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As a specific area of niche tourism, sustainable marine wildlife tourism has experienced dramatic growth in recent years. This has resulted in a plethora of academic and non-academic literature, exploring and reinforcing good practice. However, little consideration has been given to whether current advice given to those involved in the industry is consistent. The seas around West Wales support an incredibly rich and diverse range of marine species, most notably dolphins, seals and whales. Although a number of voluntary marine codes exist for local boat operators, it is unclear whether these correlate with advice given to operators further afield. Recognising that consistent standards are vital when dealing with migratory species, this paper explores, via a thematic analysis, differences in current marine wildlife tourism codes of conduct between Wales and other countries located along the migratory routes of Minke, Orca and Fin Whales. Results show a proliferation of codes, which has resulted in significant levels of contradiction. This paper will make recommendations about what might improve existing local, national and international codes of conduct for marine wildlife tour operators and critique issues associated with those recommendations.
Keywords: Marine wildlife tourism, niche tourism, codes of conduct, West Wales
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