الساهد في سبيل لله

الساهد في سبيل لله

Thursday, April 21, 2011

ecotourism

Introduction

Evolution of tourism
The term "tourist", meaning "an individual who travels for the pleasure of travelling, out of curiosity" made its first appearance around 1800, and the word "tourism" was cited for the first time in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1811. But the origins of this activity go back considerably further. Humankind has always had the desire to travel, to visit exotic places and to encounter different cultures. Even in the time of the ancient Greeks, travellers such as Herodotus (c.484–425 BC) visited countries and places other than their own and reported their experiences. Similarly, wealthy Romans travelled to Egypt and Greece, to visit sanctuaries, bathe in thermal baths, and generally relax.
Much later, during the Middle Ages, people travelled mainly for religious purposes. Many pilgrimages to holy shrines in Rome, Santiago de Compostela and Canterbury were made, usually on foot, in large groups, and sometimes necessitating the crossing of whole continents. Aimeri de Picaud, a French monk, is generally credited as the author of the first tourist guide: written in 1130 for pilgrims making their way to the Spanish shrine of Santiago de Compostela.
But it was not until after the Renaissance that people began to travel in greater numbers for pleasure, education and knowledge. In the 18th and 19th Centuries, the "Grand Tour" became extremely fashionable among European aristocrats. English gentlemen often travelled on the Continent for as long as three years at once. However, tourism did not become more accessible to the population in general until the time of the Industrial Revolution. During this era, the first paid annual holidays, combined with the opportunities for cheap travel provided by the railways, began to generate a mass exodus to newly-created seaside resorts in, for example, France, England and New York State. Moreover, widespread social and technological developments helped to create a new middle class that could afford to travel for pleasure. (Wood and House, 1991)
By 1856 Thomas Cook was advertizing railway excursions, including a "grand circular tour of the Continent", aboard his "wagons-lits". Englishmen "discovered" Switzerland around 1850, and the Germans followed soon after. During this time a considerable amount of travel for pleasure was essentially a quest for spectacular scenery. This period also witnessed the first serious environmental impacts attributable to tourism.
For those living in the industrializing countries, tourism was also stimulated as a result of the increased awareness of a world beyond Europe. Soldiers travelling to distant lands had seen opportunities for securing a better way of life and wanted to return in peacetime. And the colonial era brought India, Africa, Australia and many other parts of the world into closer focus. In addition, the advent of photography enabled the mass production of visual and enticing evidence of "exotic" marvels, and began to attract the interest of the more adventurous, who wished to see such sights for themselves.
Early this century — by which time summer holidays were taken regularly by Europeans and Americans — the motorcar provided far greater mobility, thereby stimulating yet further tourism activity. Commercial flights also played a decisive role, especially after the end of World War II. Soon Western tourists were travelling to previously remote destinations. But it was not until the 1950s and 1960s, when air travel became widespread and commercially and economically feasible, that tourism really "took off".
However, by about this time, tourism started to earn itself a very bad name due to thoughtless development, and disruption of local cultures, values and economies. During the birth of mass international travel, beginning in the late 1940s, and continuing through most of the 1960s, tourism was often regarded as a panacea for developing countries, that is, as a "smokeless" industry that could raise foreign exchange earnings, GNP and tax revenue, and also increase employment. But growth in public concern (albeit mainly in the industrialized countries) about the environment, and the negative impacts of mass tourism, ultimately led to reexamination of this notion. Purported economic benefits from tourism came under harsh scrutiny and recognition of the problems involved in measuring the economic benefits of tourism led to increased analysis of its costs (Lawrence, 1992). At the same time, conservation organizations were formed to lobby governments to set aside land not just for the enjoyment of tourists, or for the sake of showy animals, but to preserve the natural integrity of whole ecosystems.

Two international mass tourist destinations: Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida, USA (1); and Cancún, in the Mexican Caribbean (2).

Current Status of tourism
The tourism industry is currently highly fragmented, with many different participants, ranging from one-person operations selling home-made souvenirs or offering guided tours, to large multi-billion dollar airlines. Thus although establishing an airline requires substantial capital, entering the tourism business can be as easy as renting out a spare room to travellers or guiding visitors around for a small fee. The low barriers to entry, and its labour intensity make this industry attractive to governments and development agencies alike.
Several trends in tourism can be discerned, as outlined below.
 Continued growth of tourism. It is estimated that throughout the 1990s the average annual arrivals growth rate will be around 7% (when compared with that of the 1950–1989 period) (WTO, 1990). Total international tourist arrivals of 515 and 637 million are forecast for 1995 and 2000, respectively. Global receipts from international tourism are expected to rise by almost 9% a year, and to exceed US$527 billion in the year 2000. Domestic tourism will also rise dramatically. It is anticipated that it will account for US$2,195 billion by 1997 (WTO 1991).
This growth in both domestic and international tourism is determined by market forces and exogenous variables (that is, factors not directly related to tourism but which influence the extent and form of tourist activity). Exogenous variables that influence tourism growth include:
 demographic and social change (aging of the population, increase in the number of working women and dual-income households, growing proportion of single adults, trend towards later marriage)
 relaxation of immigration restrictions
 increased paid leave and more flexible working time
 earlier retirement
 improved educational levels and increased awareness of travel possibilities
 economic and financial developments (growth of GNP, travel cost increases remaining consistently below inflation)
 political, legislative and regulatory changes (political changes in Eastern Europe, liberalization of air travel, reduced visa requirements)
 technological developments (in aeronautical engineering, electronic data systems for booking)
 enlarged transport infrastructure
 improved travel safety
 political instability
 international currency fluctuations.
 Higher-than-average growth in numbers of international arrivals in Asia/Oceania, the Americas and Africa. This growth will be at the expense of Europe, whose share is expected to fall from 62% of international arrivals in 1989, to 53% by the year 2000. Asia/Oceania will probably receive more international arrivals than any other region. Their share of international tourist arrivals is expected to rise from 14.7% in 1989 to 21.9% in 2000. (Their increase in receipts will probably be even more marked — from 19.5% to 30.5%). But for the African region, although the share of arrivals is expected to increase from 3.8% to 5%, it is predicted that its share of global tourist receipts will fall from 3.2% to 2.7% (WTO, 1990).
 Diversification of tourism. Tourists will become increasingly specialized, as is indicated by the Specialty Travel Index. This directory of special interest travel published periodically by the American Society of Travel Agents, Inc. (ASTA), listed a total of 236 activity categories in its September 1992 issue, illustrating the exceedingly broad range of activities undertaken by tourists.
 Increased interest in travelling to more natural settings and less disturbed areas as a result of increased interest worldwide in environmental matters and nature. For this reason, Europe — with its predominantly post-industrial landscape — is becoming proportionately less significant as a tourist destination. Conversely, areas such as Southeast Asia and tropical America that still contain large tracts of virgin land and wilderness, are becoming more popular. Visits (both domestic and foreign) to national parks are generally on the increase around the world. Hopefully, this enthusiasm for the preservation of the environment will also nourish improved tourist behaviour in natural areas. At any rate, protected areas managers will have to prepare themselves to receive growing numbers of visitors.
 Increased interest in "activity" holidays. The beach holiday shows no sign of losing popularity, but the old-style passive beach holiday appears to be going out of fashion. The beach is no longer merely a place to lie in the sun, but it and the surrounding sea are seen rather as a kind of outdoor gymnasium for surfing, windsurfing, canoeing, paragliding, sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving, and so on. Mountaineering, backpacking, bike travel, birdwatching, white-water raftings and so on, are also attracting more and more participants.
 Increased interest in developed countries in "exotic" cultures and locations as a result of TV documentaries, books and magazines. This trend is also being stimulated by the growing interest in learning foreign languages.
Fig. 1: Percentage growth rate of arrivals and receipts worldwide.
Source: WTO, 1990.
Fig. 2: Share of each region in world tourist arrivals 1989–1990.
Source: WTO, 1991
Estimated financial value of current tourism
Travel for pleasure now accounts for about 70% of all world travel by volume, and an even higher percentage to some specific destinations. In 1950 there were 25 million international tourists, generating US$8 billion in receipts (WTO, 1991). By 1993 these figures had risen dramatically to 500 million international tourists, producing a total revenue of US$324 billion (WTO, 1994) (see Figure 3). Each day in 1993 1.4 million people were travelling away from their home and spending an average of US$888 million on accommodation, meals, entertainment and shopping (WTO, 1994). However, tourist travel is still very much the privilege of people of the industrialized world; 80% of world tourism derives from only 20 countries (Wood and House, 1991).
Nevertheless, domestic tourism is developing rapidly in many less developed countries. And in fact, WTO (1990) estimates that, globally, there are ten times as many domestic as international tourist arrivals, and seven times as much domestic as international tourist expenditure. In some countries the dominance of domestic tourism is highly significant. This is often due to geographical reasons (as in the case of Australia). But there may be other reasons. For instance, during recent years, very few foreign tourists visited El Salvador, due to the war and civil strife that were taking place there. But El Salvador's Tourism Institute launched a highly successful government-subsidized programme of "social tourism" and this enabled Salvadoreans of low income to visit the different Turicentros set up by the government in national parks and other natural areas (Zelaya, 1992). This may not have secured much income for the government, but doubtless considerable national interest in and support for protected areas were created.
Fig. 3: International tourist arrivals
In 1987, total travel and tourism accounted for nearly US$2 trillion (US$2 thousand billion) in sales. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC, 1991) has estimated that by 1992 this figure had risen to more than US$3 trillion. Put alternatively, between 1980 and 1988, world tourism receipts rose by 90%. Individual country records of course vary. During this period, receipts doubled and trebled in places such as Antigua, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Turkey, and Sudan, but stagnated and even declined in Brazil, Haiti, Panama, Guatemala, and Uruguay (Healy, 1992b).
In 1988 the proportion of export receipts related to tourism around the world was 7.0%. In some regions, the corresponding figure was considerably higher (Caribbean 24.9%; Central America 19.0%; Southern Europe 18.4%; Northern Africa 14.8%; Oceania 11.6%; Eastern Africa 11.4%) and in others considerably lower (Eastern Europe 1.0%; Middle Africa 2.6%) (WTO 1990b).
Figure 4 presents data on 47 countries for which international tourism is equal to or greater than 10% of the value of exports. It also includes some alternative measures of the economic importance of tourism in the form of total revenues and revenues per inhabitant. Also included in the table are countries — Korea, China, Brazil, and Indonesia — for which total revenues exceed US$1 billion annually, but whose economies are so large that tourism constitutes only a relatively minor component. Nevertheless, for these countries, and some others, tourism may still be very important within certain regions and communities. It should be noted that available data measure international tourism only, even though domestic tourism is becoming increasingly important in developing countries, such as Mexico, Brazil, and China. In some cases, this is also true of nature tourism. For example, of the 4 million visitors to Thailand's national parks in 1985, 90% were Thai (Dixon and Sherman, 1990).
Fig. 4: Economic indicators for important tourist destinations.
Sources: Tourist Arrivals and Receipts, WTO Yearbook of Statistics, 1989; UN Statistical Yearbook, 1982; Exports, WTO Compendium of Tourism Statistics, 1989. In Healy, 1992 b.
It has been calculated that tourism currently employs 6.5% of the global workforce, or 112 million people world-wide. Of 170 countries, tourism presently plays a major role in the economy of 125, and represents 5.5% of global gross national product (GNP). Previously underestimated and undervalued, tourism is now moving centre stage to become the world's premier service industry. Tourism is also one of the world's fastest growing industries, with gross sales maintained at an 8.7% growth through 1992. This rate exceeds both world and services sector GNP growth.
In 1991, the top country destinations in terms of arrivals were, in rank order: France, USA, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Austria. The top spenders, were, in rank order: USA, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, Italy and France. The top earners were, in rank order: USA, France, Italy, Spain, Austria and the UK (WTO, 1993). However, countries that currently top the list as tourism destinations can expect strong competition from Korea, Thailand, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Japan, for example, having set a goal of 10 million overseas visitors, reached this number in 1990, almost one year ahead of schedule (Hawkins, 1992).
Indeed, 1990 figures showed Europe's growth rate in terms of international tourist arrivals and receipts to be slowing. Europe is currently losing market share to new tourism destination regions in the Eastern Asia/Pacific region (see Figure 4). In the latter region travel receipts grew at a rate of 17.2% between 1980 and 1990 (followed by the Americas at 10.1%, and Europe at 8.8%). (Globally, travel receipts rose by 9.6% during the same period.)
The total number of Japanese who travelled inside Japan in 1990 was 300 million, while the number of those who travelled abroad was more than 11 million and they spent US$212 billion that year. This accounts for almost 9.2% of the world income from tourism (Yoshida, 1992).
But compared with other industries, which are prone to abrupt fluctuations and frequent sharp declines, tourism has seldom fallen into a serious long-term down-turn, making it seem a near recession-proof industry at the global level. In fact, the magnitude of the travel and tourism business is difficult to comprehend, for at least three reasons. First, there is as yet no accepted definition of what constitutes the industry. (Any definition runs the risk of either overestimating or underestimating its economic activities.) Secondly, many of tourism's activities (such as guided tours and souvenir sales) and much of its income (e.g. tips) go unrecorded. (In countries with foreign-exchange controls, every official figure relating to expenditure in hard currency will be an under-representation of the actual amount.) Thirdly, assessing international travel is extremely difficult owing to considerable differences in country data (The Economist, March 23, 1991).
Nevertheless, the shift in favoured tourism destinations — from developed to developing countries — indicates that international tourism could become a means of redistributing wealth "from north to south". For 1990, WTO (1991) estimated that there were around 50 million arrivals of tourists from the industrialized countries to developing countries, but only 12.3 million arrivals of tourists from developing countries to industrialized areas. It is estimated that tourism of all sorts earned developing countries US$55 billion in 1988 (South, quoted by Lindberg, 1991).
Economic values of tourism
Before considering the calculation of the economic impacts of tourism it is worth remembering the following factors. Firstly, tourism demand fluctuates in accordance with the business cycle of the area from which tourists come. For example, international tourism grew very rapidly during the 1970s, but registered no growth at all during the recessionary years 1981–1983.
Secondly, the perceived attractiveness of a destination will vary in line with tourists' perceptions of, for example, its safety. In China, after a decade of rapid growth, international tourism receipts fell from US$2.22 billion in 1988 to US$1.80 billion in 1989 as a result of political disturbances (Tisdell and Wen, 1991). Similarly, in India, tourism levels fell during 1990–1991 due to violence and political unrest. And in Jordan, thriving tourism to archaeological sites fell away rapidly following armed confrontation in the Middle East during 1990–1991. (Combining these two factors, it can be said that tourism is subject to economic laws — yet with an element of unpredictability, the demand for tourism shifting spasmodically due to exogenous factors such as political uncertainty, wars, and currency restrictions (Diamond, 1977).)
A third source of instability is fashion. Destinations can suddenly become extremely popular. For example, tourism to certain sites in Kenya was stimulated by the film Out of Africa (EIU International Tourism Report, 1991, Healy, 1992b). But in a relatively short time, tourists can lose interest in an area and seek alternatives elsewhere.
Measuring economic impacts
Thousands of studies have attempted to quantify the economic impacts of tourism in various parts of the world. The vast majority measure impacts by using expenditure multipliers. The cumulative value of local economic activity is measured as revenue that has originated from tourism expenditure and that has been spent and re-spent in the local economy. A key element in multiplier calculation, therefore, is estimating the amount of expenditure that has leaked out of the local economy in the form of imports, taxes or repatriated profits. According to the World Bank, as much as 55% of the developing world's tourism profit "leaks back" to the developed world as a result of the need to import goods and services (Lindberg, 1991).
Economic studies of tourism should address each of these elements in detail, and not merely calculate expenditure multipliers. Accordingly, data on the skill-level of employment created, seasonality of employment (for example, calculating hotel employees per bed space in high and low season), direct and indirect government revenues from tourism, and ownership (foreign or domestic) of hotels, is crucial.
Particularly useful is the attempt to distinguish between the different characteristics of the various types of tourism and tourism facility. For example, for the island of Antigua, in the Caribbean, a study divided hotels into size categories, and calculated expenditure leakage (the percentage of tourist expenditure that contributed to the purchase of imported goods and services or that was repatriated as profit) for each of them (Seward and Spinrad, 1982). The study found that leakage was greater for the bigger hotels (64.8%) than for the smaller ones (38.4%). Another comparison, performed for several islands in the Caribbean, compared cruise ship tourism and "stay-over" tourism (involving at least one overnight stay). The expenditure patterns — and therefore their impacts on the economy — were likewise found to differ greatly.
Meijer (1989) conducted a similar analysis for Bolivia, but comparing organized group tourism with unorganized "rucksack tourism". He found that although the rucksack tourists spent far less on a daily basis, they stayed longer and were more likely to use small-scale, locally-owned facilities. He concluded that "rucksack tourists are at least of equal importance for La Paz as the organized tourists" and that for Bolivia as a whole "the economic impact of non-organized tourists is more than three times that of organized tourists." This type of comparative analysis could be very useful in exploring whether the economic benefits of nature-based tourism, which typically involves small-scale facilities, are greater than those of resort-based tourism. It would also help determine whether the various types of tourism are complementary or competitive, in the sense of competing for the same natural or human resources (Healy, 1992b).
Clearly then, available economic data that purport to measure the impacts of tourism give only a very limited idea of the role of tourism in the development process. Analysis of tourism's contribution to development actually requires:
• analysis of the backward and forward linkages (see below) between tourism and other sectors
• understanding of the spatial location of tourism activity
• identification of the beneficiaries of its economic and other impacts (Healy, 1992b).
Linkages
Developmental impacts of any given industry or activity depend on the nature of its interactions with suppliers (backward linkages) and its customers (forward linkages). These linkages are the basis for the calculation of multipliers.
As far as linkages are concerned, tourism may seem rather unpromising. Whether an export commodity or, in the case of domestic tourism, a final consumer good, tourism does not form a part of other activities.1 Indeed, one might say that tourism's strongest forward linkage is with itself — in relatively lightly-visited areas, tourism tends to beget more tourism, since tourists describe their experiences to others and since media accounts and guidebooks will begin to appear as an area or site gains in popularity.
Regarding backward linkages, tourism requires food, construction industry outputs, electricity and transportation. In the case of very small countries, island economies, and the least developed countries, many of these inputs must be imported. For example, for 1983, in St. Lucia, the percentage of foodstuffs of foreign origin that were consumed in hotels was: meats 86%, seafood 19%, dairy (excluding eggs) 99%, staples 30%, vegetables 35%, fruits 7%, and "other" 97% (World Bank, 1985, cited by Healy, 1992b).
Opportunities for backward linkages are greater in larger economies since they are themselves able to meet a greater percentage of the requirements for construction materials, vehicles, specialized foods, and so on. McKee (1988, cited by Healy, 1992b) observes that "in larger Third World nations...jobs will be created in industries supplying hotel and resort furnishing; athletic equipment of various sorts, including a variety of boats and deep-sea gear; and domestically produced food, not to mention resort wear and artifacts." Thus the developmental impacts of tourism may be greater in larger economies (and even if tourism constitutes a relatively small percentage of GNP, as in the case of China, India, Brazil) than in small economies for which its relative economic importance appears to be considerable (as in the case of Mauritius and the Bahamas). Moreover, many of the larger developing countries have a substantial urban middle class that is generating increasing levels of domestic tourism.
But although the size of the domestic economy sets substantial constraints on tourism's linkage effects, it appears that many opportunities to enhance linkages have been missed. For example, the existence of resort areas offers possibilities for domestic production of non-traditional foodstuffs, including fruits, vegetables and aquaculture products, but frequently, the full potential is not tapped. Innovative types of sporting goods, clothing, and souvenir items could also often be developed and even become export commodities in their own right. However, resort areas are unlikely to have advantages in manufacturing per se; they are more likely to find advantage in constant innovation of articles bought by tourists, and in promotion and marketing of them (Healy, 1992b).
Locations
Since tourism is normally spatially concentrated (i.e. tourists go where the attractions are), at least some of the economic impacts of tourism will also be concentrated, and especially if the area in question has few other economic alternatives. Indeed, nature-oriented tourists are often drawn to those very areas whose natural features — for example, mountains, harsh climates, and swamps — render agriculture and forestry difficult or not especially profitable. The Swiss Alps are a case in point. In the mid-19th Century, the overall decrease in the earnings of the farming and pastoralist economy, combined with a decreasing population in the higher regions, had pushed the area's economy into sharp decline. But all this changed with the advent of mass tourism, which most unexpectedly brought the mountain to Mohammed (Bernard, 1978, cited by Healy, 1992b).
The Alpine experience has been repeated in declining rural communities in such areas as West Virginia and the Rocky Mountains in the USA, in the Pyrenees of Spain and France, and in the Eifel region of Germany. In each of these areas, tourism has provided a means of reducing population outflows and creating new economic growth. More negatively, however, tourism concentration in remote locations can result in "enclave tourism", in which the types of facilities and their physical location fail to take into account the needs and wishes of the surrounding community. Alternatively, the goods and services available are beyond the financial means of that community (Jenkins, 1982, cited by Healy, 1992b). In these cases, any foreign currency generated may have only a minimal effect upon the economy of the host nation. In enclave tourism, backward linkages are very weak, especially if the enclaves are controlled by multinational interests (McKee, 1988, cited by Healy, 1992b).
However, enclave tourism is sometimes adopted as a deliberate policy by a host country, in order to limit tourism's cultural or environmental impacts. In the Maldives, the government was faced with a potential cultural clash between the conservative dictates of Islam and the hedonism of "sun, sea, sand, and sex" tourism. The response was to "quarantine" tourism by building self-contained resorts on isolated, often formerly uninhabited islands (Richter, 1989, cited by Healy, 1992b). In such a situation, cultural purity is retained at the expense of backward and forward developmental linkages.
Beneficiaries
One of tourism's critical but seldom quantified impacts concerns the distribution of the benefits and costs within a given area. One means of assessing distribution is by measuring income levels within the community. It is important to determine whether the majority of tourism revenue becomes profit for a few individuals or families, or whether it is dispersed widely as payment for locally purchased goods or in the form of wages. In many communities, local power relations may dictate who benefits from opportunities arising from tourism. For example, well-connected persons may monopolize the opportunities for guiding or transporting visitors.
Even if tourism benefits are fairly widely distributed, they may not coincide with the costs. For example, protected areas may exclude hunting and foraging and swidden cultivation by local people. And although some individuals in the community may prosper by providing food, lodging and guiding services for visitors, they are not necessarily those who bear the cost of exclusion (Healy, 1992b).
A final distributional consideration is how tourism revenues interact with other economic opportunities within the family unit and the community. For some, even modest tourism revenues may be important. Bryan (1991, cited by Healy, 1992b), describes how economically-stressed ranches in the American West are now taking in guests. He notes that their hospitality operations may net as little as US$1,000 annually and seldom top US$25,000, but that nevertheless "these funds are what makes the difference for the ranch. Without this money, many family operations are sold to agribusiness, often with negative consequences for the environment." In other settings, tourism may have to be integrated with such pursuits as agriculture, forestry, grazing, or fishing. However, although tourism can be complementary to other activities, it can also be competitive.
Another aspect, sometimes controversial, is the participation of various non-national groups in the tourism business. Research in Latin America found that many small enterprises engaged in nature tourism were owned and operated by expatriates (Healy, 1988). Generally, they were resident corporate owners, and in many cases had built up their business with very little initial capital. And a close look at employment in tourism reveals that foreign nationals hold most of the management-level jobs. Jobs held by locals are usually only seasonal. Moreover, many employees migrate from other employment sectors such as agriculture, which can lead to an increased demand for agricultural imports.
Tourism as a high government priority
The growing economic importance of the tourism industry has, over the last few years, attracted the attention of most governments around the world, and particularly those of developing countries. As recently as 10–20 years ago, many countries which now have a ministry of tourism (or equivalent office), did not concede any political or bureaucratic relevance whatsoever to tourism.
Most developed and developing countries now have some sort of tourism policy. As WTO states, "Tourism is one of the most important economic, social, cultural and political phenomena of the twentieth century, and the State cannot be indifferent to it" (WTO, 1988, cited in Healy, 1992b). Thus most developing countries recognize tourism at the ministerial level (often combining it with other sectors, such as commerce, civil aviation, environment or culture) and there are a host of agencies addressing such policy issues as promotion and marketing, infrastructure, and training. Virtually every country has an association of private sector tourism interests, and many also have joint government-private consultative bodies (for example, the National Tourism Council of Belize).
Box 1: The role of WTO in tourism worldwide
The World Tourism Organization (WTO) is the only inter-governmental organization with global responsibility for travel and tourism. With 112 member countries and more than 150 affiliate members representing the private sector of tourism and NGOs, WTO has been recognized by the United Nations as exercising a "decisive and central role" in world tourism.
The extraordinary General Assembly of WTO's predecessor, the International Union of Official Tourism Organisations (IUOTO), was held in Mexico City in 1970 and on 27 September of that year the Statutes of the new inter-governmental WTO were adopted. Leading developing countries such as India and Mexico, among others, gave strong support to the creation of WTO. WTO's Statutes therefore assign the organization express responsibility for assisting these countries in developing their tourism. There are many ways in which WTO discharges this statutory obligation; one of the most important is its status as an Executing Agency of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Recognizing the importance of "sustainable tourism development", WTO's Executive Council established the Environment Committee in 1979 to address conservation issues. This body represents States from all six regions of the Organization. In addition to its 21 Member Governments and Puerto Rico, the Committee also receives support from WTO's private sector and affiliate members. Through this Committee, WTO pursues its institutional relationship with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In 1982 WTO and UNEP adopted a set of principles known as the Joint Declaration on Tourism and Environment. Since 1972 WTO (and its predecessor IUOTO) has also worked with IUCN. The three institutions derive mutual benefits from this three-way collaboration. One of its most recent products was the publication of Guidelines: Development of National Parks and Protected Areas for Tourism, authored by three IUCN specialists (McNeely, Thorsell and Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1992).
Sustainable tourism is certainly high on WTO's agenda. It has observed that "the task at hand is to define an appropriate tourism development model or strategy to plan the use of tourism resources, avoid the costs and risks of spontaneous, uncontrolled development and help promote more authentic and profound economic and socio-cultural exchanges between the populations of generating and receiving areas" (WTO, 1980). The new model, according to WTO, involves a change from planning "for" tourism to planning "with" the population.
Source: Adapted mainly from Huéscar, 1992.
Some developing countries devote considerable amounts of money to promoting their tourism destinations. In Mexico, for example, the Ministry of Tourism's budget for advertising and promotion, and for the support of its offices abroad rose from US$14.7 million in 1983 to US$25 million in 1988 (Economist Intelligence Unit, 1988, cited by Healy, 1992b). This corresponded to about US$5 per foreign tourist. Also in Mexico, FONATUR (the National Trust Fund for Tourism Development) has spent several considerable sums on developing new coastal resorts at Cancún, Ixtapa, Los Cabos, Loreto, and Huatulco (Healy, 1992b).
Additionally, a small number of developing countries have national tourism development corporations that involve the government directly in the development of hotels and infrastructure. Tourism investments are frequently related to regional development objectives; improvements to infrastructure often benefit far more than just the tourism sector. For example, the Indian Tourism Development Corporation, founded in 1966, is mandated to promote the development of tourism facilities in areas not yet commercially developed but that have tourism potential. Financed by concessionary government loans, it had become the country's largest accommodation chain, with over 2700 hotel rooms, by 1982. All personnel are Indian and the ITDC's hotels must "blend into the local environment and promote local industry and handicrafts" (Richter, 1989).
Alternatively, even if the tourism industry is privately owned, it is likely to be covered by a regional development policy. In Ontario, Canada, for example, the provincial government has designated "tourism development zones", which are "regional locations where tourism was seen as the most profitable and beneficial venture to the province" (Fridgen, 1991, cited by Healy, 1992b).
However, in most countries, the development of tourism policy is almost never adequately linked with overall national development policy. Unlike agriculture and manufacturing, tourism suffers from the fact that it is rarely specifically identified in national accounts, except perhaps in the export account. (Committees of both WTO and OECD are currently addressing the significant measurement and data problems involved in incorporating the tourism sector into the standard System of National Accounts.) Tourism is of course also a service industry, and services of all types have historically been neglected in the development literature and in policy debates. Governments typically take the attitude that tourism may be important, but that it is a distinctive activity best left to the tourism ministry, which often focuses primarily on promotion (Healy, 1992b).
Moreover, many of the policies with greatest impact on the size and character of a country's tourism industry are drawn up with little thought given to their impact on tourism. In the USA, for example, legislation pertaining to the national park system (1916), the interstate highway system (started in 1956) and the deregulation of the airline industry (1978), was enacted without significant investigation of its potential impacts on tourism (Healy, 1992b). The potential impacts of environmental policies on tourism is also an area that has not been fully investigated.
Tourism is even less frequently linked to national environmental policy. Although species extinctions, deforestation, and inadequate sanitation may threaten the viability of the tourism industry, this is seldom mentioned in environmental policy discussions.
It is also worth noting that tourism's impacts depend on a country's level of development and the nature of its culture. Yet as van Doorn (1989) points out, with regard to the socio-cultural impacts of tourism, "until now all developing countries have been presumed to be the same."










