Whether it is to look at it, travel over it, go in it, or eat produce from it, people have always been drawn to the sea. As a result, seas and tourism are intimately connected.
One particular aspect of this relationship – linking responsible tourism with small-scale fisheries – has been the subject of interest of the Greenwich Maritime Centre’s Dr Adriana Ford and Dr Tim Acott.
Dr Adriana Ford presented their most recent projects (TourFish and LinkFish) at the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference – held at the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida, 25th-27th January 2016.
Her presentation, titled ‘Linking responsible tourism with small-scale fishing: experiences from Europe and the Caribbean’, led to discussions with other conference attendees on the potential to transfer some of these ideas to the places where they work and live.
Of particular interest was the ‘Responsible Tourism Development Model’ for small-scale fisheries, which aims to conceptualise potential pathways and approaches for building responsible fisheries-related tourism.
Responsible Tourism Development Model for small-scale fisheries. Source: Ford. A.E.S. & Acott, T. (2015) © University of Greenwich 2015
The conference also provided a valuable opportunity for the GMC to meet many inspiring practitioners in the field of sustainable tourism, and to learn of other case studies and approaches for linking the marine environment with sustainable tourism.
This included a talk by Dr Blair Witherington, Conservation Programs Manager for Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Dr Witherington shared his experiences of how large corporations such as Disney can be involved in sustainability and marine conservation efforts, including their project monitoring sea turtle nesting at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and the Tour De Turtles event, engaging locals and tourists alike in nature and the oceans – sea turtles as ‘ocean ambassadors’.
You can find out more about The International Ecotourism Society and their annual conferences here, and you can see a copy of Dr. Ford’s presentation here: Ford- Responsible Tourism and Small Scale Fishing
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the TourFish or LinkFish projects.
Ref: Ford, A.E.S. and Acott, T. (Eds) (2015) Responsible Tourism: a guide for tourism and sustainability in small-scale fisheries and agri-food. TourFish cluster of the INTERREG IV A 2 Seas Programme. London: University of Greenwich
A copy of the guide is a available here