Bentz, J., Lopes, F., Calado, H. & Dearden, P. (2016) Managing marine wildlife tourism activities: analysis of motivations and specialization levels of divers and whale watchers.Tourism Management Perspectives, 18, 74-83. DOI:10.1016/j.tmp.2016.01.004 (IF ; Q3 Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism)
This paper reports findings derived from two samples, each of which numbered over 400 respondents. The first was of divers and the second of whale watchers, and both samples were from the Azores, a major diving and whale watching tourist location in the northeast Atlantic ocean. Distinctions were made between generalists and specialists in the recreational activities with the objective of assessing differences in perceptions and behaviors. While there are commonalities in concerns over environmental issues distinct differences were found. The findings also question previous studies that suggest higher degrees of involvement are related to greater frequencies of a given activity. With reference to the passive activity of whale watching no such relationship was found, but the behaviors of divers are consistent with such hypotheses, and it is suggested that the requirement for training is one determining factor that reinforces involvement as people become more specialized and skilled.