Tourism and the environment
The term environment can be defined as all the conditions, circumstances, and influences surrounding, and affecting the development of an organism or group of organisms. In this definition both biophysical and socio-economic factors are included.
In the long term, tourism depends on the quality of the environment. Indeed, the quality of an environment, or some particular feature of it, is frequently the primary attraction for tourists. And today, tourists of all kinds are becoming more sensitive to polluted or environmentally degraded conditions at their different travel destinations. Thus in some areas that until quite recently were very popular, tourism has declined because of environmental problems. For example:
• algal blooms in the Adriatic have made the water impenetrable and hence unattractive to swimmers
• beaches have been closed in the UK as a result of radioactivity, and in Haiti due to sewage pollution
• 600 tourism lodges in Canada face closure since acid rain has led to a decline in salmon stocks and the number of tourists seeking recreational fishing
• in Mexico City, air pollution levels have led to a drop in the number of international visitors.
But as these examples show, a decline in tourism is not always caused by tourism itself. Rather, it is the pattern of industrial growth, exploitation of natural resources and consumerism, in brief, the unsustainable development that characterizes contemporary Western civilization, that are to blame.
In fact, tourism may have positive effects on the environment. Since tourist operators have a vested interest in maintaining the environmental quality of tourist destinations they are becoming increasingly interested in collaborating with those who work to protect the environment. Income from tourism can also assist in the development and improvement of facilities, such as sanitation systems, for residents and tourists alike. The recent World Fair in Seville provided a good example of this. Expo-Seville, built mainly as a world tourist attraction also provided an opportunity for the city and its inhabitants to carry out a sorely needed upgrade of public services. Seville is now assured of adequate public services until at least the year 2025.

Nature-based tourism and ecotourism
Nature tourism denotes all tourism directly dependent on the use of natural resources in a relatively undeveloped state, including scenery, topography, water features, vegetation and wildlife. Thus it includes hunting, countryside motorbiking, and white-water rafting, even if the use of the natural resources by the tourist is neither wise nor sustainable (Butler, 1992; Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1986; Healy, 1992b). Like traditional tourism, it can be negatively influenced by various external factors. This accounts for its instability as a source of income.
Nevertheless, nature-based tourism (which includes ecotourism), is a rapidly growing sector of the tourism economy. Its global value for 1988 has been estimated to have been as high as US$1 trillion (Filionet al., 1992). So it has often proved to be a powerful incentive for conservation in many parts of the world.
But at the same time, uncontrolled mass tourism has and continues to contribute to the degradation of many areas of natural and cultural significance, entailing the loss of biological and cultural diversity, as well as of important sources of income. Clearly, what is needed is an environmentally responsible approach to tourism, or "sustainable tourism".
Sustainable tourism, as defined by Travis and Ceballos-Lascuráin, is tourism that is developed and managed in such a way that all tourism activity — which in some way focuses on a heritage resource (be it natural or cultural) — can continue indefinitely. In other words it does not detract from efforts to maintain that resource in perpetuity (FNNPE, 1992). De Kadt also uses "sustainable tourism" as the broadest descriptor, employed to denote all types of tourism, whether based on natural or human-made resources, that contribute to sustainable development (1990, cited by Healy, 1992b).
In recent years a specific category of nature-based tourism has developed along these lines. "Ecological tourism", or "ecotourism" as defined by IUCN's Ecotourism Programme is "environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features — both past and present) that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations" (Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1993a). The Ecotourism Society's definition is similar: "ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people" (Blangy and Wood, 1992). In both definitions, ecotourism denotes nature tourism with a normative element. A response to the desire to permit access to areas of natural beauty, ecotourism's underlying premise is that the enjoyment of future generations should not be affected negatively by that of today's visitors.
Farrel and Runyan (1991) distinguish between nature tourism and ecotourism by describing the latter as "more exclusively purposeful and focused on the enhancement or maintenance of natural systems". Thus we can distinguish between, for example, traditional tour operators and principled ecotourism operators. The former frequently show no commitment to conservation or natural area management, merely offering clients an opportunity to experience exotic places and people before they change or disappear. Ecotourism operators, on the other hand, have begun to form partnerships with protected area managers and local people, with the intention of contributing to the long-term protection of wildlands and local development, and in the hope of improving mutual understanding between residents and visitors (Wallace, 1992).
When Héctor Ceballos-Lascuráin coined the term "ecotourism" in 1983, it was not the only one being used to describe the new form of nature travel that was developing (Butler, 1992). Scace et al. have identified 35 terms that "may possess links to ecotourism" (1991, cited by Butler, 1992). Among the best-known of these are: nature tourism, nature-based or nature-oriented tourism, wilderness tourism, adventure tourism, green tourism, alternative tourism, sustainable tourism, appropriate tourism, nature vacations, study tourism, scientific tourism, cultural tourism, low-impact tourism, agro-tourism, rural tourism, and soft tourism. These terms share some general concepts (particularly in that they are an alternative to mass consumptive tourism), but they are not synonymous. To assume that they are would be to make ecotourism a catch-all term to be applied indiscriminately to almost any activity linking tourism and nature (Farrell and Runyan, 1991, cited by Butler, 1992).
And as Norris (1992) points out, such activities cannot be equated with ecotourism unless they directly produce better protection. Thus, for example, although participants in wilderness or adventure travel may gain a deeper understanding of the natural places they visit, their appreciation does not necessarily help those areas, and so cannot be defined as ecotourism. Perhaps the best illustration is the Himalayas. Before 1965, fewer than 10 000 tourists a year visited Nepal. But this number has since jumped to 250 000. In the two major nature sanctuaries of Annapurna and Sagarmatha, the local treeline has risen by several hundred feet, as a result of local residents harvesting firewood to sell to trekkers and lodge operators. Ridges cloaked in rhododendron five years ago now are barren. Populations of goral, pheasant, and nag deer have declined. Trails are littered. Thus, although visitors may have considered themselves to have been nature tourists, they were not ecotourists, since their visits ultimately degraded or destroyed natural resources.
Another illustration of what ecotourism is not comes from the Khumbu area of Nepal. A survey conducted there revealed that many Western visitors consider that tourism development had enhanced the material quality of life of the local communities, but had also resulted in loss of traditional employment systems, acculturation, and social disruption (Robinson, 1992).
Thus ecotourism appears to have much in common with the concept of "alternative tourism" or "appropriate tourism" which has been discussed within the tourism industry for over a decade. For instance, it provides its greatest benefits (especially if applied at local level) through pursuit of a widespread but controlled "small is beautiful" philosophy.
However, De Kadt argues that policymakers should not simply distinguish between alternative tourism, which must meet high standards of social and environmental impact, and tourism in general, the negative impacts of which they might allow to continue. He contends that "rather than contrasting alternative and 'mass' tourism, policy-makers concerned with tourism development should strive to make the conventional more sustainable". De Kadt suggests they take a cue from the more general literature on "alternative" development, which proposes styles of development for the entire economy and which tend to be more community-responsive, smaller in scale, and ecologically sustainable than traditional modes of development (1990, cited by Healy, 1992b). As Kutay (1989) remarks, ecotourism can be seen as a model of development in which natural areas are planned as part of the tourism economic base, and biological resources and ecological processes clearly linked to social and economic sectors.
Evidently, ecotourism is a broad term, open to complex interpretation. According to Ziffer (1989), ecotourism "has eluded firm definition because it...ambitiously attempts to describe an activity, set forth a philosophy and espouse a model of development...'Nature tourism' is grounded in the behaviour and motivation of the individual [tourist] whereas 'ecotourism' is a more comprehensive concept which is based on a planned approach by a host country or region designed to achieve societal objectives beyond (but including) those of the individual." Ziffer goes on to say that the concept of ecotourism "establishes tough standards for a program or destination to qualify as ecotourism. It may seem overly complex. The needs of conservation and development, however, are inherently complex and successful approaches will need to be multi-faceted." Therefore, in this book, "nature tourism" and "nature-based tourism" are used interchangeably to denote tourism dependent on relatively undeveloped natural resources. "Ecotourism" is used to describe tourism only when an additional, normative characterisation is intended — tourism that helps society achieve sustainable development (Healy, 1992b).

Evolution of ecotourism
The origins of nature travel are truly remote. We might say that Herodotus was one of the first nature tourists. His extensive travels included visits to the Black Sea, Egypt, southern Italy, Athens and the Aegean Sea. Inferences drawn from his remarks show that he was deeply interested not only in history, but also in geography, the natural environment and ancient monuments (such as the pyramids of Egypt). Aristotle also practised nature tourism. After he failed to become master of the Academy following Plato's death in 347 BC, he went to the island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea where he spent his time studying marine animals. Other notable precursors of ecotourism include Pytheas, Strabo and Pliny the Elder, all of whom travelled, moved by a desire to see the natural and cultural environments of the world in which they lived.
In later times, Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta, Bernardino de Sahagún, Joseph de Acosta and Eusebio Kino have left us vivid accounts of the new lands they discovered. More recently, savants and explorers such as Charles de la Condamine, James Cook, Alexander von Humboldt, Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, Charles Darwin, John L. Stephens, Henry Bates, Alfred Russell Wallace, David Livingstone, Sven Hedin, and Carl Lumholtz dedicated themselves to travel to remote areas with the fundamental purpose of discovering, studying and describing landscapes, life forms and different cultures (Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1989).
However, the globetrotters and explorers of the past were exceptional people, endowed with formidable energy and willpower, who undertook their journeys in a highly individual manner, often experiencing many privations and difficulties. Nature travel as a popular pastime cannot be considered to have truly developed until the late 19th Century, following advances in mass travel.
Nature travel during the 19th Century was essentially a quest for spectacular and unique scenery. During this time, the national park concept was created; and while the founders of national parks wanted to protect the environment rather than provide resorts, it was the tourist who "provided the economic and political rationale needed to translate philosophy into accomplishment" (Jakle, 1985, cited by Butler, 1992). Not until the mid-20th Century did worldwide travel become possible for more than just an elite. The technological revolution in communication and transport now permits an ever-growing number of people from different parts of the world to undertake trips to remote destinations previously inaccessible to the common traveller.
The first tours organized around some special interest began to appear in the Twenties, especially in Europe. Castles, cathedrals, museums, gardens, mountainous areas, and gastronomy became popular foci for such tours.
After World War II, the tourism industry exploded worldwide. But as the numbers increased, the image of tourism deteriorated. In the Fifties and Sixties, Americans were ridiculed for their insensitive and boorish behaviour when touring in foreign countries; they became the "Ugly Tourist". For some time it was thought that this was just a result of particular American traits. However, in the Seventies it was the turn of the Germans to be seen as the Ugly Tourist in Europe and East Africa and in the Nineties, the Japanese. The Ugly Tourist phenomenon is not based on actual personality traits, but rather is a result of the feeling of invasion by people who are different from the host community. It does not even require different ethnic groups. (Residents of Banff, Canada, often view travellers from Edmonton — less than six hours away by car — as Ugly Tourists.) It is part of the nature of mass tourism (or is it simply human nature?). And it has been accompanied by over-development and local disruption of cultural values and economies such that tourism has developed a very bad name indeed (Butler, 1992).
As mass tourism exploded in the 20th Century, another type of tourist emerged — in a smaller way — but with a different reputation. During the Sixties, public concern (mainly in industrialized countries) about the environment increased. Conservation organizations were formed to lobby governments to set aside land not just for tourists or for certain animals, but to preserve the natural integrity of whole ecosystems. The whale-watching industry in the USA developed at this time in response to a concern about the worldwide depletion in whale populations. By 1966, publicity from these activities and from scientists created enough public pressure that the Humpback whale was made a wholly protected species, followed by protection of the Blue whale in 1967. This period marks the birth of the ecotourist (Butler, 1992).
Support for conservation activities was of course stronger if people had experienced an area or endangered species at first hand. A protected area, for example, needs a constituency of supporters who appreciate and understand it if its long-term survival is to be assured. Ironically, though, increased interest in nature and nature travel can lead to problems of overuse and disruption. Indeed, overuse, resulting in degradation of the environment, loss of economic benefits due to damage to the resource or the local community, and disruption of local cultures and/or values, are often cited as drawbacks to ecotourism. But if tourism is damaging a natural resource (whether it be a species or a protected area), then it is not ecotourism. True ecotourism can in fact be one of the most powerful tools for protecting the environment.

A wide variety of natural and cultural features attract ecotourists: zebras and wildebeests, Ngorongoro World Heritage Site, Tanzania (3); the isolation and rural setting of the Romanesque hermitage church of Eunate, Navarre, Spain (4); and marine iguanas at the Galápagos World Heritage Site, Ecuador (5).
Ecotourism and the new environmental paradigm
During recent years the popularity of ecotourism has increased greatly as evidenced by the coverage it has received in a variety of publications. Even the New York Times Sunday travel section has devoted entire issues to ecotourism (q.v. February 21, 1993).
Swanson (1992) uses social paradigms to explain this popularity. In the 1950s and 1960s the dominant social paradigm of the day held that progress and prosperity were more important than nature, considered risk acceptable if it might lead to the attainment of wealth, recognized no limits to growth, believed that the then existing society was superior to all societies that had preceded it, and exhibited a heavy reliance on experts and marketplace development and expansion.
Swanson then goes on to describe a new environmental paradigm, that emerged in the 1970s, largely in reaction to the disappointments and failures engendered by the 1950s and 1960s paradigm. It focuses on five major constructs:
• valuing nature for its own sake
• planning and acting to control risk, both personal and universal
• recognizing real limits to growth
• believing in the needs of a new society
• encouraging the participation of individuals who are not necessarily involved in the marketplace or government.
Swanson believes that ecotourism has the potential to embody the new environmental paradigm. In particular, by recognizing and involving four groups — ecotourism operators, opponents to ecotourism, the ecotourists themselves and protected area managers — ecotourism could become an important force for responsible conservation and development.
For example, it could be a useful component of locally directed and participatory rural development and protection of natural resources. Nevertheless, Swanson recognizes that ecotourism can only be one element of the manifold conservation/development scene (Swanson, 1992). It cannot be a panacea.
Promotion of tourism to protected areas, natural and cultural sites
Despite the general lack of attention paid to environmental management of tourism, it is rare to see a national tourism brochure or magazine advertisement that does not include photographs or other references to natural areas. Nevertheless, until very recently, advertising campaigns that built explicitly on nature tourism were uncommon. Exceptions included Costa Rica, Kenya, New Zealand, and Australia. The Commonwealth of Dominica, which is blessed with abundant forests but which has comparatively poor quality beaches, has compensated for the latter by promoting itself as the "Nature Island of the Caribbean". Costa Rica, with an internationally acclaimed national park system and many ecotourism entrepreneurs, has used the advertising slogans "Costa Rica: It's Only Natural", "Costa Rica, a Natural Museum" and "Costa Rica, Naturally Thrilling".
But more and more governments are now actively promoting tourism to areas that are the best examples — usually protected areas — of their countries' biological and cultural riches. And in the USA, for example, it is not only the federal government that is committed to fostering tourism in protected areas. Alaska, the largest state in the Union — with 60% of the USA's national park acreage and 30% of all state-managed protected areas — lists both recreation and tourism along with protection of significant natural and cultural areas as the objectives of its state park system (Johannsen, 1992).
The US Department of the Interior, through its National Park Service (NPS), is also assigning a high priority to nature tourism. For nearly 75 years, the NPS has been trying to ensure that US parks could be enjoyed by the public, and at the same time preserved for the equal enjoyment of future visitors. This is no small task. Yellowstone National Park for instance has been seen as a "pleasure ground" for the enjoyment of the travelling public ever since its creation in 1872. Annual recreation visits to the national park system exceeded 400 million in 1989 (making it the USA's biggest tourist attraction). Annual expenditure for operations, construction and land acquisition exceed US$1 billion each year. Recognizing the importance of tourism, the NPS therefore created a Tourism Department in 1981, the activities of which largely concern park manager training, communications and marketing (Milne, 1990). The NPS has also recognized the need for strengthening partnerships with the private sector.
In Australia, the Tourism Commission of New South Wales is very much aware of the importance that national parks, state recreation areas and historic sites have as major tourist attractions. Its role is primarily to promote tourism in that state and to coordinate development of tourism-related ventures. But it is very mindful of the need to balance development of tourist assets with conservation of the very values that attract visitors. In 1989, the Commission reviewed its marketing operations. Rather than promoting regions such as the Golden West, the North West Country, or the South Coast, a product-oriented approach was adopted. This involved identifying those products of value to the consumer (through research), and then marketing them. One of the major product lines to be promoted was the "national parks experience" (Crombie, 1989).
Tourism in protected areas is also becoming a particularly important component of government policy in many developing countries, since it has tremendous potential as a mechanism for helping to conserve the natural and cultural heritage. For example, in practically every Central American country, National Ecotourism Councils (NECs) have been set up to establish specific ecotourism policies and guidelines. NECs are made up of representatives of the various sectors involved in the ecotourism process: government (especially the tourism and environment boards), private sector, NGOs, university and research organizations, and local communities. The Councils provide these sectors with the opportunity to work together and take decisions jointly on tourism issues. In particular, the tourism and environmental bureaux, which prior to this, were in direct opposition, are now often able to harmonize their different objectives. It is quite likely that many other Latin American and other developing countries will also establish NECs.
Box 2: Requirements for ecotourismK
If an activity is to qualify as ecotourism, it must demonstrate the following 9 characteristics.
1. It promotes positive environmental ethics and fosters "preferred" behaviour in its participants.
2. It does not degrade the resource. In other words, it does not involve consumptive erosion of the natural environment. (Hunting for sport, and fishing, may be classified as wildland (green) tourism, but they are most aptly classified as adventure tourism, rather than ecotourism.)
3. It concentrates on intrinsic rather than extrinsic values. Facilities and services may facilitate the encounter with the intrinsic resource, but never become attractions in their own right, and do not detract from the resource.
4. It is oriented around the environment in question and not around man. Ecotourists accept the environment as it is, neither expecting it to change or to be modified for their convenience.
5. It must benefit the wildlife and environment. The question of whether or not the environment (not just people) has received "benefits" can be measured socially, economically, scientifically, managerially, and politically. At the very least, the environment must attain a net benefit, contributing to its sustainability and ecological integrity.
6. It provides a first-hand encounter with the natural environment (and with any accompanying cultural elements found in undeveloped areas). Zoological parks do not constitute an ecotourism experience (although they may contribute to the development of a person's interest in ecotourism). Visitor centres and on-site interpretive slide shows can be considered to form part of an ecotourism activity only if they direct people to a first-hand experience.
7. It actively involves the local communities in the tourism process so that they may benefit from it, thereby contributing to a better valuation of the natural resources in that locality.
8. Its level of gratification is measured in terms of education and/or appreciation rather than in thrill-seeking or physical achievement; the latter is more characteristic of adventure tourism.
9. It involves considerable preparation and demands in-depth knowledge on the part of both leaders and participants. The satisfaction derived from the experience is felt and expressed strongly in emotional and inspirational ways.
Source: Adapted and expanded from Butler in Scace et al., 1991, as cited by Butler, 1992.
The Central American countries (with the assistance of WTO, UNDP and IUCN) also recently drew up a regional ecotourism strategy, for the entire Central American isthmus, as well as Mexico and the Caribbean. This strategy incorporates marketing, planning and regulation and is a sign of the trend towards regional approaches to trade. Tourism (including ecotourism) cannot ignore this trend and must explore international linkages and regional promotional strategies. In Central America, three projects of international scope with important ecotourism components have recently been carried out: Paseo Pantera, Mundo Maya and the WTO/UNDP Ecotourism Strategy for Central America (Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1993b).

What are protected areas?
Generally, a country's prime areas of natural and cultural interest have been assigned protected area status at national and sometimes also international level. Therefore, much tourism, and particularly ecotourism, involves visits to protected areas.
IUCN (1991) defines a protected area as an area dedicated primarily to the protection and enjoyment of natural or cultural heritage, to maintenance of biodiversity, and/or to maintenance of ecological life-support services. The creation of such an area is now the most universally adopted means of conserving a natural ecosystem and/or relevant cultural heritage for a broad range of human values. Over 130 nations have established some 6,900 major legally protected areas, covering nearly 5% of the planet's land surface (roughly equivalent to twice the area of India) (McNeely, 1992). However, if other areas that do not have legal protection status but that are nevertheless under some form of conservation management procedure are included, the number of protected areas rises to more than 30,000 worldwide, covering nearly 10% of the earth's land surface, in nearly all countries (Thorsell, 1992). Evidently these areas are not of equal value. Some are but small remnants of once-extensive areas of habitat, others are not big enough to contribute substantially to conservation, many exist only on paper, and relatively few are sufficiently well managed to achieve their conservation objectives.
Traditionally, the national park has been the most common and well-known type of protected area. But national parks can be complemented by other categories of protected area. And in practice, most countries find it advantageous to have several categories of protected area, covering a range of management objectives and levels of use and manipulation. Such a range of options can increase the level of protection for strictly protected categories by in effect transferring human pressures to those areas which can sustain heavier use. This means, therefore, that the creation of a protected area system should be seen as an important element of comprehensive land use planning, to be undertaken systematically and balancing such divergent factors as protection of endangered species, watershed conservation, provision of recreational opportunities, and generation of tourism income (Heyman, 1992a). Recognizing the level of expertise required for such planning, some developing countries now request donor agencies to provide technical and/or financial assistance in preparing protected area plans.
IUCN's Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA) serves as the principal source of technical advice on all aspects of the selection, planning and management of protected areas around the world. CNPPA is also specifically responsible for promoting the establishment of a worldwide network of effectively managed terrestrial and marine protected areas. It recognizes that while there is a bewildering number of different names describing protected areas in different countries, there are relatively few basic objectives for which areas are established and managed. Accordingly, IUCN has defined 6 management categories, according to management objectives (see Box 4).

Three examples of protected areas: Category I: Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, Sierra de Chincua, Michoacán, Mexico (6); Category II: Teide National Park, Canary Islands, Spain (7); Category IV: Golfito Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica (8).
These categories provide the basis for incorporating conservation into development. Each category should in principle relate to one or several of the major components of a nation's development plan: nutrition, education, housing, water, science, technology, tourism, defence, and national identity. Viewed in this way, protected area categories become means for sustainable development.
While Categories I (strict nature reserve) and II (national park) are well known and broadly applied, some of the other categories are not so well understood. Ideally, objectives and activities should be related to environmental protection and to socio-economic development, whatever the category applied. Each category has a different role to play. Thus protected areas of each category are required if national and global resource management needs are to be met.
The prime areas for nature-based tourism — including ecotourism — are evidently those that are legally protected, since they offer the best guarantee for maintaining their attractions in the long term. The most commonly used category for tourism purposes around the world is the national park.
A special mention should be made of World Heritage Sites, which do not constitute a management category but are internationally recognized as "of outstanding universal significance". Accordingly, they have enormous ecotourism potential. There are currently 358 World Heritage Sites; this number includes sites listed for either natural and/or cultural reasons. Such sites should be models of effective management and conservation. Unfortunately, the high standards expected of these unique areas are not always attainable under current conditions. But strictly controlled and environmentally responsible visitation and tourism to these sites could provide much-needed funding for many of them, and contribute to their long-term preservation.

