social and cultural impacts of establishing an eco-Tourism enterprise in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. The main focus of the dissertation is on the following areas:
An analysis of eco-tourism development
An assessment of the opportunities - regional, domestic, international
An evaluation of the projects feasibility
An examination of the social-cultural impact of the eco-tourism
Brazil has a sanctuary of the finest natural resources ("fauna & flora") in the world, and therefore tourism is in ascendence, and demands for mid-class hotels are on the increase. The development of eco-tourism in specific areas is anticipated due to partnership with local banking intuitions; local government interest and regulations; and a general growth of awareness of the tension between the tourist dollar, the environment and local cultures.
Primary research (interviews and questionnaires) will be conducted to analyze the feasibility of the project. Secondary research will be carried out, in the form of a literature review, covering resources such as the internet, journals, and books. Local governments and banking institutions will be contacted to find out the incentives for new businesses. Links will be made to others countries that have successfully developed eco-tourism. Searches will be made for UK and Brazilian tour operators, to evaluate the demands for tourism in Brazil. Potential problems with the theme of the dissertation proposal include: difficulties in interviewing professionals in the hospitality and tourism industry; difficulties in raising interest from the local government to find backing for the project; difficulties concerning the legislation and regulations connected to the development and sustainability of the site.
Brazilian Tourism Board
Empirical visit to the area 1998, 2000, 2002.
Books, journals, web sites
Contact hotel consultants, to evaluate the project and to explain what the tourism development program (prodetur / NE II) is about 5.0 METHODOLOGY
5.1 Description of the methodology
In this chapter, the barriers to entry to a niche market (i.e., ecotourism in Brazil) were analyzed, in order to investigate the current trends and accessibility of a segment or a niche market within the hospitality industry. This was done by exploring the needs of the service, and the efficiency in the industry at large, and also by evaluating the possibilities of developing an eco-tourism hotel in Brazil.
Primary data to support these aims was collected through interviews and questionnaires. An interview is a face-to-face situation where the interviewer asks questions and the interviewee responds. According to Bell (1999), observing the way people respond to a question and examining their facial expressions, their patterns of hesitation and their gesticulations may provide the interviewer with different answers to those that would be gained through solely written responses.
The interviews were undertaken directly and indirectly: in the direct interviews, the interviews were conducted by myself in Brazil, over the period July to August 2002; in the indirect interviews, a second or third person under my direction conducted the interviews on my behalf. The people interviewed included the following: Maria Julia de Jesus, the Owner and General Manager of Piccollo Aubergo, an Eco-tourism Hotel in Maresias, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Jose Emmanuel Franca Falcao, a Post Graduate in Hotel Management, who is responsible for five hotels in Brazil; Gemauro Santos, a University Lecturer in Hotel and Management at Sao Paulo University; Sergio Tavares, Professor of; Mr. Caio de Carvalho, the Minister for Tourism and Sports (who was interviewed on 13th November 2002 at the London Excel World Travel Market); Luis Trigo, the Course Co-ordinator (Tourism) at SENAC, and Mariangela Storani, the Owner of Eco-trekking at Vinhedo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. The results from these interviews gave me a more realistic feeling for my investigations, and directed my investigations, such that I was able to draw more precise conclusion from the research than if I had not undertaken the interviews.
Using questionnaires enables the analysis of the data gathered by both quantitative and qualitative methods. The use of questionnaires is a faster alternative to interviews, and often provides more exact answers to the questions given. Care, however, needs to be taken in the design of the questionnaires, which should be unbiased, not sexist, and should not discriminate against race, religion, those with disabilities, etc.
A used two questionnaires. The first was designed to investigate travel agencies in Brazil: 45 agencies were approached, and 30 responded. The second questionnaire was designed especially for travelers, in order to determine if leisure travelers knew of the existence of an eco-friendly segment in Brazil, and if not, to determine if there was sufficient interest for a new niche to be created. The questionnaire was also intended to determine the level of interest from potential future travelers to stay in an eco-environment establishment. The different needs of leisure and corporate travelers, when choosing a hotel were also intended to be established through the questionnaire. 80 travelers responded to this questionnaire.
The data collected would give more realistic quantitative data to establish whether there was a current trend towards implementing an eco-tourism enterprise in the northeast of Brazil. Therefore, this study would highlight whether a niche market could develop in this part of Brazil, or if - intrinsically - Brazilian people would see eco-tourism differently from other countries, due to the fact that the country is endowed with a vast concentration of natural resources. Similarly, secondary data was processed via academic literature review, journals, magazines, websites, which related to the subject. The results of the investigations are given after the Introduction in the chapter one, and some of the resources used in this literature review are given in the Bibliography.
I have visited Brazil many times, over a number of years, and over this time, I have been able to collect empirical evidence concerning the development of eco-tourism, and moreover, to study the socio-cultural aspects of Brazilians. This evidence could consolidate my findings detailed in the current thesis, added to the fact that the analysis of the questionnaires and interviews presented here is intended to show the current trend in tourism, to provide the reader with information which might prove that eco-tourism in Brazil is in the early stages in the life cycle curve.
5.4 Preliminary Findings of the Literature Review
Due to the rapid development of eco-tourism and the risks to its sustainability, a wide review of the subject was prudent. Analyses of statistics, literature and websites were therefore undertaken, to provide a more in-depth view of the opportunities (and/or limitations) that sustainable tourism offers. The work of pressure groups like Greenpeace, UNEP, UNESCO and others, offers a wide range of supportive data, on socio-cultural and socio-political aspects of the preservation of the world's (and Brazil's) natural resources, so statistics and literature (paper and internet-based) provided by these organizations were therefore used in the literature review.
Through the background research on sustainable tourism, it was found that nowadays more people understand the need for the development of sustainability, from the community-level upwards. Due to the ever-increasing levels of destruction of the Earth and its natural resources, leaders from all over the world met at the Rio Summit (in 1992) to examine the causes and effects of the degradation, and to make amendments in the legislation in order to abate this destruction. It was, however, also identified that sustaining development through eco-tourism in small communities is debatable, and adds a great many more risks to the potential for degradation that is already present: a great deal of damage can be done to the environment and to the communities if an appropriate action plan is not efficiently followed. Moreover, there are so many interpretations of what 'eco-tourism' really is, that a substantial analysis of the subject is extremely important, in order to use the opportunities to develop sustainability and to protect biodiversity and the ecosystem in a positive manner.
In Brazil, figures collected from the Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) were extremely important in giving background information about the geo-political and economic structures of Brazil; the Brazilian Association of Hotels Industry (ABIH) similarly so, for information on the Brazilian tourism trade. Through visits to local and regional hotel businesses in Brazil, from the south to north of the country, and through interviews with hotel proprietors, and general managers, I have tried to create and analyze a profile for each individual establishment, which would give me the essential knowledge about how such businesses are run in Brazil. The analysis of the profiles of these businesses is intended to identify specific and realistic supply and demand needs for a new organic eco-tourism enterprise to be developed in a particular region in Brazil. The findings would show the feasibility of Brazil to be the host of one or more eco-tourism enterprises, which would be self-sufficient and sustainable. Furthermore, the questionnaires and interviews were directed to corporate businesses travelers, who use the hospitality industry as a channel to develop their businesses, by promoting events and conferences. The aim of giving these questionnaires to corporate travelers was to give further data about their expectations and needs when hiring a hotel to…