Annually, millions of tourists visit natural areas and zoos primarily to view flagship species such as lions and elephants. Venues rely on the inherent charisma of these species to increase visitation and anchor conservation efforts. Expected visitor outcomes from the use of flagships include raised levels of awareness and pro-conservation behaviors. However, the role of flagships in wildlife tourism has been criticized for not delivering conservation benefits for species of interest or biodiversity, and producing negative site impacts. Furthermore, little is known about how the connection to a species influences conservation behaviors. This dissertation addresses this gap in knowledge by extending previous work exploring flagship-based wildlife tourism to include the emotional connection formed with a species and pro-conservation behaviors for individual species and biodiversity.
|Department||Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management|
|Degree||Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)|
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