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The cassowary as a tourism icon: opportunities and limitations
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis GroupThe aim of this paper is to explore the potential use of the cassowary, a large colourful but threatened bird as a flagship for tourism and conservation in the Far North Queensland (FNQ) region of Australia. Demand side (push factors) and supply side (pull factors) perspectives are investigated as is the potential to transform the bird from having a comparative advantage to a competitive marketing advantage. The research reports on the results of a survey of 540 tourists that investigated the level of interest in viewing threatened animals in general, including cassowaries. The study also considers stakeholders’ perspectives based on semi-structured interviews with key industry personnel. The findings show that viewing wildlife is an important motive for visiting the FNQ region. Moreover, the findings also highlight the potential for the cassowary to act as a flagship for conservation of biodiversity in general.