Towards a decommodified wildlife tourism: why market environmentalism is not enough for conservation
Belicia, Teo Xin Yi
Islam, Md Saiful
Date of Issue2018
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Wildlife tourism is frequently touted as a solution to the problems of increased poaching, habitat destruction, and species extinction. When wildlife is able to pay for its right to survive through attracting tourists, there is an incentive to conserve wildlife populations and the habitats that support them. However, numerous reports in recent years have drawn attention to the potential negative impacts of wildlife tourism attractions. This paper examines whether market environmentalism diminishes the potential of wildlife tourism to contribute to conservation and the welfare of individual animals. Market environmentalism commodifies the animals involved in wildlife tourism attractions and fuels an anthropocentric worldview where animals are resources to be used by humans for entertainment or economic gain, potentially presenting a threat to long-term conservation. Instead, we call for a decommodified experience of wildlife tourism based on more than just economic value.
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).