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Évolution et perceptions du whale watching à La Réunion et dans le sud-ouest de l’océan Indien

Abstract : Whale watching is an ecotourism activity enabling customers to observe different species of whales in their natural habitat. Today, this kind of tourism is practiced in119 countries and represents a real industry, generating more than two billion US dollars all over the world. In Reunion Island, the increasing number of Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) which may be observed helped develop this tourism around fifteen years ago. For the islands of this area, the development of this business is a real economic opportunity. In the present work, we aim to determine the structure of whale watching tourism in Réunion Island, as well as tourists’ and local people’s opinions on this activity. For that purpose, we first focused our research on the historical evolution of the relationship between human being and whales, and on international representations of large cetaceans. We then studied the growth and characteristics of this tourism in Madagascar and Mauritius, with the intention of comparing the results with those of Réunion Island. In order to identify the general profile of whale watching customers in Reunion Island, we conducted a quantitative survey, based on questionnaires, with the customers of several tourist operators. To better understand the opinion of whale watchers and non-whale watchers, we carried out semi-structured interviews. On Saint Marie Island (Madagascar), where the “Festival des Baleines” (Whale Festival), dedicated to whales, local culture and whale watching, takes place, we conducted several semi-structured interviews, so as to determine their representations of cetacean tourism. Throughout our research, we provide the first elements of response regarding the types of customers and their perception of this activity in the southwest Indian Ocean.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 1:04:35 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 8, 2022 - 3:45:37 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03771417, version 1


Moeha Saisho. Évolution et perceptions du whale watching à La Réunion et dans le sud-ouest de l’océan Indien. Sociologie. Université de la Réunion, 2022. Français. ⟨NNT : 2022LARE0011⟩. ⟨tel-03771417⟩



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