DOI: 10.5176/2251-3426_THoR1225

Authors: Paul Stolk

Abstract: Recreational scuba diving is unquestionably a nature-based activity, being conducted underwater with a deliberate intention to interact with the surrounding environment. Indeed, scuba diving focuses on nature so strongly that a number of authors have argued that scuba diving-based tourism should be considered an example of marine ecotourism [1] [2] [3]. There are, however, some rather obvious questions regarding the ‘naturalness’ of scuba diving activity that focuses on artificial reefs, such as a shipwreck or the pylons of a bridge or pier. These sites can be thought of as highly modified settings or quasi-natural spaces, and are not traditionally considered within the mainstream understandings of nature. Despite this ‘hybrid’ status, artificial reefs and other modified spaces are becoming more widely accepted as ecotourism resources [4] and have considerable potential to supplement the range of ecotourism experiences available to visitors.
Keywords: artificial reef; scuba diving; modified spaces, experiential attributes; nature

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