International Handbook on Ecotourism
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International Handbook on Ecotourism

Edited by Roy Ballantyne and Jan Packer

This Handbook brings together contributions from over forty international experts in the field of ecotourism. It provides a critical review and discussion of current issues and concepts – it challenges readers to consider the boundaries of what ecotourism is, and could be. The Handbook provides practical information regarding the business of ecotourism; insights into ecotourist behaviour and visitor experiences; and reflections on the practice of ecotourism in a range of different contexts.
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Chapter 33: Feeding of wildlife: an acceptable practice in ecotourism?

David Newsome and Kate Rodger


Wildlife tourism is a sub-sector of natural area tourism where the flora and/or fauna playa primary role in attracting tourists to specific destinations. Although it includes both fauna and flora, in most cases wildlife tourism refers to tourism activities that focus on watching and interacting with animals (Newsome, Dowling & Moore, 2005; Rodger, Moore & Newsome, 2007; UNEP & CMS, 2006). The desire people have to interact with wildlife, particularly in the natural environment continues to grow (Newsome & Rodger,2012). The outcome of this trend is a continuing interest in and increased visitation to sites with wildlife (Newsome & Rodger, 2012; Newsome et al., 2005; Rodger et al., 2007; Tisdell & Wilson, 2004).In addition, throughout the world tourists are seeking interactions with wildlife in their natural settings. Wildlife tourism encompasses a wide array of activities and species as well as a range of levels of interactions and providing for photographic opportunities. Interactions can range from watching wildlife from a distance through to swimming, touching or feeding of wildlife. There is often the desire from people to have close contact with wildlife.

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