A selection of World Heritage Sites: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia (9); Machu Picchu, Peru (10); Meteora, Greece (11).
Box 3: Protected areas in history
In 1122 BC an edict was promulgated in China that made provision for the conservation of a forest, and in 252 BC, Asoka, Emperor of India, passed an edict for the protection of animals, fish and forests. These may be among the earliest documented instances of the creation of what we now call protected areas. However, the practice of setting aside sacred areas as religious sanctuaries or exclusive hunting reserves is actually much older, and one that is still followed by many widely different cultures.
The first natural reserve in the Western world was probably that created near Venice in the 8th Century by the community of the city, as a sanctuary for deer and boar. In 1084 AD, King William I of England ordered the preparation of the Domesday Book — an inventory of all the lands, forests, fishing and agricultural areas, hunting preserves and productive resources of his kingdom — as the first step in drawing up rational plans for the management and development of England's natural resources.
During the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, natural sanctuaries were created by princes who perceived that populations of game were declining as a result of demographic expansion and improvements in weapons, traps, and hunting methods.
In pre-Hispanic Mexico, nature was deeply revered. A keen awareness of the need to conserve natural resources was demonstrated by two rulers. Nezahualcóyotl ordered sabinos ("ahuehuetes") to be planted in various places in or near present-day Mexico City, some of which (Chapultepec, Molino de Flores, and Contador) remain to this day. Moctezuma II, Emperor of the Aztecs, created zoological parks and botanical gardens — containing a spectacular array of species from the different corners of his Empire — and provided for adequate management of these areas.
In many "game preserves" of the 19th Century, game multiplication was controlled by royal or domain guards; for example, in the forests of France, the United Kingdom, Italy and central Europe. A similar royal preserve was established in Rwanda, in Central Africa, in which only the Mwami were allowed to hunt.
In the 19th Century in the USA, the ever-increasing deterioration, pollution, and spoliation of natural resources somewhat paradoxically led to the emergence around 1870 of a new concept: the moral duty of each generation to take measures to preserve areas of outstanding beauty or interest from over-exploitation, and to set these aside for the benefit of the entire nation and future generations. Yellowstone, the world's first national park, was created in 1872 when US President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill passed by Congress. In 1916 the US National Park Service (the first such institution in the world) was established.
The creation of national parks followed in other countries: the Royal National Park was established in Australia in 1879, El Chico National Park in Mexico in 1898, Nahuel Huapi in Argentina in 1903, and Abisko National Park in Sweden 1909.
Sources: Curry-Lindahl, 1972; MacKinnon et al., 1986; Tassi, 1982; Thorsell, 1992.
Issues facing protected areas
With the rate of environmental change increasing rapidly in the remaining years of the 20th Century, the maintenance of biological and cultural diversity assumes greater and greater urgency. Genetic, species and ecosystem diversity provide the raw materials for adaptation to changing conditions. Yet erosion of the planet's life-support systems is likely to continue until humankind manages to bring its aspirations into line with nature's resource capacities. This means that conservation problems can no longer be separated from the larger issues of socioeconomic development.
Growing public concern about the environment is convincing politicians and other decision-makers that the issue is not whether conservation is a good idea, but rather how it can be implemented within current social, economic, and political constraints. We are at a crossroads in the history of human civilization. Our actions over the next few years will determine whether we move towards a chaotic future characterized by over-exploitation and abuse of our natural resources, or towards maintenance of diversity and sustainable use of renewable resources (IUCN, 1992).
In February 1992 the IV World Congress on National Parks and Protected Areas (IV WC), organized by IUCN, was held in order to promote effective management of representative samples of the world's natural habitats for the sustainable benefit of both people and nature. (See Appendices II to V for details of the IV Worlds Park Congress.)
A glance at the programme contents of the IV WC, reveals the wide range of issues linking national parks and protected areas and human sustainable development. Issues dealt with included the following:
 Social, economic and political issues such as:
 community-based management of protected areas
 indigenous attitudes towards protected areas
 demographic change
 conflict resolution
 protected areas, war, and civil strife
 drug production and protected areas
 protected areas and the arts
 international legal instruments in protected area management
 building a new partnership between business interests and protected areas
 the role of tourism in expanding support for protected areas
 funding mechanisms
 protected areas and foreign debt.
 Scientific issues such as:
 monitoring and research in protected areas
 restoration ecology
 reintroduction of displaced species
 problems with introduced ("exotic") species
 managing endangered species and small populations of wildlife in protected areas
 impacts of environmental change and pollution on protected areas.
 Regional planning and development issues such as:
 protected areas and the coastal zone
 protected area management by private organizations
 fostering stewardship
 forestry and protected areas
 legal strategies for integrating ecosystem conservation into land-use planning
 protected area systems plans
 expanding the world's network of protected areas
 corridors, transition zones, and buffer zones
 transboundary protected areas
 data management for planning
 cross-sectoral approaches
 biosphere reserves of UNESCO.
 Management issues ("the challenge within") such as:
 an international review system for protected areas
 training of park managers
 site management
 architecture in protected areas
 marine protected area management tools
 management for conservation of genetic resources
 managing tourism in protected areas
 managing sustainable utilization in protected areas
 interpretation in protected areas
 hunting and fishing in protected areas
 institutional options for management
 revenue enhancement and cost recovery
 data management
 the role of universities
 historical and cultural heritage in protected areas
 environmental impact assessment in protected areas.




Mutual benefits for tourism and protected areas
Ever since the origins of tourism, travellers have been moved by, and drawn to, nature. Protected areas are obviously among the prime natural attractions for tourists.
The first English travellers who started visiting Europe in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries were as interested in obtaining a first-hand knowledge of the cultural features of "the Continent" (its towns and villages, architecture and people) as of its natural ones, including "romantic" landscapes, preferably with high mountains (since these are conspicuously absent from the British scene) and lush forests. The Alps proved to be one of the most popular natural destinations. The Swiss, aware of the growing numbers of Englishmen visiting their country, as part of their "Grand Tour", began to offer the first modern tourism facilities in natural settings (chalets, hotels, restaurants, even narrow-gauge railways in the more scenic localities). Soon tourism (mostly nature-based, but also with a significant number of folkloric attractions) became one of Switzerland's most important economic activities. In order to ensure that their integrity was maintained and hence their attractiveness to tourists assured, natural areas became protected areas. This ensured that they were maintained. In fact, ever since Yellowstone National Park in the USA was created, one of the chief motivations for establishing protected areas has been to provide the public with opportunities for recreation and inspiration in an attractive setting.
On the other hand, tourism is vitally important for protected areas. The opportunity that they provide to see, touch and experience the natural world frequently "converts" their visitors into faithful and active supporters. This is a benefit in addition to that of tourism revenue (from entrance fees, concessions for tourism services, selling of souvenirs, guidebooks, etc.). The latter, if handled correctly, can be channelled into maintenance of the protected area, and used to pay the salaries of rangers, for road and trail maintenance, for interpretation, to fund research, build appropriate tourism facilities, and so on. Tourism can also serve to preserve and strengthen indigenous cultural identity, while at the same time making a positive contribution to economic development.
Unfortunately, tourism also poses an implicit threat to the areas under protection, particularly if these are very fragile. Unfortunately too, some communities or countries turn to tourism to generate economic benefits as a last resort, after other options have been exhausted, and without adequate planning.
In short, tourists need protected areas, protected areas need the revenue tourism generates and the exposure tourists bring: but both must be managed if serious adverse impacts are to be avoided.
In the 50 years following the creation of Yellowstone, the USA's (and the world's) first national park, the jewels of the country's present-day national park system were set aside: Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, and Glacier National Parks. Forty parks were established in all — but received little funding, and had no administrative system, management plans, or personnel.

Millions of people visit protected areas each year. Among the many subjects of interest are: grey kangaroos, Yanchep National Park, Western Australia (12); giant cardon cacti, El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, Baja California, Mexico (13); ancient Roman ruins, Volubilis, Morocco (14); and the fumaroles of Poás Volcano, Costa Rica (15).
US Congress mandated from the beginning that US parks should serve as "pleasure grounds" for visitors and travellers. Thus the US national parks "grew up" with tourism (Wood, 1992). Early Western settlers perceived matters differently, however. For them the parks represented rich timber and ore resources, ready for plundering. No single, centralized federal agency had the power to protect the national parks against such encroachment or abuse. And since the parks were far removed (at that time) from existing centres of population, it was relatively easy for miners, poachers and squatters to exploit the newly designated public lands with impunity. No funds were available to help reverse this situation, which was soon out of control. Cavalrymen were sent into Yellowstone to protect that particular park from rampant poaching, and loggers prohibited from carrying out any further logging in the area. But to little avail.
Then in 1911 Congressional hearings concerning the establishment of a national park service began, although it was not until 1916 that the US National Park Service Act was passed. Much of the campaign to get the bill through Congress was financed by the railroad companies. No less than 17 of the western railroads contributed US$43,000 in 1916 towards publication of the National Parks Portfolio, a stunning publicity volume that was sent to every Senator. At last, in August 1916, the US National Park Service Act was signed into law.






Box 4: Protected area management categories
CATEGORY I Strict Nature Reserve/Wilderness Area: protected area managed mainly for science or wilderness protection
CATEGORY Ia Strict Nature Reserve: protected area managed mainly for science
Definition Area of land/or sea possessing some outstanding or representative ecosystems, geological or physiological features and/or species, available primarily for scientific research and/or environmental monitoring.
CATEGORY Ib Wilderness Area: protected area managed mainly for wilderness protection
Definition Large area of unmodified or slightly modified land, and/or sea, retaining its natural character and influence, without permanent or significant habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural condition.
CATEGORY II National Park: protected area managed mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation
Definition Natural area of land and/or sea, designated to (a) protect the ecological integrity of one of more ecosystems for present and future generations, (b) exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area and (c) provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmentally and culturally compatible.
CATEGORY III Natural Monument: protected area managed mainly for conservation of specific natural features
Definition Area containing one, or more, specific natural or natural/cultural feature which is of outstanding or unique value because of its inherent rarity, representative or aesthetic qualities or cultural significance.
CATEGORY IV Habitat/Species Management Area: protected area managed mainly for conservation through management intervention
Definition Area of land and/or sea subject to active intervention for management purposes so as to ensure the maintenance of habitats and/or to meet the requirements of specific species.
CATEGORY V Protected Landscape/Seascape: protected area managed mainly for landscape/ seascape conservation and recreation
Definition Area of land, with coast and sea as appropriate, where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced an area of distinct character with significant aesthetic, ecological and/or cultural value, and often with high biological diversity. Safeguarding the integrity of this traditional interaction is vital to the protection, maintenance and evolution of such an area.

CATEGORY VI Managed Resource Protected Area: protected area managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural ecosystems
Definition Area containing predominantly unmodified natural systems, managed to ensure long term protection and maintenance of biological diversity, while providing at the same time a sustainable flow of natural products and services to meet community needs.
Research has shown that the transcontinental rail lines played a key role in expanding support for the protection of US national parks at the turn of the century (Runte, 1990, cited by Wood, 1992). Thus Yellowstone National Park began to gain popularity (and public support) only after the Northern Pacific Railroad had built a series of hotels in the area, close to the park's primary attractions, and offered convenient transport to the park's gateway. Illustrated guidebooks were prepared for Yellowstone by the Northern Pacific as early as 1885. By 1893 the Northern Pacific was identifying itself as The Yellowstone National Park Line.
Soon most of the railroad companies were involved in establishing tourism services in the parks (including Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Glacier); a legacy that remains to this day. As a result, railroads put park conservation on the agenda for national policy makers. The railroads' campaign was nothing more than enlightened self-interest. But as the popularity of railroad travel grew, tourism provided the parks with a solid economic justification for their existence. "No argument was more vital in a nation still unwilling to pursue scenic preservation at the cost of business achievement" (ibid.).
However, even after they had been created, the areas contained within national parks were not "safe". Hetch Hetchy Valley, for example, located in the heart of Yosemite National Park, was destroyed in 1913, during the construction of a dam. Proponents of the dam were able to show that only a few hundred "nature lovers" enjoyed the valley each year, while half a million thirsty San Francisco residents needed water. Conservationists concluded therefore that only if more Americans could be induced to visit these scenic treasure houses would the public come to appreciate their value and stand firmly in their defence. Thus tourism came to be seen by conservationists as "the most dignified exploitation of the national parks" (ibid.)
The marriage of tourism and the US national park system is a classic example of how tourism works to define the value of land designated for protection. By the late 1980s, US protected areas had become the country's number one tourist attraction. In 1991 they hosted some 260 million tourists. Revenues generated by tourism for the US national park system totalled US$3 billion for the same year (Norris, 1992).
National parks are also important components of the tourism trade elsewhere. Parks in Kenya are the principal reason why 750,000 tourists travel there each year. Costa Rica too has become an important tourist destination largely on the basis of its excellent park system. This is not to say that all protected areas are intended to be tourist destinations. In the USA, many protected areas are assigned other functions. For example, some are set aside as timber reserves, others as wildlife habitats and yet others for protection of watersheds. And of course, many protected areas have several functions, only one of which may be to encourage tourism.
Economic value of ecotourism
Few studies have estimated the economic value of either tourism in specific protected areas, or ecotourism, let alone the overall economic value of protected areas around the world. This is partly because data on ecotourism are not collected systematically by the private sector, governments, or the UN-WTO. This in turn is attributable to the fact that ecotourism is a relatively recent phenomenon. Moreover, a universally accepted and quantifiable definition of ecotourism is lacking. To overcome these problems, Filion et al., (1992) devised a three-step procedure which would allow the creation of estimators (or ratios) which could be applied to existing tourism data. The steps are:
• examination of regional studies on nature-related tourism
• generation of actual ecotourism estimators
• application of these estimators to the United Nations-World Tourism Organization (UN-WTO) database on global tourism.
Filion et al. (1992) concluded that the following estimators could be applied to the UN-WTO data to determine the approximate magnitude of global ecotourism:
• depending on the region, ecotourism appears to account for approximately 40–60% of international tourism
• depending on the region, wildlife-related tourism appears to account for approximately 20–40% of international tourism.
In short, ecotourism and wildlife-related tourism are big business. It is estimated, for instance, that in 1988 there were between 157 and 236 million international ecotourists world-wide. It is also estimated that between 79 and 157 million people could be considered wildlife-oriented.
If the above estimators and multipliers are applied to the UN-WTO data, the results suggest that ecotourism contributed between US$93 and US$233 billion to the national income of various countries in 1988. It is further estimated that wildlife-oriented tourism generated revenue ranging from US$47 to US$155 billion. More specifically, bird-related tourism may have attracted as many as 78 million travellers with economic impacts as high as US$78 billion for the economies of the countries they visited (Filion et al., 1992).
Local populations benefit economically through direct participation in ecotourism, as exemplified by tours around Shoalwater Bay, Western Australia (22); and handcraft sales in Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico (23).
Moreover, high as the above international figures may seem, Filion et al. emphasize that they do not reflect the true magnitude of ecotourism. In fact, the actual figures may be five or seven times as large as those given above. They argue that the reason for this underestimation is that international tourism accounts for only 9% of global tourism receipts, whereas domestic tourism accounts for 91% (Travel Industry World Yearbook, 1990, cited by Filion et al., 1992).
But even with these data, it is difficult to determine what portion of domestic tourism world-wide corresponds to ecotourism. Based on some related research in Canada, Filion et al. believe that the wildlife component of tourism may account for as much as one-quarter of the total amount spent domestically by tourists. If this estimator is applied to domestic tourism in other countries, it could be argued that the generated revenue resulting from global ecotourism (i.e. domestic and international ecotourism) ranges from US$660 to US$1.2 trillion depending upon the percentage range and multipliers used.
Canadian federal and provincial governments receive US$1.7 billion in tax revenue annually from domestic wildlife-related tourism. These tax revenues are considerably larger than the US$300 million that these governments spend on wildlife conservation programmes annually. The approximate revenue/cost ratio of 5 to 1 may be even larger in many developing countries. If this hypothesis is true, then quantifying the socioeconomic importance of ecotourism would provide powerful arguments when attempting to persuade governments and businesses to increase their conservation efforts (Filion et al., 1992).
The UN-WTO data also reveal a tourism shift that has occurred in the last 20 years and that favours developing countries. Namely, those countries with the most diverse flora, fauna and ecosystems, and therefore the greatest potential for ecotourism, are increasingly preferred by tourists. This trend is likely to continue and those regions which are politically stable will benefit most.
Ecotour operators are encouraged to use techniques that minimize impacts on the environment, as shown by an example from the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. A low-impact means of transportation is used to carry luggage from the airstrip to the tent camp, while tourists walk the distance (24).
At a more detailed level, a study of Amboseli National Park in Kenya, for example, showed that one lion was worth US$27,000 per year in tourist revenue in the early 1980s. A live, fully grown maned lion in Amboseli National Park is now worth over US$500,000 to Kenya's economy (Durrell, 1986, cited by Butler et al., 1992). In a classic study by Thresher (1981), it was estimated that one maned lion for tourist viewing would draw US$15,000 in foreign exchange over its lifetime, compared to only US$8,500 if the lion were used as a resource for sport hunting, and between US$960 and US$1,325 if used for other commercial purposes.
Western (1982) estimated that the financial value of the park (arising principally from tourism) was about US$40 per hectare in its protected state. If the park was to be used for agriculture, however, its financial value — even using the most optimistic predictions — would fall to less than US$0.80 per hectare (Western, 1982). Western also estimated that the elephant herd in Amboseli was worth US$610,000 per year.
Bird watching, or birding, is one of the fastest growing wildlife recreation activities in North America, involving between 20 and 30 million people annually (Jacquemot and Filion, 1987), and maybe as many as 40 million (Roger Tory Peterson, pers. comm. to author, 1989). Bird watching results in substantial economic expenditures, conservatively estimated at over US$20 billion each year in North America (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1982). In addition, many North American birders are now taking trips to faraway places. In Costa Rica, tourism values associated with visits by bird watchers to observe the resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) have led to the creation of local incentives to protect the vanishing cloud forests of Monteverde. Yet contributions to the economy arising from bird watching are often under-rated.
However, the financial benefits derived from nature tourism are only of value to the resources upon which they depend if used — at least in part — to maintain those resources. In the USA, revenue generated by tourism in visits to national parks amounts to about US$3 billion a year. So far, however, the proceeds have gone mainly to hoteliers, restaurateurs, and purveyors of gasoline, fishing gear and T-shirts. But this revenue could benefit the parks if those who currently receive it formed a lobby for the improved protection of the parks. Of course, the same could be said of any country. As pointed out earlier, nature tourism cannot be equated with ecotourism unless it directly produces better protection (Norris, 1992). This is one reason why the Australian government is seeking to ensure that tour operators who profit from the Great Barrier Reef contribute to its maintenance and protection (see Box 5).
Income, however, is only part of the picture (see Box 6.) And no amount of money can protect a park unless it helps resolve root causes of environmental degradation. Most threats to parks arise from the need of local populations to use the parks' natural resources for subsistence purposes. Yet traditional rural activities such as agriculture and hunting may have to be limited or prohibited precisely because of protected area development. One of the challenges facing nature-based tourism then, is to ensure that local communities earn an appropriate share of the profits derived from tourism, while at the same time conserving the natural and cultural heritage upon which these profits depend.
Box 5: Financial value of tourism in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia
It is estimated that in 1988, 900,000 visitor nights were spent at Great Barrier Reef (GBR) resorts and that some 1 million people per annum visited the Reef on tourist boats in the mid-1980s involving 1,200,000 person days. Additionally, 330,000 people made boat trips to view corals and marine life. Domestic visitors to the Reef region still outnumber international visitors, but the economic contribution of foreign tourists to the economy is greater per head than domestic tourists. A domestic tourist spends US$156 per trip compared with US$1,121 for foreign tourists.
For the period 1987–1988, gross income from tourism in this area was estimated at US$200 million, and gross expenditure from private boating (which includes recreational fishing) at US$100 million. Tourism expenditure on mainland areas associated with the GBR was estimated at between US$85 and US$600 million. Thus, taking inflation into account, direct tourism and recreation income/expenditure in the GBR in 1991 probably exceeded US$500 million. Using a multiplier of 2.2 suggests that the direct and indirect economic value of tourism/recreation is over US$1000 million. This can be compared with commercial fishing estimates (updated for inflation) of approximately US$400 million in direct and indirect impacts (Driml, unpublished data, 1988, cited by Craik, 1992b).
While not wishing to restrict tourism development unnecessarily, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority considers its foremost responsibility to be to ensure that the facilities and activities do not lead to unacceptable long-term damage. It therefore makes considerable efforts to assess and manage tourist programmes and facilities. And it expects tourist operators to similarly care for the environment upon which their livelihood depends.
The Australian Government has adopted a "user pays" policy, based on the philosophy that people who benefit from the use of a public good or property, especially for commercial purposes, should contribute to the cost of its management or protection. The application of this policy to the GBR would lead to the tourism industry being asked to contribute to the cost of protecting it. This cost currently amounts to about US$15 million a year. But in considering this issue, the Government has recognized that it retains a responsibility to provide core funds to protect the reef over and above contributions from tourism and other industries.
One "benchmark" option currently being considered would be for the Government to maintain its present core funding via appropriations, with any revenue from application of a "user pays" policy assigned to covering management costs which are continually increasing. Experience has shown that the cost of protecting a natural resource increases at about the same rate as use increases. Use of the reef is likely to continue to increase into the indefinite future.
Source: Adapted from Craik, 1992b.
Potential conflict
It can be argued that tourism is one of the major determinants of the value of protected areas. But the role of tourism in expanding public support for protected areas is a source of much debate. Conflict stems from the desire to both preserve natural settings and to allow people access to them. Some protected areas, with the addition of hotels and other facilities, now appear more focused on their extrinsic than intrinsic values. For many years debate has raged over the level and type of tourism in Yosemite Valley. Many decry the presence of hotels, motels, restaurants, shopping centres on the valley floor. Nevertheless, these same services have made the park accessible and attractive to many who would otherwise have been unable to witness the grandeur of the valley.
In some countries, serious problems of overuse are now being experienced. For example, about 3 million people now visit Spain's national parks every year. Considering that the total area of these parks is about 125,000 hectares, it is not surprising that over-visitation is already a serious problem (Aguilera Orihuel, 1992). Many other protected areas are now experiencing dramatic increases in visitation levels. Yet other protected areas, which currently do not receive many visitors, wish to actively pursue tourism, but are not staffed by people who are trained in tourism management, and do not receive any formal support for tourism from their government, local communities, conservation groups or tourism industry. Thus there is a danger that natural sites will be opened to tourists before management plans have been put in place.
Conflict concerning protected areas and tourism also revolves around the resource protection versus development debate. However, actual conflict usually occurs not within the protected area itself, but between the park and surrounding area. Community growth in areas adjacent to protected areas, in response to tourist demand for services, is often criticized by park managers as being incompatible with park values. Local populations themselves may view development associated with tourism with hostility, since for them at least, tourism is an activity for foreigners, who are seeking to invade their up until now natural areas. Some observers sympathizing with this view have labelled ecotourism, as elitist, racist, anti-democratic and ideologically biased (Machlis and Bacci, 1992).
Box 6: Assessing the costs and Bbenefits of tourism
Costs associated with providing infrastructure, ranger services, interpretative programmes, etc., are fairly easy to determine. But other costs associated with tourism in protected areas are much harder to identify and quantify. These would include the impact of tourists on the protected area resources (e.g. a decrease in the number of animals, followed by a decrease in tourism numbers and revenues), and the net impact on local peoples due to restricted or curtailed access to the protected area for hunting, subsistence food gathering, etc.
It is equally difficult to determine the benefits accruing from a protected area. Fees and concessionaire receipts can be estimated with some accuracy, but not so the value of increased environmental awareness of visitors. Yet the last 20 to 30 years have witnessed the emergence in many countries of economic rationalism as the guiding principle for many government policy decisions. This has resulted in the widespread modelling of public sector management on private sector practices. Public demand for a reappraisal of public investment decisions has also grown. The processes for determining land-use decisions have naturally been influenced by this increased policy emphasis on economic efficiency. The need to justify land decisions in economic terms, or at least know the economic implications of a decision, has therefore led to the application of various economic assessment techniques to nature conservation resources. The most widely used of these is cost-benefit analysis (CBA).
CBA measures the quantifiable benefits and costs of projects over a finite planning horizon (McNeely, 1988). It assesses the economic worth of a project by determining if its benefits exceed its costs, where benefits and costs are defined to include any welfare gain or loss which occurs as a result of the project. Cost is often thought of as an opportunity cost (the benefits forgone by proceeding with a project) and the benefits are measured by the consumer surplus arising from the project (Sugden & Williams 1978 as cited by De Lacey, 1992). (Consumer surplus is the benefit experienced by the consumer over and above what he or she must pay.) CBA is thus one method that can be adopted when attempting to value the economic worth of tourism in protected areas.
De Lacy and Lockwood (1992) have described a number of methods that are used specifically for valuing non-market costs and benefits. The contingent valuation method (CVM) involves creation of a hypothetical market to enable quantification of the community's willingness to pay (WTP) for receipt of specified benefits from a particular resource. The technique was developed by resource economists in an attempt to measure non-market values, specially those associated with public or semi-public goods such as natural areas. In other words, people (e.g. tourists) are asked to place a financial value on an experience or object.
In Australia these techniques have been used on several projects. For example, CVM studies were carried out on users of Fraser Island (in Queensland) as well as on a national sample of non-users to estimate the WTP to preserve forests from logging. These surveys estimated a median payment per year for users of US$316 per capita and for the total Australian population of US$205 per capita. A travel cost for visitors estimated a consumer surplus (see below) of US$3.6 million per annum. In the event, the Queensland State Government decided to terminate logging on Fraser Island and to nominate it for a World Heritage Listing.
Another issue is the "value" of tourism as compared with alternative uses of natural resources. Tobias and Mendelsohn (1990) estimated the value of nature-based tourism in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica, using the travel cost method. (This method estimates demand curves for recreational experience on the basis of how much it costs to get to a site. They found that the net present value of tourism in the reserve was about US$1250 per hectare, as compared with the price of US$30 to US$100 per hectare (cited by Healy, 1992b).
See Appendix VI for several further examples of assessments of the costs and benefits or economic impacts of tourism in protected areas.
Another issue is that of jurisdiction. Although a national park is generally administered by a single management organization and set of policies, surrounding land is often under the control of many public and private sectors and stakeholders. If a park is to be successfully planned and managed, it must be done within a regional context which gives adequate consideration to the different parties involved.
Tourism and protected areas: a symbiotic relationship
Adventure travel and nature-based travel are two of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry. Many people — especially from developed countries — are willing to spend considerable amounts of money and time to get away from what they see as the everyday world. Additionally, more and more domestic travellers are visiting protected areas. Ironically though, the more people seek travel opportunities to unspoiled areas, the greater the pressure on remaining pristine areas. Therefore, both considerable opportunity and need exist for developing a symbiotic relationship between protected area management and tourism.
More than 15 years ago, Budowski (1976) described three different types of relationship that may exist between those promoting nature-based tourism and those advocating nature conservation:
• Tourism and nature conservation come into conflict, particularly if the tourism is detrimental to nature and its resources. Conservationists are likely to oppose such tourism with all kinds of interdictions and restrictions.
• Coexistence is possible, if, for example, neither tourism nor conservation is well developed in the relevant area, or because each is ignorant concerning the other's field. However, such coexistence rarely continues indefinitely, particularly as an increase in tourism is apt to induce substantial changes. This stage may therefore be followed either by a mutually satisfactory — or even enriching — relationship (symbiosis), or by conflict.
• Symbiosis may occur if tourism and conservation are organized in such a way that both derive benefits from the relationship. From the conservationist's point of view this means that natural assets are conserved as far as possible in their original condition, or evolve towards an even more satisfactory condition, while an increasing number of people derive wider benefits from nature and natural resources, be these physical, aesthetic, recreational, scientific or educational. There are economic advantages too. Such mutual support can and should contribute to the realization that conservation of nature can be a useful tool in improving the quality of life.
Unfortunately, the actual interface between tourism and conservation has often been one of coexistence moving towards conflict. This is for several reasons: inadequate management; lack of awareness on the part of both sectors concerning the other's aims and objectives; and the explosive growth of tourism on the one hand and degradation and loss of natural areas on the other. All too often, expansion in nature-based tourism has occurred without sufficient planning.
But this need not be so. A change of attitude on both sides could result in a number of benefits for a country (especially in the developing world). One of the main aims of this book is to show that a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship between those responsible for tourism and those responsible for conservation of the environment can be reached.
Negative tourism impacts

