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dc.contributor.advisorBrody, Samuelen_US
dc.creatorLin, Li-Pinen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-02-14T22:20:47Zen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-02-16T16:17:49Z
dc.date.available2014-01-15T07:05:34Z
dc.date.created2011-12en_US
dc.date.issued2012-02-14en_US
dc.date.submittedDecember 2011en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/ETD-TAMU-2011-12-10608en_US
dc.description.abstractEcotourism is considered an effective agent to conserve environmentally fragile areas while bringing economic opportunities to local communities at the same time. In the past decades, empirical studies about ecotourism's conservation effects on wetland ecosystems attracted relatively less academic attention than rainforests and coral reefs. Florida, listed as one of the states with the greatest share of wetland loss in the U.S. due to rapid growth in agriculture, tourism, and urban development, has a small number of existing wetlands under the protection of the park and reserve system. To generate long-term positive environmental impacts, ecotourism stakeholders' contributions to planning and management activities could be an alternative beyond land use controls for conserving Florida wetlands. The major objective of this study is to explore the relationship between ecotourism and wetland conservation contributions which lead to long-term environmental sustainability. The study surveyed 97 nature-based tour operators in Florida on their activeness in a set of wetland planning and management behavior, the proportion of tourism revenue from ecotourism, and the perceived tourism benefits regarding economic, socio-cultural, and ecological aspects. Factor analysis was employed to identify indicators for the composite factors, such as the conservation contributions and incentives (i.e., economic benefits, socio-cultural benefits, and ecological benefits). The effects of ecotourism involvement and conservation incentives on tour operators' participation in wetland conservation practices were statistically modeled. The results demonstrated the business characteristics, degrees of the perceived tourism benefits, and frequency of participation in wetland conservation activities of responding tour operators. On average, tour operators were not as active in wetland management and planning approaches leading to the long-term environmental health as theories suggest they should be. Generally, the regression analysis results illustrated the significant association between ecotourism involvement and tour operators' conservation contribution. It is noteworthy that the effects of ecotourism involvement on tour operators' participation in environmental planning and water management processes were relatively important. In addition, the incentive of the perceived socio-cultural benefits was identified as the leading factor by regression analysis. The findings lent to the policy suggestions in expanding the incentives to drive major stakeholders' active engagement in wetland conservation planning and management, which is critical for collaborative and adaptive management.en_US
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdfen_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.subjectenvironmental planningen_US
dc.subjectecotourismen_US
dc.subjectenvironmental participationen_US
dc.subjectwetland conservationen_US
dc.titleExamining the Effects of Ecotourism Involvement and Tourism Benefits on Florida Tour Operators' Conservation Contributions to Wetland Ecosystemsen_US
dc.typeThesisen
thesis.degree.departmentLandscape Architecture and Urban Planningen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineUrban and Regional Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.grantorTexas A&M Universityen_US
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberPeacock, Walteren_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberJamal, Tazimen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberWang, Zhifangen_US
dc.type.genrethesisen_US
dc.type.materialtexten_US
local.embargo.terms2014-01-15en_US


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