Integrating Conservation into the Tourist Experience: A Case Study of Lindblad Expeditions’ On-board Fundraising Program for the Galapagos Conservation Fund

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

James Levinson


This Capstone document stems from work carried out as a volunteer Development Coordinator for the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos Islands. It develops a monitoring and evaluation plan for Lindblad Expeditions’ Galapagos Conservation Fund. Tourism is the reigning industry of the Galapagos Islands. Unfortunately, it is also a source of severe threats to this precious ecosystem. As the political and conservation bodies of Galapagos work to develop a successful model of responsible and sustainable tourism for the archipelago, members of the tourism industry itself are seeking to contribute to sustainable ecotourism. One company, Lindblad Expeditions, has created a model of sustainable tourism not only in its practices, but also in seeking to generate awareness of conservation initiatives and financial contributions from its tour participants. One of Lindblad’s signature programs in Galapagos is the Galapagos Conservation Fund, which raises money for programs at the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park Service. Following an explanation of the concept of ecotourism and how it functions in the Galapagos, the paper examines the program design of Lindblad Expeditions’ Galapagos Conservation Fund, and particularly its communication strategy for on-board fundraising. After articulating the design, the paper presents a monitoring and evaluation plan, which includes ongoing data collection on fundraising levels and trends, qualitative assessments of on-board services, and pre-post surveys to assess guests’ awareness and commitment levels. Implementing such a plan will permit Lindblad to assess its success in meeting its intended objectives, as well as contribute to the management efforts of its initiative.


Economics | Growth and Development | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy

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