Overcrowding, misuse of natural resources, the construction of buildings and infrastructure, and other activities associated with tourism, produce impacts on the environment. These impacts may be not only physical, but also cultural. In this chapter the most frequent and damaging tourism impacts at local level in regard to protected areas are analysed.
In general, the impacts of tourism vary according to the number and nature of tourists and the characteristics of the site. The individual tourist normally has a relatively small impact. Problems arise, however, if the number of tourists is large or the resource overused. Thus although tourism can be a lucrative source of revenue for a protected area, it can also represent a major management problem. As with most problems, the negative impacts of tourism can only be managed effectively if they have been identified, measured and evaluated. Once this has been done, tailored management responses can be created.
Tourism impacts on protected areas can be broadly classified in two categories: direct and indirect. Direct impact is caused by the presence of tourists, indirect impact by the infrastructure created in connection with tourism activities.
For the purposes of this book, direct tourism impacts on the environment have been classified as follows:
• impacts on geological exposures, minerals and fossils
• impacts on soils
• impacts on water resources
• impacts on vegetation
• impacts on animal life
• impacts on sanitation
• aesthetic impacts on the landscape
• impacts on the cultural environment.
These impacts (which are actually manifestations of change) are dealt with below, one by one. But it should be remembered that the ecological effects of tourism activities rarely occur singly.
Impacts which are likely to occur together, or to follow in sequence, can be predicted to some extent. Sites of more intense recreational activity will be the first parts of an area to be affected, and can be used to forecast changes likely to occur elsewhere in the event of increasing intensity of use or misuse.
For very ample discussions on tourism impacts in natural areas, see Kuss et al. (1990) and Speight (1973).
Impacts on geological properties, rock formations, minerals and fossils
Climbing and caving are the two activities that make most use of rock formations. But apart from minor abrasion of rock faces and the wearing away of surface travertine deposits, their effects appear to be negligible (Speight, 1973).
The collecting of minerals, rocks formations and fossils gives more cause for concern. One of the most dramatic examples of the effect of rock collecting is that of the Petrified Forest National Monument in Arizona. Souvenir hunters have totally stripped various sites of their fossil tree covering. Similarly, frost-net features in the Rocky Mountains National Parkland have been destroyed by visitors who have removed the stones that once outlined the frost polygons (Scott-Williams, 1967). In New Mexico, "rockhounding" has become so popular that the 100 hectare Rockland State Park in New Mexico has been set aside specifically for mineral collecting in order to relieve pressure in other areas (Mitchell, 1967).
In less developed countries, lack of surveillance contributes to fossil depletion. This is the case in the fossil area of San Juan Raya, Puebla, Mexico. Also, at many sites, the eagerness with which cave formations such as stalactites are sought has made the use of elaborate protection devices necessary.

Governments now realize that national parks and protected areas safeguard the natural environment and the cultural heritage of their countries. The Dryandra State Forest Reserve, Western Australia, preserves eucalyptus forests that host the endangered numbat (an endemic marsupial) (25); Portobello World Heritage Site, Panama, protects the remains of Spanish colonial fortifications (26); and Chichén Itzá Archeological Zone (a World Heritage Site) in Yucatán, Mexico, contains magnificent Maya ruins, surrounded by undisturbed deciduous forest (27).
Impacts on soils
Terrestrial and aquatic soils are treated here together, along with beach sands and estuarine muds, cave earths and screes.
Impacts on soils may be of several kinds. Soil removal and relocation is due mainly to the introduction of on-site facilities or site management, and can in effect "sterilize" land by burying its surface under buildings or car parks.
Soil creep, slides and scree movement can occur as a result of walking activity. Soil creep becomes noticeable when it results in terracette formation, which often accompanies the development of hillside contour or oblique paths, as seen in areas used for hiking and pony-trekking. A more dispersed downward movement of topsoil can be caused by visitors when they walk or scramble down a slope. Slopes of volcanoes of recent origin are particularly vulnerable. (Careless scrambling prevents natural vegetational succession). In a dense temperate woodland with an unconsolidated chalk-rubble-soil, unstabilized by ground vegetation, the average rate of downslope movement has been found to increase from 5 cm/year to 30 cm/year as a result of such activity. Use of paths can be sufficient to reactivate screes, that would otherwise be stabilized by ground vegetation.
Soil break-up due to the "powdering" of litter layers usually occurs on paths or tracks, and sometimes also over wider areas such as camp-sites. Disappearance of the soil litter layers due to fragmentation (and subsequent leaching/erosion) is one of the processes that usually occurs during the initial stages of path formation. (Many paths are simply strips of exposed soil.) It was found that the volume of leaf litter on a newly-opened temperate woodland nature trail, used by 8,000 people, decreased by 50% during the course of a single week. Conversely, grass litter increased in depth, reflecting the decline in ground vegetation. It has also been observed that the powder produced by the comminution of woodland leaf litter is dispersed by wind erosion. A similar phenomenon has been observed along trails and near car parks, in a peaty montane soil. Horses' hooves can also break up trail surfaces. Continued loss of soil litter layers is very detrimental to an ecosystem because it decreases nutrient recycling and reduces the populations of those organisms that carry out recycling processes (Kuss et al., 1990).
Soil compaction is caused mainly by trampling. It has been observed on chalk grassland, in caves, along lake shores, and on paths and tracks. It has also occurred as a result of compression — due to trampling — of the surface of frost polygons. Path compaction due to the passage of horses has also been noted (Kuss et al., 1990). Soil compaction is sometimes exacerbated by the passage of vehicles — for example on camping grounds. (Dunes too are vulnerable to the trampling of visitors and the passage of vehicles.) Indeed, most references consulted by Speight (1973) concern "camping" in woodlands. This may be an artifact of the disproportionate interest in campground management on the part of the US Forest Service in particular, but an alternative explanation is that camping is the recreational activity most likely to cause soil compaction and that woodland sites are the most susceptible. (A survey of 137 forest campgrounds in the USA found that 70% of them were suffering from compaction.) The facts are obscured by the use made of the word "camping" in American literature on compaction. "Camping" is used as an umbrella term to refer to anything from the simplest tent to the most complex mobile home.
Compacted soils may not always be reliably identified by eye; compaction recorded for a chalk grassland soil after the passage of 8,000 people was found to have disappeared after two week's respite. Evidently, continuous trampling reduces the ability of the soil to recover, due to the decrease in abundance of active roots.
Consequences of compaction include impeded drainage (which leads to increased run-off and erosion), decreased water and air availability to plant roots and soil organisms (causing alteration in soil organism populations and plant death), and decreased abundance of larger pore spaces (leading in turn to a decline in the populations of larger soil organisms). Present information on soil compaction is not sufficiently precise to allow prediction of damage resulting from given intensities and types of use. But it is known that compacted, puddled and churned-up soil surfaces increase surface run-off.
Puddling of the ground surface of trails used for horse riding can also impede drainage and result in the development of marshy surface conditions. (Puddling leads to "gleying" and other drainage problems and simultaneously destroys plant roots that would otherwise help re-establish vegetation cover.) Additionally, any facility with areas of impenetrable surface, such as roof-tops, hard-topped paths and areas of hard standing, will be susceptible to surface run-off. However, it is only areas of intense recreational activity, such as picnic sites and trails, that appear to be affected by significant changes in run-off and drainage. Texture of ground surface (e.g. covered with vegetation or bare), angle of slope, soil type (sands are less susceptible to drainage changes than finer-grained soils), initial drainage patterns and intensity of use can all influence run-off and drainage changes. Erosion is the most likely consequence of increased run-off.
Soil erosion at picnic sites, on paths and among sand-dunes is often attributed to the impact of recreational activities. But recreational activities are themselves almost never agents of erosion, their effect being only to provide circumstances in which forces of erosion, i.e. wind and water, are more likely to occur. Decrease in ground vegetation and increased soil compaction (which often occur together) are two commonly recorded impacts of recreational activities that can accelerate erosion. Wind erosion is liable to affect peaty or sandy soils, especially when they are dry, but erosion is principally the result of water action. Sand-dune systems are notoriously vulnerable to wind erosion once their vegetation cover has been broken.
In Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park (West Java, Indonesia) soil erosion is particularly conspicuous. It is mainly attributable to the large numbers of visitors per location per period, poor management, lack of appropriate recreational facilities, and lack of visitor awareness concerning nature conservation. Physical factors i.e. high annual rainfall, the steepness and the length of slopes, are also contributory factors. Soil erosion is particularly noticeable on the trails leading to the park's summit and other peaks, and is a result of off-track walking and the large numbers of people who take short cuts, leading to the widening and deepening of existing tracks. Soil compaction around camping sites is, however, insignificant since most of the camp sites have stony soils (Supriadi and Darusman, 1992).
Wind and water may act together as agents of erosion. Soil erosion by water is usually dependent on surface run-off and usually most serious on hill-sides in high rainfall areas. Once eroding surfaces have developed, soil erosion is likely to continue and spread laterally, either until bedrock is exposed, or until the water-table has been reached. The water-table level in effect reduces wind erosion, producing stable dune slacks in dune systems. Gully erosion more or less ceases once the bed-rock has been exposed, unless this is itself susceptible to erosion. If hill soils are thin, gullies usually develop to a shallow depth only.
Since an in-situ soil may take up to 12,000 years to develop, soil erosion can lead to permanent ecological change (Speight, 1973). The eroded material is often redeposited elsewhere. This eroded material can make large outwash fans at the down-slope end of gullies, or become drifting dunes of windblown sand. In either case, deposited material can quickly bury vegetation, producing new areas of bare ground that also erode. Bare ground produced in this way can occupy an area similar in extent to that bared by the original erosion. Bank erosion of rivers, produced by the wash from pleasure craft, particularly high-speed motor boats, has also been recorded, but no quantitative information is available.

Successful management of protected areas calls for the active involvement of park rangers and local people in the ecotourism process, as these examples show: park rangers of the Delta du Saloum National Park, Senegal, provide tips on where to observe birds (28); a ranger at Punta Tombo Nature Reserve, Patagonia, Argentina, explains to tourists that an oil spill is responsible for the death of a Magellanic penguin (29); a park ranger with his hospitable family at Popenguine Faunal Reserve, Senegal (30).
Little is known of the effects of tourism activities on aquatic soils, although it has been suggested that in shallow, slow-moving water the stirring action caused by the passage of pleasure craft (particularly those with propellers) may prevent sedimentation. It is also possible that the mooring of boats in a previously undisturbed area can alter sedimentation patterns by allowing deposition of finer-grained material.
Soil enrichment or eutrophication often occurs as a result of the organic litter, mainly food, left behind by tourists. Faeces and urine from humans, and accompanying dogs or horses, are an additional source of organic waste. (A ratio of one dog to twenty people has been recorded for day visitors to the Peak District National Park in England (Speight, 1973).) An increase in nutrient-demanding ground flora (various grasses) on sites experiencing a high intensity of recreational use has been observed, as well as an increased nutrient status due to the deposit of animal faeces. Recreational activities may also lead to a changed dispersal of soil nutrients, e.g. as a result of the use of fallen timber as fuel wood for camp-fires.
The effects of tourism on soil organisms are not well understood, but are presumably associated with processes such as erosion, compaction and eutrophication. Some of the effects of trampling upon soil arthropods have been observed. Compaction causes species composition to change since it progressively "excludes" larger species. Paths are certainly susceptible to this. In a chalk grassland area it was observed that a decrease in the number of earthworms and in the abundance and diversity of soil arthropods corresponded to increasing intensity of recreational activity. Similarly, an examination of bacterial populations in trampled (compacted) and untrampled woodland soils near Zurich, in Switzerland, established that bacteria in trampled soils were only half as abundant as in untrampled soils (Kuss et al., 1990).
Alpine soils provide additional examples of adverse impacts resulting from unsustainable tourism. In the alpine zone of the Mt Everest region, the continual loss of groundcover and protective A horizons on the thin morainal soils has been linked to the harvesting of juniper shrub species for fuelwood, and to the mining of alpine turf for lodge and wall construction. These processes are in turn exacerbated by soil disturbances caused by grazing cattle. Consequently, the protective monsoon increases in herbaceous groundcover are less in these areas. Alpine regions may thus exhibit substantially higher rates of soil loss than do the much-publicized forests and shrub-grasslands, even though their annual precipitation is lower and less intense (Byers et al., 1992).
Impacts on water resources
The management of tourism impacts on water resources has received comparatively little attention from the scientific community, other than from a public health standpoint. However, land-use planning in relation to water quality and point and non-point sources of pollutants, and to methods of managing eutrophic recreational waters, is frequently mentioned in literature concerning recreation.
Managing water quality involves dealing with water flow, surface storage, and ground water systems. Groundwater systems may serve as municipal, domestic and park water supplies, and, in the case of surface waters, as recreational amenities and resources.
Since water resources recognize no jurisdictional boundaries, national protected area authorities should monitor not only those activities that take place within the protected area, but also those that occur outside it. This is because land uses external to protected area units can seriously degrade the quality of water resources within them, as in the case of logging outside Redwood National Park in the USA.
The capacity of each water resource for serving recreational interests will vary, but generally the greater the number of people using an area at any one time, the greater the risk of a decline in water quality. Some activities are potentially more damaging than others. Use of motorboats in particular can lead to beach and shoreline erosion, dissemination of aquatic weed nuisances, chemical contamination, and turbulence and turbidity in shallow waters (Kuss et al., 1990).
In rivers and streams, flow, dilution and dispersion generally mean that pollution impacts are localized and temporary. They will be more persistent, however, if they are the result of a continuous emission of waste into the upstream reaches outside the protected area or if use of water resources is concentrated, frequent, and combined with inadequate or improperly sited waste disposal facilities.
Oligotrophic waters are especially sensitive to the introduction of human wastes that enrich a very low natural background nutrient load. This is particularly true if waste is continuously rather than intermittently deposited. Impacts may be temporary and seasonally influenced in areas of intense use. Since viable fecal bacteria have been shown to persist in sediments at much higher concentrations than in the water column, areas subject to intense use may present health hazards if the sediments are disturbed or dispersed. Nutrient enrichment and bacterial contamination problems are also common in areas in which construction is permitted, and inholdings developed with cottage, camp, or trailer facilities served by improperly-sited sewage disposal systems.
Proper siting of designated camping areas in terms of soil suitability and distances to water resources are management responsibilities important to water quality management. Periodic sampling of the water composition is recommended in areas receiving high use in the watersheds or on the water. Of particular concern is the rising incidence of Giardiasis and its debilitating effects on humans infected by the disease-causing parasite. This problem is likely to increase due to a high frequency of human carriers attracted to park environments and the ubiquity of animal carriers (Kuss et al., 1990).
Excessive growth of algae is another water management problem and frequently observable in recreational inland waters enriched with sewage effluents. Unfortunately, the most common means of sewage treatment is not sufficient to remove the nutrients that stimulate plant growth. Nutrient-rich discharges into enclosed water bodies can stimulate algal growth to the point where recreational activities are seriously disrupted. Strands of filamentous algae, for example, merge together to form dense floating masses on the water surface, preventing recreational activities such as swimming and boating.
Coastal and marine waters are very susceptible to tourism impacts. The adverse effects of sewage and waste-water disposal from beach hotels are widespread. Many hotels use chemicals (such as chlorine or caustic soda) to disperse the odour of sewage, or to dissolve fats and oils. These chemicals are toxic and harm marine life. Some hotels also discharge chlorinated swimming pool water into the sea.
Of course, impacts on coastal ecosystems are not caused only by tourism activity. There are many other agents, which obviously may affect tourism activities, such as: industrial and agricultural pollution; siltation from eroded uplands; filling to provide sites for industry, housing, airports and farmland; dredging to create, deepen and improve harbours; quarrying; and the excessive cutting of mangroves for fuel.
Certain types of marine and coastal habitats are particularly vulnerable to development pressures. The less visually attractive habitats, such as mangroves and marshes, are often used for resort construction. As visitors inevitably want a view of the sea and easy access to the beach, hotels are often sited too close to the tideline, altering natural sand movement and accretion and frequently causing serious erosion. Airports, as essential as hotels to certain segments of the tourist industry, need large areas of flat land, often in short supply on islands, and so reef flats are reclaimed - the construction work often causing siltation and damage to adjacent reefs. Building materials are in short supply on small islands, and corals provide the easiest and in the short term the most economical source.
Box 7: Impact of tourism vehicles on wildlife in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
A study on the impact of tourism vehicles on three target species (cheetah, leopard and lion) in the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya was carried out in 1990. The responses of the animals towards vehicles and tourists were recorded. These included walking or running away from a vehicle, observation of vehicles, and hiding. Cheetah and lion in the unvisited areas exhibited a "high response" to vehicles, compared to those in visited areas. It was not uncommon for animals in undisturbed (not visited) areas to flee vehicles immediately after having sighted them. No leopards were sighted in the areas not frequented by visitors.
In the case of cheetah, the time allocated to feeding varied greatly between areas visited and areas not visited. In the areas without visitors, feeding activities were mainly carried out in the morning and late hours of the day. For cheetah observed in visited areas, little feeding activity took place during the peak game drive hours, but increased when visitors returned to the lodges for lunch and afternoon rest. Thus peak feeding time was at mid-day. For lions, the time allocated to feeding was very similar no matter what the area, the exception being the early part of the morning and late evening when feeding activity was greater in the areas without visitors. Interference with feeding is of particular concern with regard to cheetah, since they are diurnal hunters. For lions, vehicle interference may not be critical since they are mostly nocturnal hunters.
Vehicles usually congregate around sighted animals. For the cheetah, an increase in the number of vehicles coincided with a decrease in walking activity and vice versa. Lions did not respond greatly to vehicle numbers. Leopards were usually perched in trees, but if on the ground, they immediately walked off into hiding if a vehicle appeared.
In order to obtain a better view for photography, drivers usually vie for position around the animals which can lead to a high degree of encirclement. The angle (arc) of encirclement is a measure of the vehicles surrounding an animal and it varied from 90° to 360°. Generally, results showed that an increase in encirclement leads to increased levels of walking for both cheetah and lion, particularly between 90° and 270°. At less than 270° there was still room for escape, but at 360° escape was extremely difficult.
Most of the animals walked off when they were too closely approached. For the three species studied, distances under five metres appeared to be the most critical. At greater distances the animals did not seem to be greatly disturbed. However, at distances exceeding 21 metres, the cheetah walked off. This was probably vehicle avoidance behaviour.
In conclusion, it is evident that vehicles were interfering with the animals' activities, and their mobility in particular. Restricted movement can also interfere with other activities such as searching for prey, mating and seeking cover. All these factors affect the survival of the three target species. For that reason, the reserve management should seek to prevent encirclement by vehicles, and the habit of approaching the animals too closely. It should also control the number of vehicles present in the reserve at any one time and ensure that vehicles are distributed evenly in the reserve, both in time and space.
Source: Adapted from Muthee, 1992, in Gakahu, 1992b.
Impacts on vegetation
Recreational activities can have an immediate, direct impact on the species composition of vegetation. This is especially true of ground layer vegetation, and particularly as a result of trampling. Almost invariably this involves a decrease in species diversity. Plant-picking and uprooting by plant collectors and casual flower-pickers can also lead to loss of individual species. Generally speaking, damage produced by trampling is greater than that caused by camping.
Passage of tourism vehicles has also been observed to have adverse effects on vegetation. In the Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya, drivers of tourism vehicles often leave designated tracks and criss-cross the grasslands in search of the elusive predators. This has led to localized degradation of the grass and development of multiple tracks. These have in turn destroyed the naturalness of the areas affected. Studies have shown that an increase in vehicle passage resulted in increased loss of vegetation cover on the parallel strips (wheel-tracks) and turning radii loops (Muthee, 1992, in Gakahu, 1992b). In both the wet and dry seasons more damage occurred along the turning radii loops. The passage of tourism vehicles had also affected the species composition of vegetation cover. The following measures have been recommended:
• there should be a strict policy regarding off-road driving, and heavy penalties for those who ignore the regulations
• viewing tracks should be created
• visitors should be encouraged to visit the reserve during the wet season, in order to reduce dry season damage
• visitors should be spread throughout the year in order to reduce congestion in the peak tourist seasons.
Recreational activities can also affect dead (standing or fallen) tree trunks and branches. The most common use of fallen dead wood is as fuelwood for camp-fires. A study of a campsite in the UK, located near a closed-canopy ancient woodland, found that the quantity of small timber had declined significantly. This was noticeable up to 100 metres from the side of the road. Those responsible were probably people camping in tents, rather than people in caravans who seemed less inclined to light camp-fires.
It is important to recognize that the making of trails obliterates ground-covering vegetation, among other things, due to the usual application of inert material on trail surfaces, to avoid washout, muddying and excessive erosion. For that reason, it is wise to reduce to a minimum the number of trails in a protected area, and also to ensure that visitors remain on the trails. Excessive pedestrian traffic which overexposes trailside tree roots should also be avoided.
Use of off-road vehicles should be discouraged in all protected areas, since the damage they cause to ground vegetation is enormous. Extreme caution should also be applied in the lighting up and extinguishing of campfires, in order to avoid burning of the native vegetation. Camping in non-designated areas is more damaging than concentrating this activity in clearly specified sites.
It should be strictly forbidden to build tourism facilities in areas of native vegetation. Only areas that have previously been cleared (for farming, etc.) or that are characterised by heavily disturbed, second growth vegetation should be used as building sites.

