman, J. and Durst, P. (1987) Nature Travel and Tropical Forests. Raleigh, North Carolina: Southeastern Center for Forest Economics Research, North Caroli na State University. Lawson, R., Tidwell, P., Rainbird, P. Loudon, D. and Della Bitta, A. (1996) Consumer Behaviour in Australia and New Zealand. Sydney: McGraw-Hill. Lindberg, K. (1991) Policies for Maximizing Nature T ourisms Ecological and Economic Benefits Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Madrigal, R. (1995) Personal valu es, traveler personality type and leisure travel style. Journal of Leisure Research 27 (2), 125. Muller, T. (1991) Using personal values to define segments in an international tourism market. International Marketing Review 8 (1), 57. Nardi, P. (2006) Interpreting Data. A Guide to Understanding Research New York: Pearson. Nilsson, A., von Borgste Chris, & Biel Anders (2004) Willingness to accept climate change strategies: The effect of values and norms. Journal of Environmental Psychology 24(3), 267-277. Nordlund, A. M., & Garvill, J. (2002) Value structures behind pro-environmental behavior. Environment and Behavior 34, 740. Nordlund, A. M., & Garvill, J. (2003) Effects of values, problem awareness, and personal norm on willingness to reduce personal car use. Journal of Environmental Psychology 23, 339 347. Ospina, P. (2006) Galpagos, Naturaleza y Sociedad. Actore s Sociales y Conflictos Ambientales en Galpagos Quito, Ecuador: Corporacin Editora Nacional Ospina, P., and Falcon, C. (2007) Migraciones, Economa, Cultura, Conflictos y Acuerdos. Quito, Ecuador: Corporacin Editora Nacional. Palacio, V. and McCool, S.F. (1997) Identif ying ecotourists in Belize through benefit segmentation: A preliminary analysis. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 5 (3), 234. Rokeach, M. (1968). Beliefs, Attitudes, and Values; A Theory of Organization and Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Scheyvens, R. (1999) Ecotourism and the empowerment of local communities. Tourism Management 20 (2), 245-249 Schwartz, S. (1992) Universals in the content and stru cture of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 25, 1. Schwartz, S. (1994) Are there aspects in th e structure and content of human values. Journal of Social Issues 50 (4), 19.
81 Schwartz, S. and Bilsky, W. (1987) Towards a universal psychologica l structure of human values. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 53 (3), 550. Steg L., Dreijerink, L., Wokje A. (2005) Factors in fluencing the acceptabili ty of energy policies: A test of VBN theory. Journal of Environmental Psychology 25(4), 415-425. Stern P. (2000) Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues 56(2), 407-427. Stern, P. (2005) Understanding individuals environmentally significant behavior. Environmental Law Reporter 35(10), 785-790. Stern, P., Dietz, T., & Kalof, L. (1993) Value orientations, gender, a nd environmental concern. Environment and Behavior 25, 322. Stern, P., & Dietz, T. (1994) The va lue basis of environmental concern. Journal of Social Issues 50(3), 65. Stern, P., Dietz, T., Abel, T., Guagnano, G. A., & Kalof, L. (1999) A value-belief-norm theory of support for social movements: The case of environmentalism. Human Ecology Review 6(2), 81. Taylor, E., Dyer G, and Stewar t M. (2003) The economics of eco tourism: a Galpagos Islands economy-wide perspective. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 51, 977-997. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) web page. Ecotourism Definitions & Principles Retrieved March 4, 2008 from http://www.ecotourism.org/webmodules/webartic lesnet/templates/eco_template.aspx?articl eid=95&zoneid=2 Twynnam, G. and Robinson, D. (1997) A Market Segmentation Analys is of Desired Ecotourism Opportunities. Ontario: NODA/NFP. Vincent, C., and Thompson, W. (2002) Assessi ng community support and sustainability for ecotourism development. Journal of Travel Research 41(2), 153-160 Weaver, D. (2002) Hard core ecotourists in Lamington National Park, Australia. Journal of Ecotourism 1(1), 19-35. Weaver, D. (ed.) (2001a) The Encyclopedia of Ecotourism Wallingford:CABI. Weaver, D. (2001b) Ecotourism Bisbane:Wiley. Weaver, D. (1998) Ecotourismin the Less Developed World Wallingford: CAB International. Weaver, D. and Lawton, L. (2002) Overnight ecot ourist market segmentation in the Gold Coast Hinterland of Australia. Journal of Travel Research 40 (3), 270.
82 Willen, J., and Stewart, M. (2000) Economic Analysis of the Galpagos Marine Reserve Resources Management Plan cited in Galpagos Report 2000-2001, 65. Zografos, C., and Allcroft D. (2007) The envi ronmental values of potential ecotourists: a segmentation study. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 15(1), 44-66.
83 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jenny F. Basantes was born in 1985 in Guay aquil, Ecuador. During her childhood she lived in San Cristbal, Galpagos, surrounded by its m agnificent and enigmatic flora and fauna, unique landscapes and incomparab le tropical weather. Her experi ence in Galpagos had a great impact on her love for the environment a nd passion to conserve the islands. At the age of 12 years she moved to Guayaqu il where she finished high school and started her undergraduate education in en gineering sciences. After atta ining the first two years of college, she got the opportunity to study abroad a nd finished her degree at the University of Florida. As an undergraduate student she conducted a senior research project, in which she developed new nature and community based touris m products for the Galpagos Islands as a tool to involve Galpagos residents in sustainable development pla nning. She also volunteered for almost two months in the Galpagos National Park as an environmental educator in a recycling and solid waste management project. As a response of her interest in helping the Galpagos community she got the support of many environmental government and non government entities, such as the Spanish Organization, The WWF, the Galapagos Tourism Chamber and the San Cristbal Municipality. Her undergra duate project installed on her th e desire to continue with a superior academic education and work with the Galpagos local community to achieve a harmonic development between the residents and their surroundings. In 2007 she graduated with honors with a Bachel or of Science in Environmental Science and a specialization in natural re source management from the University of Florida. With the help granted by the School of Natural Resource and Environment in the form of a two-year assistantship she could then star t her graduate studies and become a proactive resident of the Galpagos Islands. She has continually been supporting additional planning and conservation
84 efforts in Galpagos and has worked in part nership with interna tional, non-profit, and environmental organizations in Ecuador to en courage conservation programs in the Galpagos Islands.