Ecotourism and Heritage Tourism

Program Focus

  1. To explore contemporary natural and cultural resources use, attitudes and behaviors among visitors and residents.
  2. To monitor and manage socio-cultural, environmental, and economic impacts of ecotourism and heritage tourism on destination communities.
  3. To provide research-based expertise for sustainable long-term planning and management of ecotourism and heritage tourism in developed as well as developing countries.

Research Areas

  • Ecotourism and heritage tourism participation and demand
  • Attitudes and behaviors among visitors and residents
  • Stakeholder use and development of community based ecotourism and heritage tourism
  • Parks and protected areas management
  • Socio-cultural, environmental, and economic impacts of ecotourism and heritage tourism
  • Ecotourism and heritage tourism planning for sustainable communities
  • Community involvement in natural and cultural resource planning and management
  • Planning and management of World Heritage Sites
  • Local, national, and international policy context for ecotourism and heritage tourism development

Program Coordinator: Brijesh Thapa, Ph.D.

Research Projects

  • Transforming Community Based Natural Resources Management Education in Southern Africa (2009-2012)
  • Partnership to Strengthen Teaching, Research, Service and Faculty Development in Tourism Management at Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa (2009-2012)
  • Tourism Demand Assessment in Zambia (2012)
  • Florida’s Tourist-Related Tax Expenditure for Historic Preservation (2006)
  • Parks and Recreation Master Plan for Putnam County, Florida (2006)
  • Kazakhstan Ecotourism Management Program (2006)
  • Developing a Sustainable Tourism Plan for Jackson County, Florida (2003)
  • Communication Behaviors in Outdoor Recreation: Mono Basin Scenic Area, California (2003)
  • Visitor Use Monitoring Study: Pacific North West (Region 6): Oregon (Malheur National Forest, Mt. Hood National Forest, Umatilla National Forest, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest), and Washington (Colville National Forest) (2003)
  • National Visitor Use Monitoring Study: Willamette National Forest, Oregon (2003)
  • Understanding Information Needs and Communication Behaviors: Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests, California (2002)
  • Heritage Tourism Study: St. Johns County, Florida (2001)
  • Needs Assessment for a New Community Park: West Boynton, Florida (2001)
  • Developing an Agri-Tourism Program in Live Oak, Florida (2001)
  • Outdoor Recreation Needs Assessment for Florida: Visitors and Residents (2000)
  • Florida State Park Satisfaction Survey (1999)
  • Market Opportunities for Ecotourism in the Mayport Area of Northeast Florida (1998)
  • Monitoring Camper Reactions to the Presence of Pets in Florida State Parks (1998)
  • Florida Park Management Issues: Survey of Campers (1996)
  • Florida Outdoor Recreation Survey (1992)

Related Sampling of Publications (click here)

Related Graduate Student Research (click here)

Related Reports (click here)

Related Links