Impacts on wildlife and ecosystems
The most extreme effects of tourism on wildlife arise from hunting, shooting and fishing, all of which may severely deplete local populations of certain species. But it is also well established that the mere presence of people can be sufficient to disrupt the activities of wild animals (particularly birds and large mammals) whatever the recreational activity or number of people involved. A survey of the breeding status of the little tern (Sterna albifrons) in Britain provides a number of instances of breeding failure of the species, apparently caused simply by the presence of fishermen and bathers on nesting beaches (Speight, 1973).
In some instances, disturbance may be caused more by the equipment people use in association with recreational activities, than by the people themselves. Noise, for example, produced by portable radios and the engines of motorboats and motor vehicles can be extremely alarming for animals. And various forms of pleasure craft can affect bird life merely by their presence. Motorboats and sailing craft can also disturb waterfowl in deeper water, especially during those periods when some of these birds are flightless. Bird species that build floating nests on inland waters, such as the great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus), are likewise easily affected by motor boats and water-skiers.
Some waterfowl — particularly nesting waterfowl — are agitated by punts, canoes and rowing boats. This is because the latter have a shallow draught and can approach closer to the water's edge. Disturbance of waterfowl may even cause these birds to desert water-bodies that they used to frequent. Tourists taking boat rides in the Celestún area of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico cause much disturbance to the enormous concentrations of flamingoes (Phoenicopterus ruber) that winter here. (Boat operators should maintain a minimum distance of 200 metres between their boats and the flocks (Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1989)). Boating activities may affect fish populations too, particularly as a result of oil spillage or due to noise.
Some bird species are of course much less sensitive to human presence. For example, evidence suggests that breeding success among the red grouse (Lagopus lagopus) and ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) on ski slopes, is not affected by people using the cable cars or walking through the area (Watson, 1970). Similarly, on the Galápagos Islands, tourists walk amidst nesting seabirds to no (apparent) ill effect. However, the blundering of uninformed walkers, picnickers, or fishermen, will disrupt the breeding activities of many bird species and also, for example, of turtles. Such situations may be aggravated if people wear brightly coloured clothing.
Many mammal and bird species will alter their behaviour patterns if disturbance becomes severe. For instance, deer and chamois may avoid areas frequented by people during the day. In general, animals of open habitats are those that are most susceptible to human presence. There are indications that, for some species at least, it is frequency of human presence, rather than the number of people present at any one time, that is the most important factor.
Consumption of wildlife by tourists can be harmful to local populations of that wildlife if not controlled. For instance, demand for sea food by tourists can have a severe impact on local fisheries and threaten wildlife populations within protected areas. Spiny lobster and conch populations are now much reduced in the Caribbean, and consequently luxury foods in many places, consumed in hotels rather than as a staple by local people. Tourism has also been largely responsible for the enormous increase in the marine curio trade. Corals and shells are sold in resorts throughout the world, and often poached from marine parks. Tortoiseshell is still popular, although its sale is illegal in most countries (Thorsell and Wells, 1991).
Other species benefit from tourism activities, but often to the detriment of rarer species. Organic litter left at campsites and picnic areas is "collected" by scavenging species. There are many examples of this, especially in temperate countries. Observed long-term effects of tourist litter include:
• immigration and build-up in rat populations
• local increases in house sparrow populations
• increases in local populations of black-backed, herring and common gulls, jackdaws and foxes in the UK (Teagle, 1966).
Habitat changes and population localization of the brown and grizzly bears attracted by picnic rubbish in US national parks, and migrations of wild boar during the winter into areas of Belgium where they had not previously been seen, due to increased availability of camp-site rubbish have also been observed (Speight, 1973).
But although many animal species are directly affected by outdoor recreational activities, many more are affected indirectly by alterations in their habitat. For instance, if a ground flora is eradicated by trampling, insects dependent upon that ground flora will also disappear. Likewise, if a flooded gravel pit is planted with marsh vegetation for the benefit of wild-fowling interests, not only wildfowl but also a host of other vertebrate and invertebrate species will colonize the habitats that develop, possibly displacing species that formerly inhabited the area.
The environmental impacts of tourism on coral reefs have been well documented, especially in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia (36).
Some ecosystems and habitats are particularly vulnerable to development pressures. This applies especially to marine ecosystems and habitats since these are often the foci of tourism activity. For instance, less visually attractive habitats such as mangroves and marshes, are often drained and used for resort construction. And since visitors generally want a view of the sea and easy access to the beach, hotels tend to be sited close to the tideline. This can result in changes in natural sand movement, and accretion, and lead to serious erosion. Other activities that are often associated with tourism development, such as coast stabilization, causeway construction and mariculture development, can also have severe negative impacts.
The environmental tourism impacts on coral reefs have been particularly well documented (Craik, 1992; Driml, 1987; Kelleher, 1991; Salm and Clark, 1984; Schoorl and Visser, 1991; Woodley, 1992). In general, impacts on coral reefs fall into one of three categories:
• damage to structure
• damage to natural processes
• decline in amenity value.
Structural damage occurs when, for example, reef flats adjacent to coral reefs are used for the construction of landing strips, and results in siltation.
Moreover, on small islands, the building materials for such construction are often in short supply and coral reefs therefore perceived as offering the most readily obtainable and cheapest substitute.
Process damage involves impacts on ecosystems through alteration of some physical, chemical or biological factor. Physical factors generally concern changes to current patterns, levels of silt, or flow of fresh water into the marine environment. Chemical problems may arise due to the downstream effects of pesticide or fertiliser runoff and biological damage can occur when processes that maintain diverse or distinctive communities are disrupted.
The natural qualities of a site provide amenity value for people. Thus overuse of a coral reef site or a change in type of use (e.g. from low-key recreation to mass tourism) can alter its amenity value.
Impacts on coral reefs from tourism activities also include the "on-off" effects from building or installation of structures such as jetties, moorings, marinas, underwater observatories, resorts and their support facilities (such as sewage, power or water supply). In Australia, the impacts that most concern the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) include smothering and reduced light penetration due to increased sediment load, changes in water quality due to increased nutrient levels, physical damage due to the use of machinery and explosives, pollution due to spillage of fuel and oil, and changes in amenity value (for both local communities and visitors). Thus the monitoring of tourism impacts in the GBRMP is primarily concerned with unintended biophysical and social effects (Woodley, 1992).
Box 8: Environmental impact of tourism on protected areas in Bahia, Brazil
Tourism is believed to be the fourth largest single source of income in Brazil and the third in the state of Bahia (north-east Brazil). It is estimated that tourism revenue amounts to approximately US$90 million per annum, and provides jobs for about 15,000 people. Protected areas are among the most attractive sites in Bahia but they have been suffering increasing levels of environmental damage due to increasing numbers of visitors. And as the state's environmental legislation does not fully tackle the issue of conservation of protected areas, over-use of sites is occurring. Thus the benefits that tourism brings in terms of income are negated by the environmental damage resulting from over-visitation.
In 1990, the depletion of certain animal populations had risen by 12%, compared to 1985 figures — mostly a consequence of the trade in animal skins. (Many of the skins were from animals in protected areas). In addition, some species found in protected areas are sought by visitors as "exotic" meals. Hunting is a popular activity in the state and commonly occurs in protected areas, despite being illegal. A source of income for local inhabitants, it is stimulated by the great demand of tourists for skins of rare species. Since Bahia is a very large state, effective monitoring and surveillance of hunting are difficult. To make matters worse, no effective means exist for either registering or retrieving information on the numbers of illegal skins that are confiscated. Moreover, the price for which animal skins can be sold is high when compared to local wages.
But it is not only animals that suffer from the pressure of trade. The depletion of populations of some protected plant species is also increasing — a result of the ready access to preserved sites. In protected areas, personal vehicles loaded with flowers and ornamental plants are a common sight. It is widely known that many orchid species found in Diamantina National Park are traded. Founded in 1985 by a presidential decree, but without prior consultation with the local communities, the park came to be seen as an attempt to restrict use of the region's natural resources. Before the park was formally designated, inhabitants from various parts of the state of Bahia visited the area and collected as many plants as they could. Orchids were particularly affected, since a considerable number of specimens were removed all at once.
Suggested actions to reduce the negative impacts of tourism in Bahia include:
• Training staff of the federal agency IBAMA (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováreis), especially conservation officers, to enable them to record their findings properly and to instruct the public in general, and tourist guides in particular, on how to reduce human impacts on protected area.
• Legally prosecuting those who ignore legislation and regulations concerning natural resources.
• Encouraging local people to switch from hunting to ecotourism and handicraft activities, as their main source of income.
• Raising awareness — through formal and informal teaching, and use of the media — of local people and visitors of the consequences of purchasing skins and other animal products as souvenirs, and thereby motivating them to change their behaviour.
Such strategies could be introduced not only in Bahia, but throughout Brazil to help ensure the continued existence of the flora and fauna of the country's protected areas.
Source: Adapted from Leal Filho, 1992
Not surprisingly, available information suggests that increasing intensity of recreational use of natural areas exerts its most profound effects on microhabitats, by causing a progressive simplification of vegetation, ground surface and soil structure. In other words, a proportion of the existing habitats is lost but not replaced by new habitats. This in turn leads to an overall decrease in species diversity in all trophic groups, in all parts of the ecosystem affected. Species associated with ephemeral habitats, such as bare ground, can be expected to maintain their numbers or even increase in abundance at the expense of species associated with more stable ecosystem conditions such as forest or woodland.
Some ecosystem components are more vulnerable to this simplifying process than others; ground vegetation, rotten wood and soil litter layers are affected the most severely of all. Camping, walking, and picnicking activities cause the most harm. Alterations in the composition of soil faunas may have far-reaching effects on soil type and soil process since they have considerable influence on the flow of organic materials and minerals.
Impacts on sanitation systems
The litter and human waste left behind by tourists create a sanitation problem in many protected areas, which can affect local populations.

Fig. 5: Ecological impacts of tourism.
Source: Adapted from Kuss et al., 1990).
Garbage seriously affects the sanitation aspects of natural bodies of water (both surface and subterranean), as well as soil, vegetation, cultivation, and the air we breathe.
It is important to separate organic from inorganic waste. Organic waste may be processed and turned into compost (an excellent fertilizer for parks and gardens). As regards inorganic waste, it is important to warn tourists against throwing away film and cigarette wrappings, beer cans, plastic cups and other containers, etc. (in some parks it is customary to provide visitors with small litter bags, but these should be made of paper, not plastic). The use of returnable bottles and other containers should be universally encouraged, by means of a deposit fee to be recovered when returning the item.
There is no completely safe method of waste disposal. All forms of disposal have negative impacts on the environment, public health, and local economies. Landfills frequently contaminate drinking water. Garbage burned in incinerators has poisoned air, soil, and water. Many water and wastewater treatment systems change the local ecology. Most attempts to control or manage wastes after they are produced fail to eliminate environmental impacts.
The only way to truly avoid environmental harm from waste is to prevent its generation. Pollution prevention means changing the way activities are conducted and eliminating the source of the problem. It does not mean doing without, but doing differently. Preventing waste pollution from litter caused by disposable beverage containers does not mean doing without beverages; it just means using refillable bottles.
Water from conventional treatment systems is usually disinfected with chlorine or chlorine compounds before being released back into the environment or reused. A side effect of this is that the chlorine or chlorine compounds are very reactive and sometimes produce highly persistent, toxic chemicals. Many environmentalists believe that there is no justification for use of chlorine for disinfection, and that other disinfectants should be used. The purpose of disinfection is to ensure that no virulent organisms are present after the water has been processed. Some alternative disinfectants are ozone and ultraviolet light. (National Park Service, 1993).
Waste prevention leads to thinking about materials in terms of reduce, reuse and recycle. The best way to prevent pollution is not to use materials that become waste problems. When such materials must be used, they should be reused on site. Materials that cannot be directly reused should be recycled.
All people associated with a tourist facility must change their habits and adopt a more responsible attitude towards sanitation. This includes the ownership and management of the facility, as well as the designers, contractors, employees, and visitors.
Box 9: The impacts of tourism in Antarctica
People have been visiting Antarctica for over 100 years but prior to the 1950s they were nearly all members of exploratory and/or scientific expeditions, and usually the beneficiaries of government sponsorship. Since then, more and more tourists have been travelling to Antarctica by sea and air. In 1969, Eric Lars Lindblad began using the M/V Lindblad Explorer, a custom-built 2,500-ton, reinforced, 100-passenger vessel, for Antarctic cruises. Currently, tourism in Antarctica involves over ten agencies, more than 30 cruises a year, and 5,000 tourists per annum.
Tourism is having an impact on the Antarctic environment as a result of the transportation it depends upon, the infrastructure it requires on land, and the activities of the tourists themselves. (However, many other activities, notably research, have had similar, and often more severe and prolonged impacts, and it is often difficult to distinguish these from those caused by tourism.)
• Transport. Tourist ships in Antarctica produce turbulence and noise. Most also emit sewage, "grey" water, and garbage. Some have even spilled oil when transferring fuel, or after having been wrecked. In 1989, an Argentine supply ship ran aground, spilling around 600 metric tons of diesel fuel and harming wildlife.
There are still no international regulations governing the types of ships that are permitted to visit Antarctica, the number of passengers and crew they may carry, the level of navigation training required for ship crews, and the type of ice protection that ship hulls must have (Slater and Basch, 1991). However, some tour operators now use more appropriate ships than formerly and are seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. For example, the hull of Salen-Lindblad's 164-passenger Frontier Spirit has been reinforced. The ship also now contains a sewage treatment plant, a refrigerated waste storage area, and special storage areas for non-biodegradable waste.
The use of airplanes and helicopters, partly for tourism, has resulted in noise and air pollution, necessitated runway construction, and led to scattering of debris.
• Infrastructure. Few facilities have been built in Antarctica exclusively for tourism, but some facilities built for other purposes, notably scientific research, are used by tourists. This stimulates demand for such facilities and, ultimately, the impacts they have. At Marsh Base there is now a hotel that accommodates around 80 people. There is also a souvenir store, and other facilities used partly by tourists, such as a post office. At several bases there are marked trails for tourists to follow. At Deception Island, small hollows have been made in the gravel beach so that thermal waters accumulate sufficiently for tourists to be able to bathe in them.
• Tourist activities. The impact of tourism activities depends on their degree of intensity and the extent to which they are managed. On King George Island, sensitivity of tourists and station personnel toward wildlife varies considerably —from deliberate antagonism on the one hand, to efforts to minimize disturbance on the other. Yet much impact on wildlife is simply due to ignorance of animal behaviour (for example, species sensitivity, tolerance to approaches) (Harris, 1991). But a booklet entitled Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic has now been issued under the Antarctic Treaty and can be expected to help reduce some of these negative impacts.
• Other impacts. Concern has been expressed about the introduction of diseases to Antarctica as a result of human activities. For example, Nicholson (1990) has warned that the introduction of Newcastle disease, which is spread through infected poultry products, could be devastating for Antarctica's avian population.
Research into tourist impacts in Antarctica is just beginning. There are no previous or ongoing studies that allow researchers and managers to distinguish between natural variability in Antarctic animal populations and variability induced by tourism-related activities. Relatively long-term studies should be initiated to critically assess the effects of large tourist groups on Antarctic animal communities. They should compare coincident ecosystem variability at sites being visited by tourists with control sites from which tourists are being excluded.
However, although tourism is inflicting some detrimental impacts on Antarctica, it has promoted conservation efforts in the region. Lindblad believes that when managed properly, tourism can even save wildlife. Many of Lindblad's US passengers have apparently written to and put pressure on their congressmen to support the mineral rights issue
Under the Antarctic Treaty, member states have agreed to various general and specific guidelines for tourism. Indeed, IUCN's Strategy for Antarctic Conservation, advocates that the Antarctic Treaty and associated Recommendations should be modified so as to include more detailed guidelines on tourism in Antarctica.
It has also been recommended that countries with bases in Antarctica should publish policies, plans, and appropriate management practices for the conduct of tourism at these bases. Antarctic tourist orientation centres, similar to the one already operating in New Zealand, could be developed in Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, and included in tours to Antarctica.
Source: Adapted mainly from Marsh, 1992
The following waste prevention strategies should be generally applied:
• Use products that minimize waste and are nontoxic
• Compost or anaerobically digest biodegradable wastes
• Reuse materials on site or collect suitable materials for offsite recycling
• Ideally, nothing should be brought into an ecotourism development that is not either durable, biodegradable, or recyclable
• Materials should be purchased locally whenever possible (locally produced goods need less transport and less storage and should have less packaging waste)
• Efficient recycling requires sorting of materials; convenient bins should be provided at the facility for the materials being recycled
In the Khumbu region of Nepal, the slower decomposition rates of human wastes at high altitude pose a special problem. Toilet paper littering continues, and water contamination is widespread. For the past 20 years, the burying of individual waste in "cat-holes" has been encouraged internationally as an appropriate and preferred backcountry practice. But this has resulted in the creation of "moonscapes" in the vicinity of the more popular camping sites (Byers, 1992).
Aesthetic impacts on the landscape
Irresponsible and/or uncontrolled tourism activity can have serious negative aesthetic impacts on the landscape that will undoubtedly mar the experience of the nature-loving tourist. The most common of these impacts are due to litter, particularly along roads or trails. In Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park in Indonesia, bottles, tin cans, paper and plastic bags, and excess food — all dropped by careless tourists — endanger the park's wildlife, and detract from the enjoyment of other, more thoughtful visitors (Supriadi and Darusman, 1992).
Littering is even worse in the Khumbu area of Nepal. In fact, Khumbu has long been cited as a representative model of contemporary landscape and environmental degradation in the High Himalaya. The trek from the Lukla airstrip to the Mt. Everest base camp has long been referred to as the "garbage" or "toilet paper" trail because of the quantities of refuse generated by trekking groups and individuals. But the canned goods packed in by expedition porters are perhaps of even greater concern than paper refuse. Empty tins are frequently deposited in makeshift dumps near villages and at lower altitude campsites. Additionally, above base camp, at the South Col, some 500 empty oxygen bottles have been dumped since the 1963 American Everest expedition (Byers et al., 1992).
Vandalism is another serious problem in many parks around the world. It occurs in many forms, including the painting of graffiti on boulders along nature trails, the cutting of tree bark, and destruction of fences and other physical facilities.
Other aesthetic issues dealing with inappropriate physical infrastructure, including road and trail design are dealt with in Chapter 7.
Two examples of vandalism by tourists in protected areas: cutting the bark of trees in Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia (37); and painting graffiti on boulders in Cascada de Basaseáchic National Park, Mexico (38).
Taking into account the impact on cultural features is vital in an area such as the Arán Valley in the eastern Pyrenees of Spain, where magnificent mountain scenery alternates with charming old villages and their Romanesque churches (39).
Impacts on the cultural environment
Many archaeological sites are found in protected natural areas. Indeed, on many occasions, it is the presence of a prehistoric or historic site that has led to designation of a protected area. And the site is often complemented by a natural ecosystem of interest. In other instances (particularly in Europe), the site is surrounded by intensively farmed land but possesses plant and animal species rare or absent elsewhere in the country. This is the case for the neolithic mound of Silbury Hill in Wiltshire, England (Speight, 1973). Many prehistoric sites are also of palaeoecological interest because of their ability to provide information concerning faunal and floral changes that occurred during the post-glacial, soil-forming eras. They also enable historians to describe the various land uses that were applied by early humankind.
Thus, disturbance of any archaeological site, particularly if soil erosion is involved, can result in the loss of irreplaceable information. Disturbance caused by amateur "pleasure" excavators, and collectors of exposed archaeological artifacts especially, is of growing concern. In the USA, specimen collecting on Indian sites has led to the recommendation that collection of artifacts should be prohibited, unless undertaken by specialized research personnel. Use of metal detectors for locating buried metal objects on archaeological sites is a further threat, and one that is already acute in some English counties (Speight, 1973).
Understandably, larger earthworks and other features such as cave-paintings act as foci of tourism activity. But unless well controlled, such activity can cause many problems. The "maladie verte" of the Lascaux cave-paintings in France is a good example. Within ten years of their being opened to public viewing in 1948, the caves were attracting 125,000 visitors a year. But the paintings quickly became obscured by an algal growth which thrived on the higher humidity, light and proteinaceous residues brought in by visitors. The principal protein source, on account of its pollen and bacterial content, was apparently human breath. The caves have been closed to the public since 1963, and will remain so until an acceptable method of preventing the algal growth has been found.
Likewise, in southern England, intense tourism activity at various earthworks has led to localized erosion. At one site, the banks of a Bronze Age earthwork have been exposed to trampling for many years. A number of paths have appeared across the banks, at least two of which have been eroded down to the level of the surrounding ground surface. Another path has developed along the entire length of the spine on the main bank. The banks are disfigured in consequence, and although infilling of the gaps has been attempted, this cannot make good the decrease in the archaeological value of the site (Speight, 1973). Elsewhere, damage arising from tourism is even more serious since, unlike some ecological damage, no amount of financial or technical resources can buy or make good the loss. This applies above all to cultural substance and identity.
As Greenwood (cited in Kutay, 1989) points out, all viable societies create traditions, accept elements from outside, invent rituals, and are constantly in the process of reinventing themselves, for both sacred and secular purposes. Tourism as an agent of change and development can have a major impact on this process. Some societies, such as the Maasai of Africa, reject tourism influences, while others, such as the Sherpa, attempt to embrace them within the confines of their own traditions. (One of the best documented instances of the cultural impacts of tourism on an indigenous people within a protected area, is that of the Sagarmatha National Park on the Sherpas (Stevens and Sherpa, 1992).) Still others will abandon their cultural roots altogether in the face of the changes that tourism brings.
Yet whatever the approach adopted by societies, the international culture that is becoming universal, due to such influences as television and multinational corporations, is spreading inexorably. Tourism is aiding and abetting its penetration into previously remote and isolated places. Whether this would happen anyway is a moot point (Wood, 1991). What is clear, is that cultures that are economically vulnerable and politically subordinated are those most at risk from cultural changes instigated or wrought by tourism.






Government policy in relation to tourism and protected areas

The importance of nature-based tourism is not lost on national governments. They are fully aware that it can bring numerous socio-economic benefits to a country or locality, by generating foreign exchange, creating local employment and raising environmental awareness. But a surprising number of countries are neither fully exploiting this potential nor managing current nature-based tourism effectively. This is evident from the low priority generally assigned to tourism planning and coordination. It is also evident from the fact that many protected areas are deteriorating rapidly as a result of over-visitation and insufficient investment in protected area management.
A general failure to acknowledge the importance of tourism and environment, and lack of coordination and cooperation between those responsible for these areas, are much to blame. Thus although the tourism industry is often represented at ministerial level, its interests are frequently not fully integrated with those of the various ministries, or are considered much less important. The same applies to the environment. A minister with responsibility for the environment often has to deal with ministers who represent supposedly more important defence or industry interests. In such situations, the environment usually loses out. The environment may not even have a spokesperson of its own.
Ideally of course, every country should have either a ministry whose responsibility it is to protect the environment, or a strong bias in favour of environmental conservation running through every department. In reality, responsibility for environmental issues is often shared by a number of different bodies. In the USA, for example, four agencies with separate mandates representing two departments manage protected wilderness areas (the US Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management from the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture). Moreover, until recently, the USA did not have a unified tourism policy, but allowed individual departments or agencies to manage as they saw fit.
If tourism is to become sustainable however, efforts must be made to improve the links between nature conservation, local community development, and the tourist industry. One way in which this could be achieved is through an integrated and regional approach to planning.
Planning
At the end of World War II, national planning strategies, previously applied only in countries with socialist governments, began to spread to many capitalist economies and to have special relevance in developing countries. The application of planning techniques expanded notably in the economic field. This was a result of the growing awareness that the rhythm of economic growth by itself is usually not sufficient to meet the needs of ever-expanding populations. In other words, planning was and is seen as a technique for modifying reality (García Villa, 1984).

Fig. 6: Components of a tourism plan.
Source: Inskeep, 1991.
The two main objectives of a national plan are: to express in quantitative terms the model of the country to which society aspires and to give coherence to the different sectoral plans (e.g. agriculture, education, housing, tourism). A national overall development plan should therefore encompass the activities of the different sectors and provide a general framework for the country's harmonious development.
Within a national plan, the national tourism plan should define a general methodological framework, the macro-economic parameters within which tourism will develop, sectoral policy guidelines, and goals that public investment must attain in this sector. The overall development plan of a country should recognize that tourism can play an important role in national development, especially at the regional (sub-country) level, due to its ability to generate employment and foreign exchange, and on account of the opportunities it provides for the recreation and education of the domestic population.
For example, the National Development Plan (NDP) of the Mexican Government for the period 1989–1994 considers the need to "modernize" tourism in relation to the "National Agreement for Economical Recovery and Stability of Prices" (which is one of the seven main chapters of the NDP) (Poder Ejecutivo Federal, 1989). The plan states that, in order to generate more employment and foreign exchange, and to compete more efficiently in the world market, tourism services must be modernized and the tourism infrastructure fostered. It also asserts that the tourism sector must contribute to national economic development, and that the advancement of a "touristic culture" is required, so that all Mexican citizens are aware of the importance of the tourism activity for the country. To attain these goals, specific strategies are being implemented. For example, immigration and customs formalities have been relaxed to promote more foreign tourism. But at the same time domestic tourism is being promoted so that the impacts of foreign tourism seasonality are minimized. More generally, ties between tourism and other sectors of the economy, including private enterprise, are being strengthened and public trust funds created to promote development and investment in tourism (Poder Ejecutivo Federal, 1989).


