Ecotourism in Hong Kong

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					Ecotourism - Theory and Practice

          Mr. Cheng Wing Ming, Clement
                 Tour 2004-2005
  (Jointly organized by Department of Chinese
    History, Department of Geography, Green
                     Club, )
          Play a game first
•   Tourism industry
•   What is ecotourism?
•   Why ecotourism in Hong Kong?
•   Potentials
•   Constraints
•   Ecotourism Planning
•   Conclusion
         Tourism Industry
• Planet’s biggest industry
• Annual turnover HK$31 trillion
• An economy second in the world after
• Globe’s biggest employer, 10% of the
Tourism Industry in Hong Kong
• 9th top tourism earner in the world
  (WTO 1999)
• Tourists spent HK$53 billion in 1999
  (HKTA 1999)
• Highest tourism receipts and arrivals in
  East Asia / Pacific region in 1997
  (excluding China)
Tourism Industry in Hong Kong (cont’d)
        --- Visitor Distribution in 1999 ---
 Country / Region   Visitors (1,000s)     % Total
    Mainland              3,084            28.9
     Taiwan               2,000            18.7
    East Asia             1,260            11.8
      Japan               1,020             9.6
     Europe                939              8.8
       USA                 803              7.5
   Australasia             329              3.1
     Canada                211              2.0
     Others               1,033             9.6
       Total             10,678            100
Tourism Industry in Hong Kong (cont’d)
   --- Tourists’ perception of Hong Kong ---
           Tourism Category      % Total
            Oriental culture      31.4
           Shopping paradise      24.4
               Heritage           13.5
           Natural landscape      9.6
           Stopover to China      9.6
              Feng Shui           4.5
             Theme parks          3.8
              Horserace           1.3
                Others            1.9
    Source: Vinci Li (2000)
        What is ecotourism?
• Ceballos-Lascusain (1987)

      “Travelling to relatively undisturbed or
  uncontaminated natural areas with the specific
  objectives of studying, admiring and enjoying
  the scenery and its wild plants and animals, as
  well as any existing cultural manifestations (both
  past and present) found in the areas……while
  producing economic opportunities that make the
  conservation of natural resources financially
  beneficial to local citizens.”
     What is ecotourism? (cont’d)
• Australian Commonwealth Department of
 Tourism (2010)
    “Nature-based tourism that involves
 education and interpretation of the
 natural and cultural environment and
 ecologically sustainable management of
 natural areas.”
    Components of ecotourism
•   Nature-based component
•   Environmentally-educative component
•   Sustainable management
•   Ecotourism ethics
•   Economic benefits
  Nature-based component
• Wildlife including species, habitat,
  landscape, scenery and water features
• Camping, hiking, picnicking
• Nature-based tourism not necessarily
• Leaving nothing but footprints and taking
  nothing but photos
Environmentally-educative component
• Enhance knowledge and foster positive
  attitudes of participants towards
  environmental conservation (Bottill and
  Pearce 1995)
• Management strategy (Orams 1995)

 Enjoyment      Increasing success
                    of strategy
     Sustainable management
• Green tag vs environmental disruption
• Ecotourism market vs nature-based and
  educative dimensions
• Sustainable tourism not necessarily
• Green management measures
      (minimize fuel and energy consumption,
  effective waste disposal, waste recycling,
  educational, minimize impacts, etc.)
• Ecologically sensitive, economically viable,
  culturally appropriate (Wall 1997)
              Ecotourism ethics
• Ecotourists vs mass tourists
• Shallow ecotourism vs deep ecotourism
• Ecotourists are motivated individuals with
  specific values, attitudes and behaviour
  towards nature
• Foster a positive attitude towards natural
Passive                               Active
                 Increasing success
Minimize                              Actions that can
                     of strategy
disturbance                           enhance ecosystem

to environment                        health
         Ecotourism Today
• Buzzword
• Utopia in the tourism domain
• Fastest-growing sector of tourism industry,
  swelling by 20% a year
• Growing fastest in developing countries with
  “natural wonders”
• “Dyed-green” package trips
Why ecotourism in Hong Kong?
• Earth Summit on Environment in 1992
• Decline in tourists
      1997         10,408,000 visitors
      1998          9,575,000 visitors
• Development of new tourist attractions
  (Disneyland Theme Park, Lantau Cable Car,
  Wetland Park, etc.)
• Lack of an interpretative dimension in our
  country parks
• Concerted effort of HKTB, AFCD, NGOs and
  tourist agencies
         Group Discussion
• Does Hong Kong possess enough tourist
 attraction to develop ecotourism?
    Potentials (nature-based perspective)
• Country Parks
    Potentials (nature-based perspective)
• Country Parks
Potentials (nature-based perspective)
• White dolphin watching
• Nature Walks
Potentials (nature-based perspective)
• Marine Parks
Potentials (nature-based perspective)
• Mai Po Nature Reserve
Potentials (nature-based perspective)
• Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve
    (Stakeholders’ perspective)
• Hong Kong Tourism Board(HKTB)

• Advisory body without statutory power
• Specializes in marketing approach instead of
  proactive and sustainable management
• Need of a new government department for
  tourism (or restructuring)
• Emphasize on the development of mainland
(Stakeholders’ perspective) (cont’d)
•       AFCD      and      EPD

    --- Specialized and technical knowledge
    --- Limited by resources
(Stakeholders’ perspective) (cont’d)
• Tour operators
  --- General travel agencies (mass travelling
  --- One-person operation (e.g. guided nature
      walks or dolphin watching)
  --- Can they co-exist?
  --- Accreditation / Certification system of tour
      guide (English vs knowledge on hiking,
      responsibility, taboos, first aid, etc.)
(Stakeholders’ perspective) (cont’d)
• Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
 --- Countryside Heritage Society of Hong
     Kong, WWF, Green Power, FOE, Hong
     Kong Marine Conservation Society

 --- Profound knowledge and expertise in
 --- Advisory role, yet not influential (e.g. KCR
     railway project at Long Valley)
 --- Lack of coordination and commitment
 --- Bottom-up approach problem
(Stakeholders’ perspective) (cont’d)
• Tourists
  --- Social attributes, travel experiences,
      environmental values and future travel
      preferences (Higgins 1996)
  --- 3 visitor information centers in town
  --- Pamphlets in Chinese less emphasis on
           Ecotourism Planning
• Objectives or themes (bird watching, jungle
    excursion, adventure sport, etc.)
•   Target tourists (age, educational levels,
    income groups, occupations, country or
•   Format (safari, leisure tour, guided, duration)
•   Recruitment and training of tour guides
•   Site selection (criteria, uniqueness,
    resistance to impact, reversibility)
     Ecotourism Planning (cont’d)
• Baseline data of site (monitor changes)
• Management plan for site complete with
  different threshold levels / carrying capacity
• Promotion
• Law and enforcement
• Periodic monitoring and evaluation
• 若爾大草原
• 黃龍
• 四姑娘山
• 米亞爾及桃坪羌寨
     Evaluation of your choice to
          study Ecotourism
•   In terms of nature base        Excellent
•   Things to consider:
•   cultural heritage
•   different stakeholders
•   the other three components of ecotourism??
• Brand new concept characterized by
•   Starting point of development
•   Impossible to follow overseas scenario?
•   Government department to oversee planning
    and implementation
•   Package to include facilities, opportunities
    and professional services
•   Targeted at tourists and local people
--- The End ---

   Thank you!

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