Orchids

An example of charismatic megaflora tourism?

Authored by: Catherine Pickering , Mark Ballantyne

The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and the Environment

Print publication date:  July  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415582070
eBook ISBN: 9780203121108
Adobe ISBN: 9781136325564

10.4324/9780203121108.ch18

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Abstract

Seeing big game in southern and east Africa, gorillas in central Africa, whale watching in the Pacific and Atlantic and tiger tracking in India are well-recognised examples of wildlife tourism focused around ‘charismatic mega-fauna’ (Newsome et al. 2005). Tourism focused around birds is also a well-recognised specialised type of wildlife and nature-based tourism, with twitching a popular activity (Connell 2009; Newsome et al. 2005). There is less recognition that charismatic plants, such as orchids, can be such a focus of tourism (Kirby 2003). We illustrate how the desire to see wild and cultivated orchids has resulted in a diversity of types of tourism products ranging from mass conference tourism through nature-based tourism to specialised volunteer tourism (Figure 18.1). This typology is similar to that developed by Fennell (2001) to describe soft- and hard-path dimensions of ecotourism with nature-based orchid tourism similar to soft-path ecotourism, whereas orchid ecotourism and specialised volunteer tourism to conserve orchids would be examples of hard-path ecotourism in Fennell’s typology (Fennell 2002).

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