National, regional and local tourism plans
Once a government has made the decision to develop its country's tourism, a basic planning process should be adopted that includes at least the following seven steps:
• study preparation
• determination of objectives
• survey
• analysis and synthesis
• policy and plan formulation
• recommendations
• implementation and monitoring.
These steps are outlined below. (Much of the information has been taken from Ceballos-Lascuráin (1986), García Villa, (1984), and McIntyre and Hetherington (1991).) They include reference to those elements that must be taken into account if tourism is to be sustainable in the long term. As the 20th Century draws to a close, all tourism planning should refer to sustainable tourism.
1. Study preparation. The government first needs to specify exactly what it wants studied, usually through the ministry or department of tourism, if either exists, or through the national planning agency. It is not uncommon for government officials to have only a nebulous idea that they want to "study tourism" without a realistic grasp of what this should entail. Therefore, in many countries it is standard practice for the government to invite a tourism specialist (frequently from a foreign country with tourism expertise) to visit the country, assess the specific types of planning needed, and assist with preparation of precise terms of reference for the study.
A multidisciplinary team approach is necessary for such a study. The team members for a national (or regional) tourism planning project should include: a tourism development planner, tourism marketing specialist, tourism manpower and training specialist, transportation planner, economist, sociologist or anthropologist, ecologist, and specialists in wildlife conservation and park and recreation planning. For tourist facility studies, team members usually include an architect, landscape architect, regional planner, and several engineers. Certain planning studies may need other team members, such as specialists in coastal processes, marine tourism, historic building preservation, museum design, tourism legislation, or tourist facility standards. For international projects, local counterparts usually work with the study team.
2. Determination of objectives. The study team determines the preliminary objectives for tourism development, on the understanding that those objectives may need to be modified later, based on the results of the analysis and plan formulation. Establishing objectives, in consultation with the government, is basic to plan formulation. Tourism objectives should reflect the government's general development policy and strategy. Objectives should be broken up into different categories or hierarchies (basic, intermediate, short-, medium- or long-term) and should be closely linked to the general economy of the country. Among the general objectives that a national tourism plan might include are: attaining a certain level of sectoral growth; improvement of employment conditions; maintenance of an appropriate foreign balance of payments; balanced regional development; conservation of the natural and cultural heritage as sustainable tourism resources, and the promotion of areas with high tourism potential.
3. Survey. Inventory and evaluation of the various existing and potential tourist attractions are central to this stage. The study team should seek attractions that are unique to an area and that reflect its inherent natural and cultural character. The study team should list the attractions by category and evaluate them systematically, clearly identifying the primary attraction. The evaluation must link the attractions selected to potential tourist markets. The inventory and evaluation of attractions will also help the planners to determine which regions are most suitable for tourism development.
4. Analysis and synthesis. The analysis should include present tourism development (if any), its historical background, the main obstacles to its further development, prospects, and potential for further development. It should also describe: the general characteristics of the tourism sector, its legal and regulatory aspects, and the financing and tax-incentives available to it. Policies and measures taken to protect the cultural and natural heritage of the nation, and any related infrastructure, should be analysed. Other issues that should be covered include: the direct and indirect effects of the tourism sector on the GNP, balance of foreign payments, employment, natural environment, industry, preservation of cultural traits, etc.
Analysis of tourist markets based on the market survey of the characteristics of current tourists (if some tourism already exists), distance and cost of travel from the market countries, and the relative attributes of competing destinations, is also important. A common technique is to establish market targets that specify the number and types of tourists that the country will be able to attract if the government takes the recommended actions for development and promotion. Based on the projection of tourists, the planners can forecast accommodation needs and requirements concerning other tourist facilities and services, transportation, manpower, and probable economic impact. (See also "Marketing", in Chapter 7.)
The analysis should also indicate means of integrating tourism with the development policies and strategies of other sectors, such as transportation. The analysis must therefore take into account demographic, economic, sociocultural, environmental, land use, and land tenure patterns, as they affect and will be affected by tourism.
At this point, the planners should synthesize the many elements of their survey and analysis to provide a coherent basis on which to formulate the plan. The study team should also summarize the major opportunities and constraints to developing tourism.
5. Policy and plan formulation. Formulating tourism development policies and a structural plan requires consideration of all the elements surveyed and analysed by the study team. The team should prepare alternative policies and outline plans, and evaluate how well each fulfils the tourism objectives, optimizes economic benefits, minimizes environmental and sociocultural impacts, and accords with the country's overall development policy. Then with the participation of the government, the team can determine the final policies and plan.
National tourism plans often include policies for:
• the development of tourism infrastructure
• training of human resources
• development of transportation for tourism
• coordination with other sectors
• setting up of councils
• tax incentives, subsidies and other fiscal stimuli, credit support
• creation of regional and local programmes
and guidelines for:
• promotion and marketing
• minimizing environmental impacts.
The policies and plan may need to be modified after implementation. For example, if it is discovered that a large number of tourism arrivals will generate unacceptable levels of environmental and social impacts, the market target will need to be reduced.
6. Recommendations. The outline plan that is finally selected should indicate the major tourist attractions, designated tourism regions or development areas, transportation access and internal linkages, tour routes, and the design and facility standards that the country should apply to any tourism development. The team should consider implementation techniques throughout the planning process and specify them in the recommendations. The techniques include staging of development, a project programme (usually for a five-year period), zoning regulations, and possibly conceptual land use plans for resorts and attractions to guide future development patterns, hotel and other tourist facility regulations (for example, a hotel classification system), and prototype tour programmes.
Box 10: The governmental role in promoting sustainable tourism
GLOBE '90 was a major international conference and trade fair on environment and sustainable development held in Vancouver, Canada, in March 1990, and from which an action strategy for sustainable tourism development emerged. The following list of actions that governments should carry out for promoting and implementing sustainable tourism development were among the recommendations made at the Conference.
1. Ensure that all government departments involved in tourism are briefed on the concept of sustainable development. The respective Ministers (e.g. Environment, Natural Resources) should collaborate to achieve sustainable tourism development.
2. Ensure that national and local tourism development agreements stress a policy of sustainable tourism development.
3. Include tourism in land-use planning.
4. Undertake area and sector-specific research into the environmental, cultural and economic effects of tourism.
5. Support the development of economic models for tourism to help define appropriate levels and types of tourism for natural and urban areas.
6. Assist and support lower levels of governments in developing tourism strategies and conservation strategies and in integrating the two.
7. Develop standards and regulations for environmental and cultural impact assessments, and monitoring of existing and proposed tourism developments, and ensure that carrying capacities defined for tourism destinations reflect sustainable levels of development and are monitored and adjusted appropriately.
8. Apply sectoral and/or regional environmental accounting systems to the tourism industry.
9. Create tourism advisory boards that involve all stakeholders (the public, indigenous populations, industry, NGOs, etc.), and design and implement public consultation techniques and processes to involve all stakeholders in tourism-related decisions.
10. Ensure that tourism interests are represented at major caucus planning meetings that affect the environment and the economy.
11. Design and implement educational and awareness programmes to sensitize people to sustainable tourism development issues.
12. Develop design and construction standards to ensure that tourism development projects do not disrupt local culture and natural environments.
13. Enforce regulations relating to illegal trade in historic objects and crafts; unofficial archaeological research and desecration of sacred sites.
14. Regulate and control tourism in environmentally and culturally sensitive areas.
Source: Adapted from GLOBE '90, Canada.
The study team should also make specific recommendations concerning means of enhancing economic benefits, the tourist promotion programme (usually for a three- to five-year period), the education and training programme (which may necessitate establishing a hotel and tourism training school), environmental and sociocultural impact controls, government incentives for private sector investment in tourist facilities, organizational structures, and legislation.
7. Implementation and monitoring. Prior to full implementation, the policies and plan should be carefully reviewed and ratified legally. Relevant legislation and regulations should likewise be adopted.
It is common for the government to set up a statutory board to handle various aspects of implementation such as promotion. A public development corporation is sometimes appointed to implement physical development projects, as has been the case with FONATUR in Mexico). Coordination of implementation among all the entities concerned demands strong leadership.
No plan is infallible, so continuous monitoring should be undertaken to detect problems as they arise and to facilitate remedial action. Monitoring will also reveal any changes in market trends that will necessitate modification of development and promotion programmes. And as with any type of planning, a periodic formal review of the tourism policies and plan is necessary. The government tourism agency will probably be responsible for implementation but, because of the multisectoral nature of tourism, the involvement of various government departments and the private sector will be necessary.
Box 11: WWF ecotourism recommendations for tourism boards and other government institutions
1. Tourism Ministry/Board of Tourism
• include aspects of ecotourism in national tourism policy
• carry out marketing programme for ecotourism, including product identification, inventory of ecotourism attractions, and visitor surveys to determine demand
• design mechanisms, with the national park service, for collecting entrance fees
• modify legislation pertaining to tourism laws to include environmental protection clauses for natural areas
• develop mechanisms to record statistical information about ecotourists
• work with private sector and international funding agencies to develop adequate tourism infrastructure at each site, not only to accommodate tourists but also to provide opportunities for tourists to spend money
• create natural resource and tourism management training programmes with the park service and tour operators, for park personnel and tour guides
• develop mechanisms to channel a percentage of tourism revenue back into maintenance and protection of the park or protected area
• monitor the quality of nature-based tourism services and facilities.
2. Ministry of Planning/Public Works
• identify role of ecotourism in national economic development plan
• ensure that environmental impact studies are part of any development projects that deal with natural areas.
3. Ministry of Environment/Agriculture/Forestry
• for any national protected area system plan, identify wildland units where nature tourism will be developed and areas where it should be prohibited
• modify legislation concerning protected areas to include ecotourism requirements
• ensure that environmental impact and carrying capacity studies are undertaken for all nature-based tourism sites
• create management plans for each protected area, highlighting tourism needs for those with substantial visitation
• provide adequate park personnel to maintain parks and reserves and to control tourists
• cooperate with the Ministry of Education to provide environmental education at park sites and schools.
4. Ministry of Budget and Finance
• increase the budgets for those protected areas that are attracting tourists, so that additional management tasks can be carried out and additional tourist facilities provided
• develop self-financing mechanisms for parks and reserves based on tourism revenues
• participate in revision of the entrance fee collection scheme.
5. Ministry of Education
• participate in creation of a guide training programme
• give high priority to environmental education in general education curriculum
• participate and/or fund the design and distribution of environmental education materials in schools and parks.
Source: Adapted from Boo, 1990.
The degree of planning centralization must also be considered. This will depend mostly on the size of the country and the management resources available. Thus for smaller countries, or countries with limited finances, it may be more economical and practical to centralize the planning process at the national level. Bigger and richer countries can draw up sub-national planning strategies, with the back-up of a national coordinating mechanism.
National ecotourism policy and planning
Tourism development models have traditionally been spatial and economic. And most have failed to consider environmental and social issues until well after the economic issues have been dealt with. This is one reason why tourism has led to distortion of work patterns, seasonal unemployment, income discrepancies and degradation of local natural resources (Lawrence, 1992).
Yet as much recent research literature suggests, economic and environmental goals should be seen not as independent of one another, but as interdependent, and planned jointly. Thus once a government at any level has decided to promote tourism development, there are various steps that it should incorporate in its planning process to ensure that tourism is sustainable.

The carrying capacity of nature trails is a particularly important factor, and has biophysical, socio-cultural, psychological and managerial aspects. Three examples of nature trails from different protected areas: Doñana National Park, Spain (43); Penguin Island, Western Australia (44); and Néa Kaméni, a volcanic islet off the Greek island of Thera in the Aegean Sea (45).
The role of government in establishing tourism plans has been discussed earlier on in this chapter. However, it cannot be stressed enough that collaboration between officials from the national tourism bureau (or other body), the protected areas/parks service, and treasury is particularly important if the policies and structures that will enable successful ecotourism development are to be put in place. For example, a minister of tourism may pass a law that all international tour operators must employ local tour guides on their trips. Or the director of the parks service may decide that all tour operators who visit parks must give 3% of their profits to the park system and then institute a system to collect entrance fees at park sites. Finally, a national government can pass legislation that permits local residents to retain some of the financial benefits of ecotourism. But each of these individual decisions requires the active support of other sectors if it is to produce results (Boo, 1992b).
An example of this need for collaboration is provided by Kenya. Gakahu (1992b) has pointed out that in this country, tourists generally visit several parks as part of a single itinerary or package. Yet road networks are often inadequate or non-existent, which prevents the development of linkages between protected areas and the sharing of tourists. What is needed is a continuous flow of visitors between the available destinations. To achieve this, the authorities responsible for tourism, roads and public finance must work together to create the conditions in which this would be possible. In such situations cooperative leadership, or at least a common forum, is essential. But there are many players who should be involved in ecotourism planning. Some of these are described below.
Protected area personnel: Since parks and reserves are ecotourism's primary "commodity", protected area personnel should play a central role in ecotourism development and management. Protected area personnel are usually the primary information resources concerning the flora and fauna in their areas. They also are the day-to-day caretakers of these natural resources and have the most responsibility for their immediate conservation.
Local communities: Communities living around or in close proximity to protected areas are frequently overlooked in tourism development and management. Sometimes this is because they are scattered and isolated making communication difficult. At other times developers wish to avoid taking the time and effort to inform local communities of specific tourism development plans, or seek to marginalize them so as to deprive them of anticipated economic benefits. However, the needs of local communities should be taken fully into account, particularly since they are often dependent on the natural resources that attract tourists to an area. The planning process should initiate the development of mechanisms that ensure that local communities receive a share of the benefits of tourism development. But most especially, local communities should be consulted on what level of tourism development they consider is appropriate — both in their immediate environment and in the country as a whole. If their involvement is not sought, ecotourism will certainly not be possible.

Involvement of local people in tourism activities in or near protected areas: Tarascan women cook and offer typical food to tourists at a roadside café on the island of Janitzio, in Lake Pátzcuaro, Mexico (46); sherpas guide tourists in Chitwan National Park, Nepal (47); and a villager of Tepoztlan, Mexico, makes and sells handcrafts to tourists (48).
Tourism industry: Tour operators have a great deal of influence on the destinations, activities and overall experience of tourists. It is therefore crucial that they understand the concept of ecotourism and the conservation requirements of protected areas. They need to be fully aware that the ecotourism product they are trying to promote is fragile and must be carefully preserved. The tourism industry is also an important partner since it is a vital source of information about demand trends, promotion and marketing.
NGOs: Conservation and development groups can play a decisive role in helping to define and direct the growth of ecotourism. They can also serve as vital sources of financial and technical assistance for ecotourism projects on the ground. Moreover, they can facilitate negotiations between local communities and tourism developers, ensuring that the adequate links and mutual benefits are obtained. In addition, these groups often have members or constituencies that seek information and guidance on ecotourism issues. So their support for particular ecotourism projects can contribute significantly to their success (or otherwise).
Financial institutions: If parks and communities are to capture a greater share of the financial benefits of ecotourism, most of them will be obliged to invest in development of infrastructure. Diverse funding sources will be essential. Banks, investment corporations, bilateral and multilateral international development agencies, and private investors could all have an important role in supporting, and providing initial financing for appropriate tourism planning and development. (This is one reason why international development agencies such as the World Bank, the Inter American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, and the Asian Development Bank, have set up environmental departments within their organizational structures and carry out environmental impact assessments before funding projects.)
Consumers: Ecotourism's driving force consists of the consumers themselves. They decide where to go and what to do for recreation or vacation in protected areas. So their thoughts and preferences should be considered very seriously in any ecotourism planning strategy. But they must be "educated" about the costs and benefits of ecotourism to enable them to make wise travel decisions and actually participate in conservation efforts when they travel (Boo, 1992b).
National Ecotourism Councils: One means of developing an appropriate national ecotourism strategy, and that provides a forum for all the various "voices" is by creating National Ecotourism Councils (NECs) (see also Chapter 2). These councils have already proved successful in some developing countries. In Central America, for example, during 1992 and 1993, NECs were set up in practically every country of the region. The Councils are composed of representatives of the public sector (the Ministries of Tourism and the Environment, including the national parks service, and sometimes the Ministries of Education and Public Works as well), the private sector (tourism chambers, tour operators, hotel and restaurant owners, rental car agencies, airlines, etc.), NGOs involved in conservation and ecotourism (local, national, and international), and, in some cases, financial institutions (including international development agencies), as well as representatives of local communities (Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1993b).
Box 12: Ecotourism as a high government priority in Kenya
Kenya gained its independence in 1963. The system of wildlife conservation areas that had been established by the Kenya National Parks Service soon after World War II was strengthened considerably after independence. Nevertheless, by the 1970s, it had become evident that the combined effect of licensed hunting and poaching was threatening the survival of the big game species. So in 1977 the government declared a total ban on hunting and in 1978 the commercial trade in wildlife trophies was outlawed. The worldwide demand for African wildlife products continued however, and so, therefore, did poaching.
When hunting was banned, many Kenyans found themselves unemployed. But the more enterprising among them began to develop another type of tourism — ecotourism — and coined the phrase "Come shooting in Kenya with your camera". By 1988, tourism had become the country's top foreign exchange earner, ahead of coffee and tea. It currently brings in close to US$400 million each year.
Several years after Kenya had made this transition to ecotourism the government saw that it would be in the national interest to promote and provide incentives for ecotourism. A special department of tourism had been created in 1965 as part of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. It now a launched highly successful promotional campaign focusing on Kenya's exotic scenery and wildlife. Additionally, the government started a dialogue with tour operators and travel agents in an attempt to address divisive issues such as visitor delays at entry points and visa problems. A Kenya Tourist Advisory Committee was formed to meet regularly on issues that appeared to threaten the success of ecotourism efforts. Immigration matters were discussed openly and steps taken to resolve associated problems. Financial issues such as tax rebates, export promotion gratuities, and duty-free imports of equipment were also tackled. The Kenyan Government also decided to provide fiscal incentives for the development of ecotourism.
The idea of nationalizing the tourism industry was considered but ultimately rejected. Instead, the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation (KTDC) was established in 1966. The government continues to offer incentives to foreign investors through the Foreign Investments Act, which guarantees them repatriation of capital and profits. Major airlines have also been wooed. However, it soon became clear that although nature tourism was a major foreign exchange earner, very little of the income it generated was put back into the parks system. As a result, the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Management (DWCM) was unable to carry out its protective function. In 1989, President Moi addressed these problems by establishing the parastatal Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) under the directorship of famed anthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey. (KWS replaced DWCM). KWS's primary role is to protect and manage Kenya's wildlife both inside and outside protected areas, and to make that wildlife accessible for viewing by tourists.
The income and assets associated with the national parks and game reserves are under the jurisdiction of KWS, and can thus be ploughed back into management and conservation. In addition, KWS has the authority to set the prices charged for park admissions and accommodation. The Kenyan government has also addressed problems associated with local communities and protected areas. A number of policies aimed at increasing local participation in the development of tourism have been developed. For instance, financial incentives for local groups are used to encourage protection of adjoining tourism sites, and to encourage domestic tourism as a means of increasing national support for the parks. It is evident that the Kenyan Government accords great importance to ecotourism in its national policies. This is not to deny, however, that Kenya's wildlife is severely threatened by over-visitation in several parks and that some mismanagement still prevails. Moreover, Kenya's plans to increase the number of tourists from current levels of 650,000 to 1 million annually by the year 1995 could entail great risks. It may be better to focus on increasing the quality of the experience of foreign ecotourists (and thus the amount of money charged for it) rather than increasing the total number of visitors.
Source: Olindo, 1991.
Regional ecotourism planning
Collaboration and consensus building should also extend beyond national frontiers. When the Kenya-Tanzania border was closed in 1977, Maasai Mara became the terminus of a tourism circuit that had previously continued south through Serengeti, to the Ngorongoro Crater. As a result of this political action, the visitor load in Maasai Mara increased rapidly, triggering ill-considered development of tourism infrastructure. In other words, regional ecotourism planning in the sense of including several countries is often called for. Regional planning of tourism is also required since natural ecosystems do not respect political boundaries. Of what use is it to a country to protect the lower basin of a bi-national river as an ecotourism destination if the neighbouring country discards all kinds of waste in the upper basin of the river, and deforests its surrounding slopes? Ecotourism resources are very vulnerable and only through appropriate regional planning will it be possible to conserve ample ecosystems that transcend international boundaries. Also, migrating wildlife know nothing of political borders, and they constitute prime ecotourism material.
Box 13: Problems in the development of a national ecotourism policy in Nepal
A significant proportion of Nepal's tourism activity involves visits to its protected areas. Yet the Nepalese Government appears uninterested in promoting ecotourism per se. Wells (1992) believes that this is accounted for by the conflicting demands of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and the serious budgetary constraints under which it operates. The Department has little effective management capacity and no working policy instructions. There is, moreover, little coordination between the Department and other agencies and local communities. The Department has limited or no authority in several important areas such as park protection (which is the responsibility of the Royal Nepalese Army, but which nevertheless absorbs 70% of the Department's budget) and regulation of the numbers and activities of tourists and trekkers in the parks.
The other key agency is the Ministry of Tourism. Established in 1977, it is responsible for major activities relating to tourism including development planning and analysis, implementation and execution, and promotion. But the Ministry's budget is inadequate for this purpose and, in practice, almost all activity in the tourism sector has resulted from spontaneous, uncoordinated and private sector initiatives subject to minimal regulation. The Ministry has little interest in the economic benefits of tourism for rural areas. Furthermore, staff tend to downplay the environmental impacts of tourism and to assign responsibility for such issues to the National Parks Department which has neither adequate authority nor resources to address this issue.
So far, the Ministry of Finance has not intervened substantially in the tourism sector or in protected area management, except to keep the respective government budget allocations within tight limits. This powerful ministry has presumably been content to encourage the spectacular growth in foreign exchange earnings from tourism while tightly controlling the funds available for parks, perhaps not appreciating that the latter may endanger the former.
It has been estimated that during 1990 revenue from nature tourism in Nepal amounted to US$10.5 million (21% of which was earned by Royal Nepal Airlines). The direct revenue capture from fees assessed on nature tourists (protected area entry fees, trekking and mountaineering fees, and concession fees) was only US$0.9 million. The direct protected area management costs were more than five times larger than this last figure (US$4.6 million — of which 80% was attributable to the army). The key then is for the Nepalese Government to secure a greater share of the economic benefits generated by protected area tourism, a percentage of which could be invested in park management, and in restructuring various ministries to improve collaboration on environment and tourism issues.
Maximizing tourist numbers (which has been the main government policy up to now) may not be the best strategy. Total revenue may in fact be maximized by reducing foreign tourist numbers and increasing their per capita expenditure. Also, trekking and park entry fees could be set at different levels in order to spread tourists more evenly over the country. (This idea has so far received little attention from the government authorities).
Nepal may in fact do well to follow the precedent of neighbouring Bhutan. Here tourist numbers are strictly controlled, and tourists required to spend US$200 daily. (The average visitor to Nepal spends a mere US$3.) Thus Bhutan captures a much greater share of tourism revenue than does Nepal, while at the same time limiting the environmental and cultural impacts of tourism.
Source: Wells, 1992.
Moreover, many ecotourists are very interested in travelling through a diversity of habitats in a relatively short period of time. This can mean travelling through two or even several countries. The setting up of international circuits could greatly facilitate this. The different attractions found in neighbouring countries, for instance, could be combined to create "packages" consisting of a high diversity of natural and cultural attractions and consequently of considerable appeal. Interestingly, such planning would reflect the world-wide trend towards economic and political integration.

Box 14: International tourism agreements
In addition to national policies, there are several international agreements relevant to tourism, and several declarations of international policy, including the 1980 Manila Declaration on World Tourism and the 1989 Hague Declaration on Tourism. (The USA, for example, is party to eight bilateral agreements which deal mainly with facilitating travel and tourism promotion). The Hague Declaration requests that signatories "take into account the carrying capacity of destinations" and give "priority attention to selective and controlled development of tourist infrastructure, facilities, demand, and overall tourist capacity, in order to protect the environment, and local population..." The Hague Declaration also calls for "States to strike a harmonious balance between economic and ecological considerations". Although such agreements are non-binding, they serve the useful purpose of bringing broader social and environmental considerations to the attention of investors and tourist industry executives whose primary motivation is the pursuit of private profit (Healy, 1992b).


















