Moore et al 2023-Tourism-Biosecurity-Behaviour ICBI 2023.pdf (890.96 kB)

Integrating biosecurity into the tourist experience: Prospects and issues

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-08-17, 02:20 authored by Kevin MooreKevin Moore, Mark McNeillMark McNeill, Lloyd Carpenter

Human-mediated dispersal of exotic species is a major contributor to biological invasion and biodiversity loss worldwide. International tourism as a subset of the global anthropogenic movement is recognised as a pathway for the–sometimes rapid–movement of invasive alien species. Biosecurity failures can have a significant impact on the tourism industry itself, for example, in curtailment of activities once in the country, reducing the value of a country’s image to prospective tourists, and a potential reduction in the number of visitors. International tourism dominates human movement into Aotearoa New Zealand, and prior to the pandemic, there were c. 3.9M visitor arrivals in 2019, with numbers forecast to return to these levels post 2024 once air routes and flight capacity are re-established. While information and inspection at the ports of arrival are designed to mitigate biosecurity risk, the relationship between biosecurity measures and the tourism experience has often been assumed to be antagonistic. In Aotearoa New Zealand, for example, border biosecurity measures have been said to be “costly and time-consuming” and “unpopular with visitors”. Despite these assumptions, there is also evidence that in certain special-interest forms of tourism–such as nature tourism to the Galapagos Islands–biosecurity-oriented tourism can enhance the tourist experience and even attract a premium. In this presentation, we consider the prospects for a broader integration of biosecurity measures, protocols, and awareness into the generic tourist experience, in ways that might increase the value of the experience to the tourist. Specifically, we consider opportunities that include the cultural, social, and value dimensions of the tourist experience. Examples of such types of opportunity include indigenous practices and rituals of encounter suggestive of guest obligations to respect the local society and environment; the use of practice theory to guide incorporation of socially enacted ‘bundles’ of tourist practices that are supportive of sustainability and relevant to biosecurity; and the possibility of leveraging tourist values of authenticity and sincerity to create ‘buy-in’ to biosecurity measures and awareness. Finally, we critique these potential ways of integrating biosecurity into the tourist experience and draw conclusions about their likelihood of being successful and the challenges of implementing such possible integrative approaches in tourism.


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  • English

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AgResearch Ltd

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Fourth International Congress on Biological Invasions (ICBI 2023)

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Christchurch, New Zealand

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