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Zoos and Tourism: Conservation, Education, Entertainment?

Updated on July 13, 2011

Zoos and Tourism: Conservation, Education, Entertainment?

Most people are familiar with the work which good zoos do to promote conservation. Valuable in-situ projects are financed and complementary to the ex-situ research done. Education of the public goes hand in hand with this work. Zoos like to tell people about their successes and to a lesser extent their failures too. It is not all easy going.

Zoos too are a tourist destination. A good percentage of the visitors who travel to London each year will visit the zoo. Who could think of taking a holiday in Miami without visiting the Seaquarium? The picture is similar round the rest of the world. Whether the zoo is good or bad it is a day out and a large percentage of people will visit. Money from tourism is important. Some zoos would not survive without it.

The role of the zoo as a place of entertainment is sometimes overlooked and sometimes criticised but it is nonetheless a very important facet of the 'industry'. Very few people ever visit a zoo to be educated. They visit the zoo to relax, to enjoy themselves and be entertained. Good zoos have moved away from the circus style performances of yesteryear. Now people are educated under an entertainment umbrella called 'Edutainment'. Here people learn about the animals they are watching in a fun way and are educated without realising it.

This is the way forward. It is pay back time. Zoos, good zoos can raise the money to promote projects in the wild.

Zoos And Tourism

This important book is amongst the first to look at zoos specifically as tourist attractions. It takes a worldwide approach considering the many roles which the modern zoo plays. Here there is special reference to the difficulties of balancing out conservation, education and entertainment.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Re-Thinking Zoos and Tourism - Warwick Frost

Theme 1: Conservation Chapter

2: Zootourism and the Conservation of Threatened Species: A Collaborative Program in the Philippines - Corazon Catibog-Sinha

Chapter 3: A Typology of Animal Displays in Captive Settings - Amir Shani and Abraham Pizam

Chapter 4: Ecotourism and the Commodification of Wildlife: Animal Welfare and the Ethics of Zoos - Stephen Wearing and Chantelle Jobberns

Chapter 5: The Rhetoric Versus the Reality: A Critical Examination of the Zoo Proposition - Liam Smith, Betty Weiler and Sam Ham

Chapter 6: Conservation, Education or Entertainment: What Really Matters to Zoo Visitors? - Sharon Linke and Caroline Winter

Theme 2: New Directions

Chapter 7: Fun, Fascination and Fear: Exploring the Construction and Consumption of Aquarium Shark Exhibits - John Dobson

Chapter 8: Singapore Zoo and Night Safari - Joan Henderson

Chapter 9: Heterogeneous Spaces of Tourism and Recreation at Mumbai Zoo, India - Kevin Hannam

Chapter 10: Zoos as tourist attractions: theme parks, protected areas or museums? - Warwick Frost

Theme 3: The Visitor Experience

Chapter 11: Up Close and Personal: Rethinking Zoos and the Experience Economy - Warwick Frost and Jennifer Laing

Chapter 12: Feeding Time at the Zoo: Food Service and Attraction Management - Phillipp Boksberger, Markus Shuckert and Richard Robinson

Chapter 13: The Value of Zoo Volunteer Programs - Kirsten Holmes and Karen Smith

Chapter 14: I Can't Look: Disgust as a Factor in the Zoos Experience - Nancy Cushing and Kevin Markwell

Chapter 15: Visitor Expectations and Visit Satisfaction at Zoos - Gary Crilley

Theme 4: Media

Chapter 16: Zoos and the Media - Peter Mason

Chapter 17: Zoos Victoria: Branding, Marketing and Designing Multi-Location Zoos - Leanne White

Chapter 18: From Winnie-the-Pooh to Madagascar: Fictional Media Images of the Zoo Experience - Warwick Frost


Chapter 19: Zoos and Tourism in a Changing World - Warwick Frost

Book Ordering

                  You can order this interesting book directly from the:

                                  Zoo Professionals Book Store

                                  Just click HERE to be redirected

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Submit a Comment

  • watergeek profile image


    5 years ago from Pasadena CA

    Looks like a good blend of education and entertainment, like you said. Disney World does a similar thing with festivals they put together for the general public. (I'm thinking about their annual Children's Water Education Festival I wrote about awhile ago.) I've always loved zoos. Seeing the animals in the wild is much better, but going to a zoo can be a great preface.

  • zoolist profile image

    Shai Ben Ami 

    5 years ago from Regensburg, Germany

    Very interesting book, different point of views and the I espcially liked the chapter about the Singapore zoo and night safari. I am eager to visit there.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    7 years ago from South East Asia

    I am sure it will open some peoples eyes. It is an interesting subject. Thank you Hello, hello.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    7 years ago from London, UK

    It sound a fantastic book and a real eye opener. Thank you for sharing.


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