Creating and managing tourism in protected areas

Regardless of the tourism management technique used, the goals of tourism in protected areas should always be: conserving the environment, enhancing the quality of life of the resident community, and improving the tourism product and services. However, it must not be forgotten that tourism activity in a protected area, as elsewhere, is a business, and successful operation leading to profit should be sought. A tourism venture that loses money and fails to produce socio-economic benefits for the locality, will simply cause more problems for a protected area than already exist. That is why park authorities should place the highest priority on management of tourism activities in their park. Preference should be given to quality improvement rather than expansion of volume and to small investment development by the local community, rather than large, externally-financed projects. In cases of conflict, the interests of local residents, rather than those of visitors should take precedence.
In order to ensure that all parties involved obtain sustainable benefits from the tourist activity, a tourism management strategy ideally should be developed for every protected area.
Creating a tourism management strategy
Creating the tourism management strategy and later the tourism management plan for a protected area are important steps in the effective realization of that area's objectives. Therefore, both should be compatible with the overall protected area management plan.
The first decision to be taken in developing a tourism planning strategy involves determining the appropriate level of tourism for the area in question. This in turn depends on the purpose and significance of the protected area, the objectives of associated communities and carrying capacity (see Chapter 6).
In order to create an adequate ecotourism strategy for a protected area, Boo (1992a) suggests using the following methodology:
Step one: Assess the current tourism situation. This involves asking the following questions:
• Where are we now?
• What is the status of the natural resources?
• What is the level of tourism demand?
• What facilities are available?
• Who are the beneficiaries of current tourism?
• What are its costs?
• What is the internal/external situation with respect to the park and surrounding areas/communities?
• What cultural resources are present?
• What do tourists come to do?
• What could they come and do?
Box 15: Principles for tourism in national parks
The Countryside Commission and the English Tourist Board have drawn up a number of principles that they believe must be adhered to if tourism in national parks is to meet tourists' needs, and if national parks are to be protected now and in the future.
• Conservation. The tourism industry should help to protect the distinctive landscapes and wildlife of national parks by supporting practical conservation measures. This can be achieved, for example, through joint initiatives involving the public, private and voluntary sectors.
• Enjoyment. The activities and interests promoted by tourism should draw on the special character of national parks, with their many opportunities for quiet open air recreation and their distinctive beauty, culture, history and wildlife. Improved access for visitors should be sought where this is compatible with conservation requirements.
• Rural economy. The social and economic well-being of the residents of the national parks is an essential consideration if the statutory objectives of national parks are to be met. Thus employment in the tourist and related service industries is an important element of the economy of national parks. The tourism industry should support the economy of local communities by employing local people, and using local products and services, and by supporting the skills and economic activities which are traditional in national park areas.
• Development. Appropriate facilities must be available to enable tourists to enjoy the national parks. But tourism development must respect the quality of the landscape and environment. Its scale, in particular, must always be appropriate to the setting. It should also recognize that some national park areas are valued for their wild and remote nature. Development proposals should therefore always take into account the capacity of the immediate site and surrounding landscape to absorb visitors. Development can assist conservation and recreation purposes by, for example, sympathetic new use of historic buildings and derelict sites, and by providing new opportunities for quiet open air recreation.
• Design. The scale, siting, planning, design, and management of new tourism developments should be in keeping with the character of the landscape, and seek to enhance it. (The distinctive and highly valued character and landscapes of national parks can only continue to evolve if changes in and to them are small.) Major alterations to the landscape are unacceptable.
• Marketing. The tourism industry should use publicity, information and marketing to deepen people's enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of, and concern for national parks.
Source: Adapted from a brochure produced by the Countryside Commission and the English Tourist Board, 1989.
Information on these issues may be derived from many sources, including previous management studies, research reports, ranger reports, surveys of local communities, tourists, etc. Issues which should be addressed and prioritized if the necessary information exists or can be generated include: features inside the park boundaries, including natural resources (number, condition, threats, etc.); visitation (current numbers, origin — local or international — tourist seasons, travel methods, tour organizers, etc.), park infrastructure (existing and needed facilities); park personnel; interaction with local communities; socio-economic characteristics; regional infrastructure, and national framework.
Step two: Determine the desirable tourism scenario. Once management has identified the current situation, it is useful to establish the optimal situation to use as a basis for establishing goals and evaluating results.
• Where would we like to be?
• How could tourism management be improved?
• If starting from scratch, what might be done differently?
• How could the tourists' experience be enhanced?
• How might the impact of the tourists be minimized?
• What opportunities are being missed?
• What would the park like to communicate to the visitor?
The discussion should include consideration of local communities, development of facilities, government involvement, etc. It may be useful at this stage to ignore specific constraints to allow more creative thinking. A facilitator may be needed.
Step three: Strategic planning to decide on the level and type of tourism desired. Evaluate what needs to be done to achieve a desirable level of tourism. This includes identifying tasks, skills required for each task, who will undertake each one, how long each will take, and how it will be financed. Each activity should be prioritized. This list of activities will be the core of the strategy. The strategy will include a list of activities needed to develop (or limit) tourism in the parks such as:
• training park guards in tourism management
• building a visitor centre
• setting up an ecological monitoring system
• printing promotional brochures
• developing a handicraft cooperative with local communities
• lobbying the government to establish an entrance fee system so that funds can be channelled directly back into park management
• selecting those tour operators who will bring groups to the park.
A group process is also needed for this phase, and again, a facilitator may be useful.
Step four: Draft a formal tourism strategy document. Document the ecotourism strategy, publish it and circulate it to potential sources of financial and technical assistance and other interested parties. At the end of this diagnostic and planning process, the ecotourism strategy should be in place. However, this is only the beginning of making ecotourism a sustainable process. The next step will be to check the activities as outlined by the strategy. In most cases, this will require a great deal of work.
In addition to actually implementing the strategy, a monitoring system must be established. There must be a procedure for soliciting feedback on strategy activities, evaluating their impacts, and modifying and adjusting them as necessary.
Implementation
Putting a tourism strategy into effect involves planning and management. It is important to distinguish between these two activities. Planning provides a basis for decisions concerning allocation of resources; for example, through analysis and selection processes, zoning policies and design of specific management plans. Consensus building is very important. By consulting as many parties as possible who have an interest or role in the tourism plan, conflict may be avoided.
Management, on the other hand is a framework that addresses the daily operations needed to satisfy the objectives of the plan (Salm and Clark, 1984). Management of a protected area means adequate handling of all the resources found within it, be these biophysical or human. It therefore necessitates a clear understanding of ecological principles, an appreciation of the ecological processes operating in the protected area, and acceptance of the concept that protected area management is a specialized form of land use.
Admittedly, ecosystem management can seem so complex and difficult that many people simply back away from the task, claiming that "Nature knows best". But this passive attitude is dangerous. Many protected areas are already so small and isolated, and affected by man's activities to such an extent, that they would not survive without some form of management. The level and type of management will be determined by the objectives stipulated for the given area (which of course should be in line with the category to which the protected area has been ascribed).
Box 16: The Tanzania national parks management planning project
The Tanzania National Parks Office (TANAPA), with assistance from the Swedish International Development Authority and IUCN, recently embarked on a project to develop a Strategic Planning Process (SPP), as an integral part of Tanzania's parks management. The project primarily concerns institution-strengthening, or more specifically, strengthening of the management planning unit established within TANAPA. This is responsible for management/development planning for the country's national parks. It is hoped that the project will succeed in setting up a strong institutional process and in producing a replicable methodology for preparing plans that are particularly suited to TANAPA and the Tanzania situation.
As with most planning efforts associated with national parks and protected areas, the challenge is to achieve a balance between use and preservation so that the values for which each park was established are perpetuated for future generations. The general management/development plan presents two types of strategy: that required to properly manage protected area resources, and that required to provide for appropriate visitor use and interpretation and for local and regional human use. The following strategic planning steps are followed, for each park:
1. Identification of planning and management issues or problems that are to be the focus of the general management/development plan.
2. Identification of exceptional resource values (be these natural, cultural, scenic, or for human use).
3. Identification of the park's purpose(s) and significance.
4. Identification of the park's primary interpretative themes.
5. Identification of the park objectives or "desired conditions".
6. Development of a management zoning system.
7. Development of action strategies (the general management/development plan proposal).
8. Environmental impact assessment of the proposed actions.
9. Implementation priorities.
10. Monitoring, feedback and reevaluation following implementation of the general management/development plan proposal.
Tourism issues are considered at an early stage and consistently addressed throughout the planning process.
Source: Adapted from Young, 1992.
Box 17: Planning and management issues in Sabah Parks in Indonesia
Lingham (1992) describes the Sabah Park system in Indonesia comprising a number of existing and several proposed parks. Management of this system seeks to exploit the benefits of nature-based tourism while at the same time minimizing its negative impacts. The main issues and problems identified to date in relation to tourism are:
• increase in direct pressure on natural ecosystems
• regulation of tourism and private sector outside the legally protected areas
• definition of private versus public sector involvement
• limited local entrepreneurial activity
• potential domination by a few companies
• few means of capturing money
• no entrance fee system for local visitors
• shortage of guides proficient in catering for the interests of ecotourists
• shortage of adequate hotels and other tourism infrastructure.
The specific measures envisaged by the government authorities for successfully combining the needs of conservation and economically effective ecotourism are:
• legal establishment of more protected areas
• a more formalized and organized role for the private sector in relation to protected areas
• increased entry fees (at least for non-locals)
• promotion of many additional sites in rural areas for ecotourism (e.g. for bird watching, tropical rain forest walks, etc.), including sites on privately-owned land
• limiting the number of private operators permitted to work within particular areas
• limiting the number of visitors permitted to visit one site at any one time.
Source: Adapted from Lingham, 1992.
However, it would be a mistake to think that management only or mainly affects natural ecosystems within a protected area. Human beings are the agents that inflict most damage on natural ecosystems. Thus management of human activity within and near protected areas is becoming an increasingly critical factor in park management. For instance, provision of opportunities for complementary rural development and the rational use of marginal lands are included in the major objectives of many protected areas (especially in less developed countries).
It is imperative then that the multiple functions of many protected areas are systematically considered when drawing up management plans. This holistic conception, within the framework of sustainable development, is slowly replacing the old "negative" or "prohibitive" approach of "absolute protection" of protected areas (the so-called "fortress attitude").
In short, a new range of protected area management issues has emerged. Not only ecological and purely scientific values, but also economic, political and social considerations, as well as other more or less intangible values concerning aesthetic, recreational and even religious issues must be considered. In particular, it is readily apparent that protected area management which is not socially oriented to any extent, cannot hope to succeed (Kassioumis, 1992). Management should also take into account the overall regional context, and seek to integrate protected area objectives with those of the wider area within which they are situated. It will then be more likely to have a positive impact on local socioeconomic (as well as ecological) conditions.
Peter Valentine (1992) points out that the five main issues in managing tourism in protected areas are:
1. defining the appropriate types of tourism for protected areas
2. defining suitable relationships between park managers and tour operators
3. establishing partnerships between tourism, protected areas and local communities
4. monitoring and minimising the impacts of tourism on protected areas
5. establishing the appropriate carrying capacity levels
Some idea of the changing perceptions concerning the management of tourism in protected areas can be gleaned from the USA's experience. Driver (1991, cited by Scherl and Valentine, 1992) has identified three stages of evolution in this country's approach to managing tourism and recreation in protected areas:
• Activity-based management: A recreation opportunity was viewed as a means for people to participate in a specified activity (such as fishing, diving, camping, hiking). Management objectives were therefore defined in terms of the protected area's ability to support various recreation activities.
• Experience-based management: By combining behavioural approaches to recreation with the activity-based concepts, a new definition of recreation opportunity was developed. Namely, a recreation opportunity is the opportunity to engage in a preferred activity within chosen settings to realise desired and expected experiences. In other words, this approach is based on the experiences of the users. What types of experiences are desired, and of what quality are they? For example, are tourists looking for solitude, learning, or togetherness?
• Benefits-based management: This is an approach that is currently being discussed in the US Forest Service. Management objectives for protected areas are to be explicitly defined in terms of benefits that can be realised from different areas.

Waterways must also have estimates of their carrying capacities as in the case of Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica, where most of the ecotourism takes place aboard safe and comfortable boats (49).
Driver's discussion indicates that to manage tourism effectively, some understanding of why tourists are visiting a protected area is important. What are the tourists' objectives? Why are they coming to this park? Are certain facilities lacking? Is the experience unsatisfactory? Answering these questions is a time-consuming process, but the information obtained can contribute significantly to planning. Knowing the tourists' objectives gives management an opportunity to manage their experience. Thus management of protected areas must be predicated upon understanding not only the natural resource itself, but also the characteristics and needs of those using the resource (Kassioumis, 1992). In this way, tourists can be enabled to find what they are seeking, without damaging the environment or conflicting with the demands of other activities. To date, however, scientific information on the new interactions is lacking. This is creating serious problems, not only for the rational planning and management of protected areas, but also in terms of satisfying tourists' needs.
Of course, none of this is to forget or deny the main reason why a protected area exists, that is, conservation of species and habitats. But it must be understood, that the rapid development of visitation to many parks in recent years and also the enormous opportunities it creates, in terms of stimulating economic growth in their wider surroundings, means that many protected areas will become places where people will be accepted and even welcomed. Indeed, the belief that tourism could produce some of the much needed financial resources for park management is widespread, especially among low-income countries which may be trying to develop a park system against many competing needs. And even in high-income nations, the promotion of a so-called economic rationalist approach has encouraged the view that protected areas should be more financially self-sustaining, and not so dependent on state subsidies for their operation.
In short, great changes are required in protected area management. As Tassi (1984) comments, "We have to show that we are able to manage our area not as an isolated element but as a creative and very active agency promoting new kinds of intervention".
Key elements of a management plan
The elements included in a management plan for tourism in a protected area, will be defined in accordance with the tourism strategy adopted. However, those listed below are typically included. The descriptions of what these steps entail have been taken mainly from Durbán (1992) and McNeely, Thorsell and Ceballos-Lascuráin (1992). (See Appendix VII for a discussion of a tourism management plan for the Mt Everest region.)
No management plan for a protected area should be considered final. Experience and new knowledge will reveal many matters for further resolution, as well as the planning mistakes that will have inevitably occurred. Therefore, feedback on such matters as boundary delineation, and even on the area's basic objectives, must be allowed for in the day-to-day management.
Establish management zones
Management zones should be established according to the natural and/or cultural values of a protected area and the particular fragility and carrying capacities within it. This will provide proper recognition of and protection for a protected area's resources and greatly facilitate their appropriate management.
Zones indicate where physical development can, and even more importantly, cannot be located. Therefore, the zones proposed for each protected area must be consistent with the objectives for which the area was established. But in general terms a protected area can be divided into the following:
• strict protection zones: (sometimes called "sanctuary" or "reserve" zones), from which tourists are excluded
• wilderness zones (also termed "restricted use" zones): which tourists are permitted to enter, but only on foot
• moderate tourism use zones: where visitors are encouraged to carry out diverse activities compatible with the natural (and/or cultural) environment —these zones may have limited, low-impact tourist services (mainly of an interpretive nature) and should contain representative samples of the park's important resources
• development zones: areas of limited extent, in which facilities are concentrated (including facilities for tourism and park management and research).

Birdwatchers, shown here in the Bañados del Este, Uruguay (50), form the largest single group of ecotourists. The attractions include birds as diverse as the red-billed tropicbird (here seen at its nest on South Plaza Island, Galápagos World Heritage Site) (51); the hoatzin, found in the Venezuelan llanos (52); and the brown booby, shown nesting on Isla La Pajarera, Jalisco, Mexico (53).
Thus zoning strategies and regulations can be used to concentrate visitation in some areas and/or to disperse it to others. In this way, extreme pressures of tourist activity can be restricted to more resilient environments, and the most rigid protection measures applied to fragile ecosystems. The flow of traffic — whether vehicular or pedestrian — can be channelled via roads, parking areas, trails and other built facilities, and its impacts thereby contained.
Carrying capacities (see Chapter 6) must be determined carefully for each management zone. Detailed (and categorized) inventories of the resources and attractions (both natural and cultural) found in the protected area's different zones should be produced and made available to visitors.
For an example of the practical use of zoning — and monitoring — see Appendix VIII, which describes the management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia.
Analysis of the visitation characteristics of the protected area
An in-depth study of tourism in the protected area (number of visitors, typology, preferences and requirements, etc.) is an essential element of the elaboration of a management plan. At a minimum, the following specific studies should be undertaken:
• analysis of the different visitor profiles (qualitative and quantitative survey)
• analysis of the present patterns of visitation and their impact on the park and, also elaboration of alternative models
• analysis of the expectations generated by the park on the part of the visitors and the degree to which they are met
• monitoring and evaluation programmes for the visitation process.
Box 18: Guidelines for improving the tourism-environment relationship
1. Environmental considerations should be fully incorporated in tourism development plans, especially with respect to air and water (potable and recreational) quality, soil conservation, the protection of natural and cultural heritage and the quality of human settlements.
2. Tourism goals should be based on the carrying capacity of sites and environmental sustainability and compatible with regional development, social concerns, and land use planning.
3. Decisions should be based on the fullest available information with respect to their environmental implications. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) should be applied to proposed major developments, to evaluate the potential damage to the environment in the light of forecasted tourism growth and peak demand. Alternative sites for development should be considered, taking into account local constraints and carrying capacity. This capacity includes physical, ecological, social, cultural, and psychological factors.
4. Adequate environmental measures at all levels of planning should be defined and implemented. Particular attention should be paid to peak demand, sewerage, solid waste disposal, noise pollution, building, and traffic density control. In the most endangered zones, comprehensive improvement programmes should be formulated and implemented.
5. Incentive schemes should be applied in both the public and private sectors to spread tourism demand over time and space in order to make optimal use of accommodation.
6. Regulatory power should be used to limit developments in sensitive areas, and legislation should be drawn up to protect rare, endangered, and sensitive environments.
7. As part of general efforts to prevent environmental degradation, but also in its own interests, the travel and tourism industry should oppose (by refusing to take part in unsustainable developments, withdrawing investment, lobbying governments and industry bodies, working together with NGOs):
• dumping of untreated sewage into the sea
• unsustainable fishing, including blasting, long lining and whaling
• coral mining and collecting
• unsustainable forestry, tropical forest clearance for ranching and clear-cutting
• unsustainable farming methods
• siting of nuclear power plants near tourist areas
• siting of tanker shipping lanes near bathing beaches
• continued use of CFCs
and support with finance, complementary investments, lobbying:
• efforts by governments and NGOs to protect the environment
• measures to reduce power station and factory emissions
• installation of oil containment and clean-up equipment at strategic locations to fight oil spills
• direct negotiations with representatives of indigenous peoples before undertaking any developments which would affect their land or way of life.
Source: Adapted from McMichael, 1992, and Jenner 1992.
Creation or adaption of physical facilities for tourists
If no physical facilities yet exist, these must be designed and built, preferably in the peripheral parts of the protected area (or, in the case of lodging and eating facilities, outside the protected area boundaries). Interpretation centres are especially important. Sometimes existing buildings can be adapted for touristic purposes.
Creation of an interpretive system
Exhibits, audio-visual displays, interpretive panels, nature trails, guided walks and boatrides, brochures and species checklists, constitute the basis of the visitor's introduction to the site and help establish appropriate tourist behaviour. All these resources must be so arranged as to form a well-defined interpretive scheme. The scheme itself must be dynamic and flexible, so that changes and improvements can be made. (See Chapter 7).
Box 19: Differential entrance fee structures
Almost everywhere, protected areas suffer from restricted budgets and high numbers of users, yet charge very low fees for access to the resource. It would be appropriate for developing countries to adopt a differential (two-or multi-tier) fee system, with a lower charge for domestic residents and a higher one for foreign tourists. Higher fees for foreign tourists can be justified on at least three counts. Firstly, foreign tourists can generally afford to pay higher fees. Secondly, they do not pay taxes to support the park. Thirdly, they do not bear the opportunity costs of not using the resource for agriculture, logging, or other activities (Lindberg, 1991). Baldares and Laarman (1991, cited by Healy, 1992b) have produced evidence that multi-tier fee systems are considered fair by both national and foreign tourists. They concluded from a survey of visitors to Costa Rican national parks that current fees could be doubled for Costa Rican residents and quadrupled for international visitors and still remain acceptable to most of those surveyed.
The Central American Regional Ecotourism Project recently carried out by WTO, UNDP and IUCN, recommends that the National Ecotourism Councils of each one of the Central American countries should provide technical assistance for the establishment of a standardized rate structure (of a differential nature) of entrance fees for all the national parks in the region. It also recommends that the entrance fee for visitors from outside the region should be at least five times greater than that charged for nationals of any of the Central American countries (Tercero and Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1993).
Given the expense of international travel, even a relatively high fee of US$10 or more per day would probably have a negligible effect on the total number of visitors. This is especially true for unique areas that can handle a very limited number of visitors. The entrance fee to Galápagos National Park in Ecuador is US$40 per foreign visitor, and could be substantially higher (Cepeda, 1992). In the Mountain Gorilla Project in Rwanda, foreigners paid an entrance fee of US$170 per day and yet demand remained strong. It has been noted that this is one of the highest such fees charged anywhere in the world and may be near the upper limit of visitor willingness to pay. "Gorilla tourism" in the Parc National des Volcans brought in roughly US$1 million a year in entrance fees and generated up to US$9 million indirectly (Lindberg, 1991).
In 1992, in Central America, only two national parks were charging comparatively "high" entrance fees: Tikal in Guatemala (US$5.70 per tourist, national or foreign) and Copán Maya Ruins in Honduras (US$5.25 for foreigners, and US$0.60 for nationals). The latter is the only Central American protected area currently operating an adequate two-tier fee system. Both areas are World Heritage Sites. A multipletier fee system is also in operation at the Organization for Tropical Studies' research station at La Selva, Costa Rica. Daily fees for users (including food and lodging) range from US$10 a day for Latin American students to US$76 a day for foreign tourists (Healy, 1992).
User fees also help cover the management costs of the Saba Marine Park in the Netherlands Antilles. Scuba diving and snorkelling constitute the park's main attraction. Divers are charged US$1 per dive, payable to the dive boat operators for the support of conservation activities. Although modest, this fee provides valuable revenue (van't Hof, 1989, cited by Sherman and Dixon, 1991).
Fees for government-owned accommodation near nature tourism sites should be priced at levels comparable to those charged for privately owned accommodation, and again, on a two-tier system. Camping fees could also be operated on a two-tier system. The very low accommodation costs and camping fees charged by many protected areas result in excess demand and failure to raise sufficient funds for operation and maintenance (Sherman and Dixon, 1991).
Establish training programmes
These programmes should be aimed at park staff (at the different levels), as well as local guides and tour operators using the park. (See Chapter 7).
Setting up of partnerships, and establishment of rate structures and other self-financing mechanisms
The park's administration must draw up working agreements with the local authorities, the local communities and the different tourism entrepreneurs who operate or wish to operate within the park. Concession agreements with individuals or firms who provide visitor services are a particularly valuable management tool and a self-financing mechanism for the park. They include licensing of concessions for food, lodging, transportation, guide services, and retail stores. Governments can impose conditions on concession leases in order to address additional objectives such as increasing local employment or sales of locally produced goods (Sherman and Dixon, 1991). In some national parks (for example, Izta-Popo in Mexico) concession fees are charged to commercial radio, TV and telephone companies who wish to install and operate relay stations within park boundaries.
Other self-financing mechanisms include royalty systems for activities and products that are dependent on tourist areas. For instance, permission for books, photos, or films to be made at tourism sites can be "exchanged" for a percentage of the revenue generated by these items. Souvenir sales (T-shirts, handicrafts, guidebooks, postcards, maps, etc.), either directly or via licensing, can produce significant revenue, a percentage of which can be collected as a contribution towards protected area maintenance. Conservation of park resources can and should be compatible with the generation of socioeconomic benefits.
Establishing an adequate rate structure, both for concessions and for park entrance fees is of paramount importance. The easiest method for capturing financial benefits from nature-based tourism is to charge a fee to use the area. Although many countries already charge small fees at cultural sites and in national parks, few of them have instituted fee structures that reflect the consumer's willingness to pay. While a small, token payment is clearly better than no fee at all, there is no reason for a country, especially a developing one, to subsidize the cost of foreigners' visits (Sherman and Dixon, 1991). (See Box 19 for a more detailed discussion of differential entrance fee structures.)
Working with tourism operators
As described in the first section of this chapter, managing tourism in a protected area involves deciding on the tourism scenario desired. But attaining it cannot be achieved independently of the tourism operators themselves. Therefore, considerable thought must be given to how they might be characterized or defined, and how best to work with them. Tourism operators cover a broad spectrum. Tourism agencies, for example, may be owned by local individuals, national groups, international enterprises or any combination of the three. Or they may be public- or government-owned. They may hold several concessions in connection with protected areas. At the other extreme, a tourism operator may simply be an unregistered driver who earns some extra income by transporting a few visitors to and around a protected area, every now and again.
Tourism operators can also be categorized according to whether they are profit or non-profit-oriented. They can then be subdivided further according to their level of involvement with national concerns and issues (Ziffer, 1989). Within the profit sector, four basic groupings of tourism operator can be described:
• opportunistic: these suppliers are simply "selling nature", having identified a new, lucrative market, and are generally unaware of or unconcerned about environmental or cultural impacts
• sensitive: this group is aware of host country concerns and consequently designs low-impact trips. However, profit continues to be their main motivation.
• constructive: these operators donate a portion of their revenue to local environmental or community causes
• proactive: this group comprises those tour operators who play a decisive role in conserving and improving the areas they visit, for example, by initiating projects with non-profit affiliates; a substantial part of their profit is put into preservation funds.
The non-profit sector offers tours for a number of reasons, such as member service, familiarization, to generate funding, and education and/research purposes. Some non-profit organizations specifically arrange trips in order to raise funds for conservation activities. Alternatively, voluntary donations may be solicited. For example, The Nature Conservancy (an American NGO) organizes trips that include a US$300 voluntary donation to fund conservation programmes in the areas visited.
But at whatever level tourism operates in a protected area, the managers of that protected area should pay attention to developing a good working relationship with tourism operators — one which combines regulation with mutual cooperation and assistance. (See Box 24 for an example of such cooperation in the UK. See also Denman (1992) for a discussion of some of the issues dealt with in this section.)
Regulation is of course one of the main concerns of tourism operators. It should be made clear what type of tourism operators are allowed to work within the protected area and what type of services they are allowed to provide. In the United Kingdom, the Countryside Commission (1991) has published a Guide to Good Practice for tour operators in national parks. The guide gives information and advice for both current and prospective tour operators, ranging from a description of the types of customers frequenting the parks, to suggestions concerning the services that tour operators might offer. The guide identifies three types of visitor: experienced groups or individuals pursuing a special interest; educational groups, including schools, youth groups, etc.; and novices or occasional participants seeking new recreational opportunities. Since they often have an extensive knowledge of visitors, park managers are usually in a good position to assist tour operators in providing services which are appropriate to the park and commercially viable.
Enforcement must be adequate if regulations are to have any effect. However, legal enforcement of regulations is less likely to be necessary if park managers "educate" tourism operators regarding proper use procedures, so that tourism operators understand why these should be observed. Proper use procedures can be taken to refer not only to, for example, avoiding disturbance of wildlife or destruction of habitat, but also use of appropriate "green", low-impact technologies and methods relating to energy and water conservation.
Training programmes can be effective in the same way. In the Annapurna Conservation Area (ANA), in Nepal, lodge owners provide accommodation for tourists, but in so doing place stress on the environment. A mobile training programme has helped them to understand how they can minimize their impact on the environment (through, for example, the substitution of kerosene for wood as a fuel), while improving the experience of the tourists (through improved hygiene facilities and development of a rudimentary understanding of English).
Box 20: Code of environmental ethics for tour operators
The Ecotourism Committee of the Tsuli Tsuli/Audubon Society of Costa Rica (1992) has produced the following Code of Environmental Ethics for Tour Operators (used also as criteria for certification of ecotourism operators).
• Wildlife and natural habitats must not be disturbed needlessly.
• Waste must be disposed of properly.
• Tourism should be a positive influence on local communities.
• Tourism should be managed and sustainable.
• Tourism should be culturally sensitive.
• There must be no commerce in wildlife, wildlife products or native plants.
• Tourists should leave the site visited with a greater understanding and appreciation of nature, conservation, and the environment.
• Tourism should strengthen conservation efforts and enhance the natural integrity of places visited.
Similar mobile training programmes have been instituted elsewhere in Nepal following the success of the ANA experience. Tourist education in the ANA area is also important and generally takes the form of codes of conduct, prominently displayed in lodges, and exhibits at the museum in Pokhara where most treks originate (Stevens, 1992).
Protected area managers will probably also wish to exert some influence over the local economic impacts of tourism — for example by encouraging tourism operators to employ local people, and to use locally-owned accommodation, and to purchase locally-grown foodstuffs. In this way, local people receive some of the benefits of protected area tourism and are more likely to favour maintenance of the protected areas.
Protected area authorities may find it worthwhile to promote specific tourism operators of their choice directly (for example, by providing start-up capital or management expertise) or indirectly (for example, through joint advertising or a stipulation that tourists use authorized tour operators). (When Tanzania considered that too much revenue was being collected by Kenyan tour operators, it closed its borders to non-Tanzanian tour operators. Although this was obviously inconvenient for tourists, the result has been an increase in the number of Tanzanian operators.) It may even be advisable for protected area managers to monitor the advertising and marketing activities of tour operators. The protected area will wish to help operators attract good customers. Besides, they will be able to identify the park's particular benefits and provide suitable ideas for promotion.
Box 21: A checklist for assessing tour operators
• Does the tour operator demonstrate an understanding of the area's heritage and culture?
• Does the tour operator respect the natural environment, including its plants and animals?
• Does the tour operator demonstrate sensitivity by portraying local residents honestly in advertising brochures; by respecting religious ceremonies; by encouraging tour participants to ask permission before photographing local residents?
• Are locally-owned and locally-operated lodging facilities used when available?
• Are locally-owned and locally-operated food services used when available?
• Are local guides trained and employed by the tour operator?
• Is there adequate opportunity for interaction between tour participants and local residents?
• Is the interaction mutually satisfactory?
• Are tour arrangements made far enough in advance?
• Are advance arrangements reliable and honoured?
• Are local services for tour groups adequately compensated?
Source: Adapted mainly from materials prepared by the Center for Responsible Tourism, USA, and the Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism, Thailand.
But benefits arising from protected area tourism should not accrue only or mainly to tourism operators. The relationship should be two-way. For example, a percentage of the revenues obtained from selling licences to nature tour operators can and should be applied directly to the conservation and management of protected areas, since these constitute the main asset for such operators. In some developing countries, such as Costa Rica and Kenya, this is beginning to happen. Tourism operators should be aware that if ecotourism is to survive, they will have to make direct economic contributions to conservation and for local socioeconomic development.
Tourism operators can also assist protected area managers and conservation generally since they are well positioned to encourage environmentally sensitive behaviour and conservation awareness in tourists. By demonstrating their commitment to the environment, tour operators may be able to influence the perceptions and actions of their customers.
In some areas of the world tourism operators are beginning to regulate themselves. Atkinson (1992) discusses the successful establishment of the Dartmoor Tourist Association (DTA) in England, an association of private tour operators in the Dartmoor National Park area. Located in southern England, Dartmoor National Park receives approximately 8.5 million visitors per year but it has not suffered from overuse as have other English parks.
The DTA is a member of the Dartmoor Area Tourism Initiative (DATI), a coordinated partnership between public and private agencies in the greater Dartmoor National Park area. One of DATI's aims is to ensure that appropriate tourist management measures are taken in order to prevent problems associated with overuse. Interestingly, the area covered by the DATI is almost twice that of the park itself, in effect providing a buffer zone for the park. Special tourism management practices are applied in the buffer zone, through the DATI, to help spread the benefits of tourism to the surrounding communities and to take some of the pressure off the park itself.
One of the DATI's main areas of interest is interpretive services. It has developed a strategy — that relies partially on commercial and sponsorship support—to maximize potential benefits for the local tourist economy, through use of the full range of interpretive techniques. The full range of sites and activities of interest has been identified and the maximum potential audience likewise identified, and targeted. It is anticipated that improved customer benefits — new, unspoiled sites, for example — and enhanced benefits for local operators in the form of increased demand, will result from development of this strategy. The success of these activities is very much a function of the cooperation between the various groups involved. However, the financial costs have been high. For a period of three years, these have been budgeted at £450,000 (US$795,000), 45% of which has been assigned to project work. Funds have been supplied partly by the English Tourist Board (£50,000 (US$88,400)) and partly from commercial and sponsorship sources (Atkinson, 1992). The DTA has developed a "Green Charter" which commits members to a series of guidelines that aim to minimize tourism impacts on the environment. The guidelines seek:
• to enlist active support for the care and conservation of the National Park
• to encourage visitors to enjoy the natural beauty in an environmentally friendly manner through the pursuit of "quiet interests" in keeping with national park objectives
• to encourage use of environmentally friendly products, recycling and low energy practices
• to encourage use of locally-produced food and other items
• to encourage ecologically sustainable management of individual private property
• to ensure that the association's activities have no adverse effect on Dartmoor.
Working with local communities
Although ecotourism can be characterized as a multi-sectoral process, local community groups, whether living within or just outside the protected area, have seldom been involved in tourism development. In less developed countries, local communities in rural areas tend to comprise the less prosperous strata of society. Involving them in tourism activities could do much to enhance their economic situation and living conditions.
Box 22: Ecotourism society guidelines
The Ecotourism Society (1993) has prepared the following guidelines for nature tour operators:
• Provide background information that informs travellers how they can minimize their impacts while visiting environments and cultures different from their own.
• Provide environmental and cultural briefings and written information to prepare travellers for specific encounters with local cultures, and with native wildlife and plants.
• Minimize visitor impacts on the environment and act to prevent impacts when necessary with words and actions.
• Provide specific information and resources for staff, to enable them to help the company prevent impacts on the environment and local cultures.
• Employ local people for all aspects of business operations.
• Be an economic contributor to the conservation of the regions visited.
• Give staff and contract employees access to programmes that will improve their ability to communicate with and manage clients in sensitive natural and cultural settings.
• Offer site-sensitive accommodation that is neither wasteful of local resources nor destructive of the environment, and that provides the opportunity for sensitive interchange with local communities.
• Ensure that leadership is adequate, and groups sufficiently small so that impact on destinations is minimal. Avoid areas that are under-managed and over-visited.
And indeed, tourism — particularly ecotourism — has been suggested as a useful development tool. If well-planned, it can bring substantial benefits to remote areas that have been sheltered from the ravages of development. In fact, it may be the only long-term sustainable development path open to them (Denman, 1992).
But the support and commitment of the local community are crucial if tourism in a protected area is to be an effective development tool (Young, 1992). This means that the local community must perceive the environment as worth conserving and be willing to share this resource with tourists and possibly even to forgo some of its usual activities. It must also perceive that tourism could improve its quality of life. However, many communities do not like change and initiatives that disrupt daily life may be regarded with suspicion, even if they have the potential to increase income levels or to bring other benefits. Sometimes, a community may already be negatively predisposed to a protected area if its creation limits or even curtails local access to natural resources. Thus if local people are prepared to limit their use of protected resources, it becomes doubly important that wildland protection and management strategies be linked to extension and overall community development efforts. This may require stabilization of shifting agriculture, intensification of production outside protected areas, and related projects such as improvement of roads, health care, and water supplies (Wallace, 1992).
Box 23: Code for environmentally responsible tourism operators
Some elements of the tourism industry seek to regulate themselves in terms of ensuring that tourism is environmentally sustainable. The following code drawn up by the Pacific Asia Travel Association in essence calls for PATA's Association and Chapter members to adopt an environmental ethic which will enhance long-term profitability, product sustainability and intergenerational equity.
• adopt the necessary practices to conserve the environment, including the use of renewable resources in a sustainable manner and the conservation of non-renewable resources
• contribute to the conservation of any habitat or any site whether natural or cultural, which could be affected by tourism
• encourage relevant authorities to identify areas worthy of conservation and to determine the level of development, if any, which would ensure those areas are conserved
• ensure that community attitudes, cultural values and concerns (including local customs and beliefs) are taken into account when planning tourism-related projects
• ensure that environmental assessment is undertaken prior to development of any tourism project
• ensure that assessment procedures recognize the cumulative as well as the individual impacts of all developments on the environment
• comply with all international conventions relating to the environment
• comply with all national, state and local laws relating to the environment
• encourage those involved in tourism to comply with local, regional and national planning policies and to participate in the planning process
• provide opportunities for the wider community to take part in discussions and consultations on tourism planning issues insofar as they affect that community
• acknowledge responsibility for the environmental impacts of all tourism-related projects and activities and undertake all necessary remedial and corrective action
• encourage regular environmental audits of practices throughout the tourism industry and encourage any necessary modification of those practices
• foster environmentally responsible practices including waste management, recycling, and energy use
• foster an awareness of environmental and conservation principles in both management and staff of all tourism-related projects and activities
• support the incorporation of professional conservation principles in tourism education, training and planning
• encourage all those involved in tourism to develop an understanding and appreciation of the customs, cultural values, beliefs and traditions of any community affected by tourism and how these relate to the environment
• enhance the appreciation and understanding of tourists of the environment through the provision of accurate information and appropriate interpretation
• establish detailed environmental policies and/or guidelines for the various sectors of the tourism industry.
Adapted from a flyer distributed by PATA - the Pacific Asia Travel Association, 1991.
But if tourism protects resources that might otherwise be "lost", local or indigenous people are much more likely to be in favour of it. There are a number of examples where agency designation of natural areas has in effect given protection to indigenous peoples who previously either had no land set aside for their use or no access to natural resources.
According to Wallace (1992), tourism may be said to be truly ethical and "ecological" when it:
• views natural areas both as "home to all of us" in a global sense but "home to nearby residents" specifically
• minimizes negative impacts on the environment and local people
• contributes to the management of protected areas and to relationships between local people and those managing protected areas
• directs economic and other benefits to local people and maximizes their participation in the decision process that determines the kind and amount of tourism that is to occur
• promotes authentic two-way interaction between hosts and visitors as well as an interest in sustainable development and wildland protection in both the host and the home country
• supplements or complements traditional practices (farming, fishing, social systems, etc.) without overwhelming or attempting to replace them, and makes the local economy more robust and less susceptible to rapid change or world economic downturns
• provides special opportunities for local people or nature tourism employees to utilize natural areas and learn more about the sites that other visitors come to see.

