The Pantanal is the largest continuous floodplain on the planet. The periodic cycle of drought and flood, the so-called the flood pulse, is the controlling factor of the operation and maintenance of the Pantanal's biodiversity. These hydrobiological conditions, together with the scenic beauty, are great touristic attractions to the region. The objective of this work was to analyze how the different social actors of tourism perceive the pulse of flood and how it can influence the activity in the Pantanal of Poconé, one of the tourist centres of the Pantanal. The departing point of this research was the significant growth of activity in the last years and the scarcity of specific studies in the region. Seven main social groups were initially identified, which were later interviewed in a structured interview (37 recorded interviews in total). These were transcribed for the analysis of the results; the analytical tool Voyant tools was applied to count the main words mentioned by each social group. Results showed that the vast majority of the hostel owners are from traditional farmers who started to develop hotel services, catering mainly to foreign tourists. Conflicts between cattle ranchers and hostel owners were identified regarding the hunt of jaguars, in the form of losses to the herd against losses to the touristic activities based on "jaguar observation"; likewise, there are conflicts between the native population (professional fishermen and riverine), who seek to participate more directly in the tourism, and the business community in control of hostels and/or ranchers. The flood pulse exerts a strong influence on the tourist enjoyment of the Poconé Pantanal, but it was not clearly understood by the different social groups involved; the perception of the importance of the pulse is affected by the difficulty to understand the concept itself. The groups with better technical qualification (tourism guides and environmental agents) and the riverine and professional fishermen, natives of the region, showed a better understanding of these two aspects of the flood pulse. The study also revealed the importance of developing tourism with greater local identity, including other attractions, such as the traditional festivals of the rich culture of Poconé and the diversity of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems during the flood season.
|Journal||Revista Brasileira de Ecoturismo|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
Rabelo , M. T. O., Arts, K. A. J., Girard , P., Ioris, A. R., & de Figueiredo, D. M. (2017). Percepção dos atores sociais do turismo sobre o pulso de inundação do Pantanal (MT). Revista Brasileira de Ecoturismo, 10(3), 708-736.