White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) cage-diving tourism is a controversial activity that provokes emotional and often opposing points of view. With increasing demand for shark tourism since the 1990s, the underlying determinants driving this growth in participation remain unclear. This paper adopts a qualitative approach to investigate beliefs underlying tourists' choice to observe white sharks while cage-diving at the Neptune Islands, South Australia. Elicitation surveys gathered responses from a sample (n=86) of cage-diving participants. Content analysis of the responses revealed the decision to cage-dive with white sharks is driven by factors including education and the perceived naturalness of the experience. The findings of this study indicate an opportunity for cage-dive operators to provide in situ education and interpretation with potential for increased tourist satisfaction and shark conservation outcomes.
|Author Address||School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia.firstname.lastname@example.org|
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