From dinner plate to t-shirt logo: the changing role of a flagship turtle species in one of Brazil's most popular tourism destinations
MetadataShow full item record
The loss of biodiversity is a problem of global magnitude (Sachs et al., 2009). Efforts to stem this decline include the use of flagship animal species as catalysts to gain local and political support for biodiversity conservation. Flagship species are characterized as species that have widespread social appeal, and their success is determined by their ability to raise funds, enhance awareness, and help achieve myriad conservation and sustainable development goals (Walpole & Leader-Williams, 2002). While the applicability of flagship species to raise awareness and funds for conservation as well as the importance of destination image in tourism promotion (e.g. Beerli & Martin, 2004; Echtner & Ritchie, 1993; Pike, 2002) have been popular research topics, few studies (e.g. Tisdell & Wilson, 2002a) have conducted detailed assessments of the factors that help shape the image of a tourist destination via use of flagship species. This chapter identifies the factors that have influenced changes in local values and uses of one of Brazil's iconic species, sea turtles, over a 30 year period, and demonstrates how the flagship species approach has influenced the local tourism industry. The fishing village of Praia do Forte, in Northern Bahia, is a prime ecotourism and coastal tourism destination as well as an important reproduction and feeding site for four of the five species of sea turtles found in Brazil: the endangered loggerhead (Caretta caretta), olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and green (Chelonia mydas) and the critically endangered hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) turtles. Nine months of ethnographic research conducted between 2006 and 2008, allowed the assessment of how the Praia do Forte community used sea turtles and how the tourism industry made use of the sea turtle image.
Animals and Tourism: Understanding Diverse Relationships
© 2015 Channel View Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. It is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the publisher’s website for further information
Impacts of Tourism