A quantitative investigation of tourists' ethical attitudes toward animal-based attractions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Despite the considerable incorporation of animals in entertainment and leisure venues, only limited efforts have been geared towards exploring the ethical aspects of using animals in these initiatives. This lack of attention is especially evident in the tourism literature, despite the great relevancy of animal-based attractions to the tourism industry. Consequently, the purpose of the current research was to fill the gap in the literature by investigating tourists' attitudes toward various animal-based attractions, using survey that was administered to tourists in the Central Florida area. The central findings of the study concerned the prominent aspects of tourists' ethical evaluation of animal-based attractions. The tourists expressed the highest agreement with the roles of the attractions in conservation, in family-oriented experience, in education, and as an alternative to nature. They also expressed a clear animal welfare approach, as they put the greatest importance on theway the animals are treated and trained by their keepers among conditions for ethical operations. Nevertheless, it was found that the key to developing positive attitudes toward attractions is the conviction in general arguments in favor of their presence, while specific sites' attributes seem to be more limited in their influence on the tourists' overall attitudes. Overall the study revealed some interesting findings with important implications for both research and practice, including specific recommendations for the management and marketing functions in animal-based attractions, especially with regard to potential steps for the purpose of improving and enhancing their ethical image among tourists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-158
Number of pages20
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Animal-based attractions
  • Central Florida, USA
  • Ethics
  • Tourists' attitudes
  • Zoos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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