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Marine Conservation and Volunteer Tourism: Examining Community Perceptions in Sarteneja, Belize

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Title: Marine Conservation and Volunteer Tourism: Examining Community Perceptions in Sarteneja, Belize
Author: Ravensbergen, Sarah
Department: Department of Geography
Program: Geography
Advisor: Gray, Noella
Abstract: This thesis critically examines claims that volunteer tourism is an ideal form of support for conservation and community development. Despite increasing attention to communities in volunteer tourism, there remains a need to examine local perceptions of whether, and how, benefits are provided. Building on a framework of indicators for volunteer tourism, this thesis uses a case study of ‘Blue Ventures’ in Sarteneja, Belize, including surveys, interviews, and focus groups, to assess community perceptions of volunteer tourism. Local residents identify positive economic and social impacts of volunteer tourism, although there is also a widespread perception that benefits are unfairly distributed. These findings are interpreted using insights from political ecology, to examine how political, economic and social processes influence who benefits from volunteer tourism and how these benefits are perceived. More nuanced understandings of the impacts of volunteer tourism on communities is required, to ensure these programs benefit both conservation and communities.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9858
Date: 2016-06
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada


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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada