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Protecting ecotourism resources in a time of rapid economic and environmental transformation in Asia

Posted date: July 07, 2010
Publication Year: 
2009
Authors: Watson, Alan E.; Ostergren, Dave; Fix, Peter; Overbaugh, Bill; McCollum, Dan W.; Kruger, Linda Ph.D.; Madsen, Martha; Yang, He
Publication Series: 
Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Source: In: Xiaowen, Jie; Xu erming, Xu; Schneider, Ingrid, editors. Strategic Management Engineering: Enterprise, Encironment and Crisis; Proceedings of 2009 International Conference on Strategic Management. Sichuan University Press: 185-201.

Abstract

In the Far East of Russia, similar to many places in Asia, ecotourism and the environment are in transition. A science team, cooperating with the United Nations Development Programme project "Demonstrating Sustainable Conservation of Biological Diversity in Four Protected Territories in the Kamchatka Region, Russian Federation," is working to provide vital information to help guide regional sustainable development planning in a time of rapid change in globalization and visitation pressures. An emerging part of Russian society has been the managers in Russian industry that receive high wages and demonstrate increased interest in travel and tourism within Russia and across Europe. Consumers have been reporting very low debt and new growth in the economy has been anticipated. Russians have very unique but evolving leisure patterns, with a long tradition of nature-based activities near home, including hiking, cross-country skiing, viewing nature, and relaxing at spas or dachas. The Kamchatka Peninsula is emerging as a nature-based vacation destination with federal and regional protected areas in the region attracting and hosting a growing number of Russian and international tourists. A cooperative study was initiated in 2007 to better understand the visitation and economics aspects of sustainable tourism development in Kamchatka over a one-year period. A survey of 1,961 tourist visitors to Kamchatka revealed nearly two-thirds of Kamchatka visitors were from Russia, followed by Germany, the U. S., and France. In economic contribution terms, however, while in the minority among visitors, Non-Russian visitors reported over $4,000 per trip in expenditures, excluding air or cruise ship fare to get to Kamchatka. Russian visitors, by far the majority, reported a much lower average of about $1,500 per trip. Similar to recent changes in China and elsewhere in Asia, Russia is expecting continued economic gains with a potential significant rise in consumption and personal income. Current and anticipated spending patterns of discretionary income among Russians could greatly influence transition of this relatively low density frontier in Asian Russia.

Citation

Watson, Alan; Ostergren, Dave; Fix, Peter; Overbaugh, Bill; McCollum, Dan; Kruger, Linda; Madsen, Martha; Yang, He. 2009. Protecting ecotourism resources in a time of rapid economic and environmental transformation in Asia. In: Xiaowen, Jie; Xu erming, Xu; Schneider, Ingrid, editors. Strategic Management Engineering: Enterprise, Encironment and Crisis; Proceedings of 2009 International Conference on Strategic Management. Sichuan University Press: 185-201.