[MARMAM] The tourist experience and economics of dolphin watching in Lovina (Bali, Indonesia)

Putu Liza Mustika putu.liza at my.jcu.edu.au
Tue Jun 19 09:10:01 PDT 2012

Dear Marmam-ers,


We have recently published two papers on the tourist experience and
economics of dolphin watching in Lovina (Bali, Indonesia):


Mustika, P. L. K., Birtles, A., Everingham, Y. & Marsh, H. 2012, 'The human
dimensions of wildlife tourism in a developing country: watching spinner
dolphins at Lovina, Bali, Indonesia', Journal of Sustainable Tourism,   pp.




The number of cetacean watching tourism operations in developing countries
has doubled in the past decade. Practices are typically unregulated and not
informed by research, especially research into the human dimensions of the
tourist experience. Dolphin watching tourism at Lovina, Bali, started in the
late 1980s when local fishers formed self-regulating cooperatives. Up to 180
dedicated operators use small fishing vessels to carry passengers to watch
dolphins close to shore. Most tourists come from western countries, although
the industry also attracts Asian visitors. Most visitors are
tertiary-educated. Tourist satisfaction ranges from low to medium. While
there was no significant difference between the average satisfaction of
western and Asian tourists, the associated variables were different. The
satisfaction of western tourists was associated with encounter management,
preferred number of boats and the number of dolphins seen. Encounter
management was the only variable associated with the satisfaction of Asian
tourists. Satisfaction was positively associated with willingness to
recommend the tour: western respondents who felt neutral to very comfortable
with their dolphin encounters were more likely to promote the tour. Better
understanding of the tourist experience is crucial in designing sustainable
marine wildlife tourism in developing countries; such research appears to be



Mustika, P. L. K., Birtles, A., Welters, R. & Marsh, H. 2012, 'The economic
influence of community-based dolphin watching on a local economy in a
developing country: Implications for conservation', Ecological Economics,
vol. 79, no. 0, pp. 11-20.




This study examined the direct economic impacts of dolphin watching tourism
in Lovina, north Bali (Indonesia). The study applied the direct expenditure
approach to tourists who went on dolphin tours in Lovina in 2008 and 2009.
This industry depends on predictable access to coastal dolphins, attracts at
least 37,000 overnight visitors per annum (~ 60% of the region's overnight
tourists) and contributes at least 46% of the total direct expenditures (USD
4.1 million p.a.) for accommodation, meals, transportation, communication
and souvenirs. The 179 boatmen enjoy an above average income and thus have
little financial incentive to leave the industry. Nonetheless, trip fees
constitute only 3% of the total expenditures generated by dolphin watching
tourism. The remainder e.g., for accommodation, restaurants and transport is
spent with local businesses which become the substantial beneficiaries and
hence these stakeholders should also be consulted prior to any management
intervention. This profitable industry supports 35-100 tour boats operating
daily. The number of boats should be regulated to address concerns over
their impacts on the dolphins and visitor satisfaction.



The papers can also be obtained by emailing me at
putu.liza at my.jcu.edu.au.The papers are taken from my PhD thesis titled
'Towards Sustainable Dolphin Watching Tourism in Lovina, Bali, Indonesia'
published in December 2011. 


Thanks so much for your interest,



Dr Putu Liza Kusuma Mustika

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

James Cook University, North Queensland, Australia


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