2016 Volume 24 Issue 4 Pages 187-194
This study reports field survey results on current tourist activities and perception regarding marine ecosystem conservation in the Nha Trang Bay Marine Protected Area (NTB-MPA), Vietnam. Structured questionnaire surveys to visitors (n＝166) revealed that, comparing Vietnamese and foreign tourists: (1) About half of the Vietnamese respondents were aware of the NTB-MPA while only 9.6% of foreign respondents recognized this, (2) average respondents visited more than two islands out of the total nine islands during their stay and Vietnamese and foreign respondents tended to visit different islands with different marine activities, and (3) of six marine conservation program components presented in the present survey, both groups showed stronger support for physical enhancement of marine ecosystems rather than for sustainable local community development with slight differences in components between the two respondent groups. These results suggest that the NTB-MPA needs to fulfill both the diverse demands of tourists as well as sustainable marine ecosystem management. However, at the same time, NTB-MPA could also offer diverse opportunities to familiarize tourists with different backgrounds in both environmental and socio-economic issues in marine ecosystems and to facilitate their support for the MPA.