New Economic Insights and Case Studies
14.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter examines tourism activities based on insects and gives particular attention to glow-worms as a tourist attraction. Its major purpose is to present relevant results of our survey of independent visitors to the glowworm colony at Natural Bridge in southeast Queensland, Australia and consider the implications of the responses received. Insect-based tourism caters mostly for a niche market, but has received relatively little attention despite its potential as a tourism drawcard. There are several popular insect-based tourism ventures in many countries. These include tourism based on butterflies, dragonflies and glow-worms. Glow-worm and butterfly viewing are popular tourism activities in several countries, including New Zealand and Australia. Despite its popularity and its economic importance to the tourism industry, no detailed studies have been undertaken of the socio-economic and related aspects of this niche industry. This chapter rectifies this situation and provides insights into glow-worm viewing in the Springbrook National Park (Natural Bridge section) in southeast Queensland. In this chapter, some background to insect-based tourism is provided and then we look at glow-worms as a tourist attraction. For this purpose data from a survey conducted in Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park in Queensland are used. Glow-worm-based tourism is also conducted in New Zealand but on a much larger scale. This chapter demonstrates, based on our survey and visitor data, that night-time nature-based tourism activities of this type are not necessarily lacking in appeal, but may attract only some segments of the population. We examine the results of the survey...
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