Promoting sustainable marine tourism through quantitative governance innovations

  • David Lusseau (Coordinator)


Description of impact

Research led by Professor David Lusseau at the University of Aberdeen has underpinned global governance and best practice in marine tourism activities worldwide, introducing methodological approaches to enable appraisal of potential conservation impacts, thereby informing management decisions in the marine tourism industry. Through policy development work and involvement in public information campaigns, Lusseau has raised awareness amongst public, government and industry of the risks associated with unregulated marine tourism activities – contributing to international best practice and educational resources globally, such as the UN World Ocean Assessment (2021) and the International Whaling Commission’s ‘Whale Watching Handbook’. His research has informed management approaches in the United States (U.S.) marine tourism industry and underpins guidance for management approaches in New Zealand such as the use of exclusion zones; his work also underpins new legislation in the U.S. and Canada dictating the minimum distance at which whales can safely be observed.

Outcomes to Date / Future Developments

The research underpinning this case study has led to global impact by:
- Raising global awareness through public information campaigns;
- Informing global governance to improve vessel impact assessments in Canada and U.S and New Zealand;
- Informing best practice for U.S. marine tourism industry
Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)
Impact date20032020


  • REF2014
  • Environmental