Representations of ecotourism in the Hawaiian Islands: a content analysis of local media

John Cusick, Bixler McClure, Linda Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The tourism sector’s dominant presence in the State of Hawai‘i generates consistent media coverage. Representations of the tourist industry are, therefore, of interest as a measure of trends in public discourse. The tourism sector appears to be interested in expanding the opportunities for ecotourism because this market has economic potential, but given the reality of native habitat, species decline, and increasing community sensitivities to tourism development, the role is still marginal despite the rhetoric of support from the industry and State agencies. This paper contributes to the goal of more broadly understanding the current role of ecotourism in communities across the State by presenting an archive search of 82 media reports from five islands dated from 1990 to 2008. The challenges that ecotourism will face in the future are identified and strategies for dealing with these challenges are outlined.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Ecotourism
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Hawaiian Islands
  • ecotourism
  • media representations


  • Tourism
  • Rhetoric
  • Political Science
  • Environmental Health and Protection
  • Regional Economics

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