Extreme sports, adventure, and ecotourism are bringing increasing numbers of people into remote backcountry areas worldwide. The number of people visiting wilderness areas is set to increase further, and nature tourism is the fastest growing sector in the $3.5 trillion global annual tourism market (Mehmetoglu 2006). What impacts will this have on the social perceptions, economic, and conservation values of these areas and the species that are found there? Reflecting on over a decade's research on the impacts of the bear-viewing (Ursus spp.) ecotourism industry in British Columbia, Canada, this paper considers authenticity, place, and ‘place making’ via a case study of bear tourism in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada.
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Vol. 34 • No. 2