Tourism and conservation


Tourism and conservation - harnessing the power of people's connection to nature and love for travel


Tourism and travel globally continues to grow despite the Global Financial Crisis, and concerns  over disease, security and terrorism. Nature-based tourism, where travellers visit a destination specifically to experience wild nature and its attractions is one of the fastest-growing segments of tourism internationally. Nature-based tourism provides a powerful opportunity to connect people around nature and conservation and to support and strengthen conservation, for example by providing funding for conservation, livelihoods and development. Often Nature-based tourism can play an important role as an additional source of biodiversity-based income and strengthens the connection and pride people have in their natural surroundings.


Duan has worked closely with BirdLife International and its partner organisations, South African National Parks, and groups such as  the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in Australia to ensure that the complexities for managing tourism for conservation in complex, globally connected social-ecological systems is understood and considered in policy-making and tourism management.


Duan is an avid birdwatcher, and wherever possible he tries to combine his love for birds and birdwatching with his conservation and research work. He also tries to make sure that his birding provides benefit to the people and conservation where he is travels through connecting with and supporting local birding guides . He is an associate of Birding Ecotours, and a list of his bird travel and expedition reports from around the world follow below.

A list of the reports from his birdwatching adventures and his associated initiatives around birding can be found here


 Key papers


Biggs, D. 2013. Birding, Sustainability, and Ecotourism. Pages 394-406 in R. Ballantyne, and J. Packer, editors. International Handbook on Ecotourism. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK; Northhampton, Maryland, USA.

Biggs, D., F. Amar, A. Valdebenito, and S. Gelcich. 2016. Potential Synergies between Nature-Based Tourism and Sustainable Use of Marine Resources: Insights from Dive Tourism in Territorial User Rights for Fisheries in Chile. PloS one 11:e0148862.

Biggs, D., N. C. Ban, and C. M. Hall. 2012a. Lifestyle values, resilience, and nature-based tourism's contribution to conservation on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Environmental Conservation 39:370-379.

Biggs, D., C. M. Hall, and N. Stoeckl. 2012b. The resilience of formal and informal tourism enterprises to disasters: reef tourism in Phuket, Thailand. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 20:645-665.

Biggs, D., C. C. Hicks, J. E. Cinner, and C. M. Hall. 2015. Marine tourism in the face of global change: The resilience of enterprises to crises in Thailand and Australia. Ocean & Coastal Management 105:65-74.

Biggs, D., T. J., C. Fabricius, and A. Spenceley. 2011. The value of avitourism for community-based conservation – an analysis from South Africa. Conservation and Society 9:80-90.

Biggs, D., G. Phillips, S. Freitag-Ronaldson, R. Grant, H. C. Biggs, and D. Pienaar. 2012c. A tourism research agenda for South African National Parks


 ebird link