Wildlife tourism: the intangible, psychological benefits of human-wildlife encounters

This source preferred by Susanna Curtin

Authors: Curtin, S.C.

Journal: Current Issues in Tourism

Volume: 12

Pages: 451-474

ISSN: 1368-3500

DOI: 10.1080/13683500903042857

This paper presents the results of an ethnographic study of wildlife tourists. The findings reveal the commonalities and complexities of the wildlife experience during wildlife encounters at home and whilst on holiday. Nature’s design, performance and immense biodiversity initiate an emotional response of awe, wonder and privilege which unlocks eco-centric and anthropomorphic connections to wild animals and a feeling which is ‘beyond words’.

There is time to stand and stare, and contemplate. Nature and wildlife are not only spatial events but also temporal ones too. In this liminal, embodied space of a wildlife encounter, socially constructed modern fast time dissipates and is replaced by stillness and nature’s time whereby participants are totally absorbed in the spectacle. All thought and action is concentrated on the moment. This provokes a deep sense of well-being which transcends the initial encounter leading to spiritual fulfilment and psychological health benefits.

The implications of this research has relevance to environmental conservation particularly the recognition that conserving habitats and wildlife has an intrinsic connection to the future well-being of the human population who are part of the ecosystem and not separate from it.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Curtin, S.

Journal: Current Issues in Tourism

Volume: 12

Issue: 5-6

Pages: 451-474

ISSN: 1368-3500

DOI: 10.1080/13683500903042857

This article presents the results of an ethnographic study of wildlife tourists. The findings reveal the commonalities and complexities of the wildlife experience during wildlife encounters at home and while on holiday. Nature's design, performance and immense biodiversity initiate an emotional response of awe, wonder and privilege that unlocks ecocentric and anthropomorphic connections to wild animals and a feeling that is 'beyond words'. There is time to stand and stare, and contemplate. Nature and wildlife are not only spatial events but also temporal ones. In this liminal, embodied space of a wildlife encounter, socially constructed modern fast time dissipates and is replaced by stillness and nature's time whereby participants are totally absorbed in the spectacle. All thought and action is concentrated on the moment. This provokes a deep sense of well-being that transcends the initial encounter leading to spiritual fulfilment and psychological health benefits. The implications of this research has relevance to environmental conservation particularly the recognition that conserving habitats and wildlife has an intrinsic connection to the future well-being of the human population who are part of the ecosystem and not separate from it. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.

This data was imported from Web of Science (Lite):

Authors: Curtin, S.

Journal: CURRENT ISSUES IN TOURISM

Volume: 12

Issue: 5-6

Pages: 451-474

ISSN: 1368-3500

DOI: 10.1080/13683500903042857

The data on this page was last updated at 04:45 on January 17, 2018.