Scientia Marina, Vol 83, No 2 (2019)

Marine ecotourism in the Gulf of California and the Baja California Peninsula: Research trends and information gaps


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.04880.14A

Andrew F. Johnson
MarFishEco Fisheries Consultants, United States
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3365-8768

Claire Gonzales
MarFishEco Fisheries Consultants - Blue Latitudes, United States
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0436-6531

Amanda Townsel
MarFishEco Fisheries Consultants - Katuvi, United States
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9892-8637

Andrés M. Cisneros-Montemayor
Nippon Foundation Nereus Program, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia, Canada
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4132-5317

Abstract


Achieving equitable and sustainable ecotourism requires a wide range of multidisciplinary and cross-scale information, particularly given the growing scale of ecotourism operations and continuing governance and climate challenges. Ecosystems in Mexico’s Gulf of California and Baja California Peninsula support a thriving ecotourism industry that has quickly expanded over the last few decades, potentially outpacing research into current performance and future sustainable development opportunities. We develop and apply a formal literature review approach to characterize academic marine ecotourism literature, highlight key insights and identify research strengths and gaps, and thus analyse almost 50 publications for the region from 1994 to 2014. There has been a significant increase in the number of various types of publications; most (68%) focus on ecological themes, 25% on economics, and 7% on social aspects of human wellbeing. There are also trends towards research on specific species (e.g. mammals, fish and sharks) and in specific areas. A common theme in publication conclusions is the need for collaboration from all stakeholder groups. We discuss these findings, and address potential limitations of our method, with a view to informing sound policies to ensure that ecotourism can provide equitable benefits to local communities while incentivizing sustainable practices and nature conservation.

Keywords


coastal ecosystem; conservation; literature; recreation; revenue; tourism

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References


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