The paper examines the use of wildlife icons as marketing devices and attempts to find out whether the choice and effectiveness of appropriate icons are mainly dependent on the attractiveness of specific species or on their relevance to the environment they represent. In the initial part, it examines earlier studies of animal preferences and their determinants. Subsequently, it queries whether tourists only enjoy wildlife holding such attributes and proposes that they may relate to wildlife icons which hold value as symbols of place and culture, providing them with a mix of affective and cognitive values. The second part of the paper relates results of a survey which investigated the expectations and knowledge of wildlife by tourists visiting the Top End of the Northern Territory in Australia. The survey was designed to contrast various ways of querying tourists about their expectations as well as testing their knowledge through species identification. Results uncover interesting patterns suggesting that tourists differentiate between their expectations and assessment of the most appropriate icon and that some segmentation could be undertaken on the basis of these expectations.
|Title of host publication||CAUTHE 2002|
|Subtitle of host publication||Tourism and Hospitality on the Edge; Proceedings of the 2002 CAUTHE conference|
|Place of Publication||Fremantle|
|Publisher||Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|