Supporting an integrated soft approach to ecotourism development: The Agmon Lake, Israel

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This paper deals with an ecotourism site - the Agmon Lake in Israel. The main aim of the research is to conduct market analysis based on geographical, demographic and psychographic characteristics of visitors and non-visitors in order to draw some conclusions on the nature of ecotourism with respect to supply, demand and planning, and their interrelationship. The methodology included interviews with 961 visitors to the Agmon Lake about their personal characteristics, activities at the site and attitudes toward the site. Their answers were also compared with those of 254 tourists who did not visit the Agmon Lake during their visit to the area but rather visited other mass tourist sites. The analysis of the results of each group surveyed, as well as the correlation between the groups, enables the classification of visitors and to distinguish them from the 'non-visitors' (those who come to this region of Galilee but choose not to visit the site itself). It was found that the differences between nature-based tourists, ecotourists and special tourist niches (such as bird-watchers) are narrowing and that it is becoming hard to differentiate between the different market segments. It is also suggested that the identified de-segmentation exists not only on the demand side (e.g. the tourists) but also on the supply side (the sites themselves). Thus, the Agmon Lake could be considered as a 'soft' ecotourism site according to its characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-139
Number of pages22
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Agmon Lake
  • Bird-watching
  • Ecotourism
  • Hula
  • Market segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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