Ecotourists appreciate well-presented guidebooks, brochures and checklists. The publication display area of the information centre in Glacier National Park, USA (54).
Protected area designation can preserve a resource base that might otherwise be used for logging, mining, corporate agricultural interests or simply invaded by others seeking land. (Designating a protected area is not usually an action that local people or the private sector can accomplish alone) (Archibold et al., 1984, cited by Wallace, 1992).
Tourism development will also be more likely to win the local community's support if it is in line with that community's cultural and ideological values. And if money is to be the prime incentive for ecotourism, how this money (and its benefits) is distributed will be major issues.
Opportunities for employment (park wardens, guides and suppliers), will also be important. It is worth noting that because local communities have often lived in their region for a considerable period of time, many of their members may have a vast, practical knowledge of the local natural environment, and local traditions. For that reason, with some training, local inhabitants may become excellent ecotourism guides.
Of course, local communities may be keen to develop their own initiatives rather than simply becoming involved with those of protected area authorities. Protected area policies can do much to promote enterprises at local level and they should strive to do so since they enable a greater percentage of tourism revenue to be retained within the local economy. Besides, in many cases, local people control land or buildings which comprise the area's natural or cultural heritage, and wise management of these will be necessary if the area is to retain its attraction for tourists. Also, enterprises based within local communities give visitors a closer involvement with, and appreciation of, the area's life, history and special identity. "Agritourism", for example, can encourage farmers to manage land in a way which is more sympathetic to conservation. Another significant factor is that a number of small local enterprises working together can often exert considerable political influence; and if they adopt an ecotourism approach they are likely to wield this in favour of conservation.
Currently, many locally-based tourism enterprises rely on collective control of the resource, by private exploitation of the revenue stream. In Belize, the Community Baboon Sanctuary is run by an association of village landowners who agree to manage habitat for howler monkey (Alouatta pigra). Revenue is received by participants when they rent rooms to tourists or sell them meals or souvenirs. Similarly, in Panama, Kuna Indians have reserved for local people the opportunity to set up tourism businesses on their attractive island holdings. Again, the businesses are privately owned (Healy, 1992a). Providing support for small-scale operations in remote rural areas is especially important for successful tourism development if the intention is to support the local economy. Many areas have little or no available capital with which to build a tourism industry. Thus small amounts of capital can have considerable effect through their influence on employment of both local people and resources. That said, pre-cash economies are generally unable to absorb any investment or develop more than rudimentary tourist potential without substantial organizational assistance (Denman, 1992). Besides capital, many communities will also need marketing support, business advisory services, and locally delivered training schemes.
Below a certain size it can be imagined that local enterprises will be unable to promote their activities effectively. This barrier can sometimes be overcome through joint promotional marketing efforts or cooperative arrangements in which providers of different complementary service offer their services as a package.
Locally-based tourism ventures may also be represented by sophisticated private sector type enterprises (see Box 25). Examples might include operators of private reserves or protected area concessionaire holders. (Concessions can be granted for a variety of activities such as leasing horses, offering boat rides, selling souvenirs, etc., in the case of concessions it may be preferable to withhold the concession until management capabilities are in place. It may be tempting for tourism ventures to proceed on their own if government agencies are poorly represented and under-funded. But in the long run, only collaboration between all "caretakers", i.e. local people, natural resource agencies, NGOs and the selected ecotourism ventures, will ensure adequate protection of an area.
In terms of the type of tourism favoured by local enterprise, it can be argued that many of them will adopt an ecotourism approach automatically, or will be keen to do so, simply because they have their own personal interest in their local environment. However, it is not enough simply to rely on this. A key message should be that "this approach pays", both in the short term (in attracting environmentally aware and committed visitors), and in the long term (in sustaining the resource which people come to see).

Fig. 7: Appropriate private sector involvement in protected areas. Source: Fowkes, 1992.
(Figures in the matrix refer to Appendix 2 where the relationship represented in each intersect is defined)
N/App: not appropriate for the private sector to have this involvement;
N/Des: not desirable for the private sector to perform this function;
P.S.: areas appropriate for private sector involvement;
Hatched cells: not relevant.
Box 24: Tourism, local benefits, and private enterprise
Local people living in Amazon Park of Jaú (Brazil's largest, with 2 million hectares), whose support is desperately needed to curtail encroachment on the park, receive few if any benefits from park tourism. But they are nevertheless expected to forgo use of the park resources. Visitors to the park find only two park rangers, with a minimum of training, no real visitors' centre, and no planned and maintained trail system. Revenue from the few tours that actually reach the park, leaks back to Manaus, London or Miami (Wallace, 1992).
In Costa Rica, on the other hand, several local communities located close to protected areas have begun to manage tourism and receive more of its benefits. In Limón province, the Talamancan Ecotourism and Conservation Association (ATEC) organized local people into committees to enable them to decide what level and type of tourism they wished to see in their area. These committees now assist people who want to provide small-scale services such as lodging or guiding, or to produce food, or artisanal goods. This scheme distributes income among many residents. The group also exhorts tour operators to respect local norms regarding dress, customs, and infrastructure and tourism services in the neighbouring wildland areas which are still very primitive, however. Thus investment in protected area staff training, infrastructure and management would go a long way towards ensuring that the years of work that ATEC has put into its community-based model and into gaining local acceptance for protection schemes, would not be lost (Wallace, 1992).
But even if nature-based tourism has become a successful enterprise — as in the Galápagos Islands National Park — careful monitoring and adjustment may be necessary to ensure that this remains so. Staff of Galápagos Islands National Park who formerly worked as park rangers have left their posts due to lack of incentives and low wages, preferring to work as tourist guides or in the restaurant business. What is needed is innovative management so that a percentage of the tourism income is used for park management and to improve staff working conditions and pay (Carrasco, 1992).
Box 25: Nature-based tourism and private enterprise
At a more complex level, the private reserve or protected area can offer an interesting option for the participation of private enterprise in nature-based tourism. At one extreme is the privately created, privately managed recreational landscape, epitomized by the private garden, the hunting preserve or the recreational "theme park". Other examples of private landscapes and reserves include the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica and Hato Piñero Private Reserve in the Venezuelan llanos. In each of these, access is restricted to those who have paid an admission charge. (Revenue is also derived from food and souvenir sales.) Monteverde and Hato Piñero have become important destinations for bird watchers and nature lovers from all over the world and represent very successful tourism enterprises, which at the same time conserve important tracts of natural landscape and sizeable wildlife populations.
A somewhat different example of private enterprise and nature-based tourism is provided by the collaboration of private landowners to enable regulation of recreational use of their properties and the collection of revenue from users. In northern Maine, in the USA, timber companies and other large private owners control millions of hectares of forest land. Regulating recreational use would be prohibitively expensive for individual owners. The North Maine Woods Association is a group of 18 entities which own or manage some 2.5 million hectares of forest land. The Association controls access through a gate on a major access road, and sells permits for hunting, fishing, and camping. The Association operates at a small deficit, but centralized control covers visitor management costs and allows owners to regulate use without creating public relations problems (Healy, 1992a).
Private enterprise may of course not be appropriate. Fowkes and Fowkes (1992) have developed a framework which shows where private enterprise would be inappropriate for ecotourism development in developing countries. They conclude that the state has an overriding responsibility to retain ownership and management of protected areas held on behalf of the nation. Nevertheless, the private sector has a valid role in developments for tourist purposes, within the overall management plans of the conservation body. (See Figure 7.)
See Appendix IX for further examples and discussion of local community involvement in tourism.





















Assessment, monitoring and management techniques

There are several assessment management techniques that can be used to evaluate tourism development projects prior to their implementation. These include environmental impact assessment, assessment of carrying capacity, visitor impact management, and limits of acceptable change. However, they can also be ongoing if they are designed so as to incorporate monitoring and/or feedback mechanisms.
Environmental impact assessment
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is one of the most effective methods for determining whether a project will be sustainable, and if so, for elaborating safeguards to ensure its continuing sustainability. It can be used in all sectors (e.g. industry, agriculture, fisheries, power-generation, forestry, infrastructure, mining, urban/rural development, tourism). Properly applied, EIA can minimize the depletion of natural resources and environmental degradation or social disruption that has so often accompanied development (IUCN, n/d).
The process entails comprehensive and detailed study of the proposed development initiative and the environment within which it is to be developed. It is therefore integrated within the traditional project planning activities, and includes alternatives for location and technology. Baseline studies are conducted to record the nature and quality of the existing environment. Likely interactions between the development initiative and the environment are then identified and, as far as possible, quantified. Measures are then developed to prevent or minimize any potential adverse environmental impacts, and to enhance any potential environmental benefits. Additional opportunities for environmental enhancement are also identified at this stage. Finally, a monitoring programme is developed to assess actual impacts and to follow the course of long-term impacts. This programme also ensures compliance with existing environmental standards.
EIA is most often applied to development projects or specific development initiatives, but it can also be applied to development programmes and policies. But in order for EIA to be effective, it must be applied once fundamental choices among available options have been taken, in accordance with a national conservation strategy (NCS). The NCS approach, in developing a framework within which environmental concerns can be related to development objectives, offers an opportunity for balancing conservation and development, through a process of consensus-seeking.
EIA should be carried out for all new (planned) tourism developments and any existing developments. Tourism projects have often expanded into new areas on the back of existing development projects, and consequently they have not been subject to EIA. Thus in the Indian Himalayas, it was the construction of roads during the Sino-Indian border war that opened up the area and made it accessible to tourism. In the Antarctic, scientific stations likewise served as initial infrastructure. In such cases, tourism is usually not properly planned. Yet in wilderness areas, no such development should take place without an EIA.
Box 26: Eias and tourism development
In general, the following suggestions regarding EIAs can be followed (Jenner and Smith, 1992):
• development of virgin areas, particularly if they provide habitat or food sources for endangered or vulnerable species, should be prohibited
• if development has already occurred, key areas for display, nesting and refuge, for example, should be "closed" to tourists at relevant times of the year (either directly, the erection of fencing, or indirectly, through education programmes that inform people when these areas should be avoided)
• undeveloped areas adjacent to tourism development should be managed, if necessary, to recreate vital lost habitat.
If an EIA is to be truly effective, however, it is essential that a broad sample of the affected public is aware of and understands the EIA concept. If necessary, an EIA should be analysed and debated in open session. If there is a reluctance to "go public" with EIAs, they may be suspected of being biased or of having been "bought" by the developers. This has been the experience in some Australian developments (Jenner and Smith, 1992).
Although EIA should be applied pre-development, it can also be applied post-development — for example, to facilities that predate green consciousness. This need not require the reduced operation of facilities (and hence financial loss) or the dismantling of expensive infrastructure. On the contrary, action taken as a result of EIA often enhances a resort and creates media interest, with positive public relations benefits.

Carrying capacity
Caring for the Earth (IUCN/UNEP/WWF, 1991), defines environmental carrying capacity as the capacity of an ecosystem to support healthy organisms while maintaining its productivity, adaptability, and capability of renewal. In other words, carrying capacity represents a threshold level of human activity: if exceeded, the resource base will deteriorate (Wolters, 1991).
Tourism carrying capacity is a specific type of environmental carrying capacity and refers to the carrying capacity of the (biophysical and social) environment with respect to tourist activity and development (Wolters, 1991). It represents the maximum level of visitor use and related infrastructure that an area can accommodate. If it is exceeded, deterioration of the area's resources, diminished visitor satisfaction, and/or adverse impacts upon the society, economy and culture of the area can be expected to ensue (McIntyre and Hetherington, 1991). Pearce and Kirk (1986) refer in addition to the social and psychological capacity of the tourist environment to support tourist activity and development.
These definitions are therefore considerably broader than, for example, Wagar's 1964 definition of the carrying capacity of wildlands which simply referred to the "level of recreational use an area can withstand while providing a sustained quality of recreation". This definition, in common with other writings of the time, implies that carrying capacity comprises two main components: a quality environment and a quality recreation experience (Kuss et al., 1990). But the extended recent definitions include at least four basic components: biophysical; socio-cultural; psychological; and managerial.
However, although the concept of tourism carrying capacity is not very difficult to perceive in theory, it is difficult to quantify, since no single definition of tourism, nor of environment, exists. Not surprisingly then, it is commonly recognized that there are no fixed or standard tourism carrying capacity values. Rather, carrying capacity varies, depending upon place, season and time, user behaviour, facility design, patterns and levels of management, and the dynamic character of the environments themselves. Moreover, it is not always possible in practice to separate tourist activity from other human activities.
Nevertheless, tourism planning can benefit from attempts to define tourism carrying capacity for a specific site or sites since these will offer an indication of the limits and limitations to tourism development. Besides, if visitor satisfaction is to remain at a constant level, the quality of the environment visited must be maintained. In general, if the tourism product declines in quality, tourism activity also declines.
Obviously, knowledge and understanding of the environmental impacts arising from tourism development are essential prerequisites if carrying capacity methodologies are to be applied. But in addition to a basic understanding of the tolerances and vulnerabilities of a park's resources and its local populations, a similar understanding must also be developed of the visitors and their expectations. These last may be high if visitors have spent a considerable sum of money to reach the remote protected area. Thus knowledge of the effect that visitors have upon other visitors is also called for (Pritchard, 1992).
The basic components of tourism carrying capacity
The biophysical component of carrying capacity relates primarily to the natural resource. It recognizes that no biophysical system can withstand unlimited utilization. Therefore, a threshold of tourist activity must be defined beyond which irreversible and detrimental change in the biophysical environment will occur, such as loss of habitats and elimination of species or populations of species. This threshold level is based on the assessment of the vulnerability to use of ecosystems.
The ability to define the carrying capacity levels of a natural environment will depend on the size and complexity of that environment. Specific activities in specific habitats, such as trampling on sand dunes, can be assessed relatively easily, as can specific activities carried out in large well-defined areas with relatively low human habitation levels. Assessment of biophysical carrying capacity is becoming increasingly common practice in protected area management (Wolters, 1991).
The socio-cultural component of carrying capacity component recognizes that detrimental socio-cultural impacts on local populations will occur if tourism exceeds a certain level. When evaluating these, it is necessary but sometimes difficult to distinguish between those caused by tourism and those resulting from other activities. Socio-cultural carrying capacity refers in the first place to the host population. Perceptions of what constitutes an unacceptable impact or effect will vary between the indigenous population and the tourists, and also within these two groups, and some attention must be given to prioritizing. For instance, a person making a living purely from tourism will view tourism very differently from someone totally uninvolved in this activity. This makes it very difficult to assess and evaluate socio-cultural carrying capacity accurately (Wolters, 1991). In order to measure the socio-cultural carrying capacity of a site, the assistance of an anthropologist or some other social scientist will be crucial. Likewise, the professional advice of an archaeologist is paramount if visitor impact on an archaeological site is to be assessed.
The psychological component of carrying capacity of a natural area refers to the maximum number of visitors for whom an area is able to provide a quality experience at any one time. Depending on each area, the type of attractions found there, and the specific characteristics of each tourist (ranging from, e.g. experienced ecotourist to casual park visitor), the psychological capacity may vary from 20m2 for a visitor at a look-out point (or 1m2 for a visitor leaning against the railing of that look-out point), to 10 m2 for a person using a high-density camping area, to one hectare (in the case of an isolated camper in a wilderness area) (Boullón, 1985).
Shelby and Heberlein ((1986) cited by Healy (1992b)), referring to what we call psychological carrying capacity, assert that it depends "on the number, type and location of encounters with other human groups [especially other visitors], and on the way these encounters affect the recreation experience. Some [psychological] capacities seem easy to establish. If lovers are looking for an intimate afternoon together, for example, the appropriate number of encounters with others is zero and the [psychological] capacity is two. It is more difficult, however, to establish capacity for a backcountry hiking experience or a day trip floating on an easily accessible river. [Psychological] capacity has traditionally been difficult to determine, primarily due to the difficulty of establishing evaluative standards".
The managerial component of carrying capacity refers to the maximum level of visitation that can be managed adequately in a given area. The managerial component is closely linked to the type of physical facilities available for visitors. Among the more important factors that must be considered are: number of park staff, park opening hours, limitations of interpretative services and facilities, parking space and/or docking space.
Measuring carrying capacity
Defining the carrying capacity of a protected area requires information pertaining to the resource itself and its infrastructure. This information will be specific to each protected area. Hence the carrying capacity for each protected area will also be specific in some or all of its aspects.
Carrying capacity may vary with precise site location. Some key parameters include: type of activity, season, time of day, health status of resources being exploited, existing facilities, and satisfaction of users. At a given location and at a given time, the carrying capacity level will be influenced most strongly by the most sensitive factor. This is usually resource-related but may also be economic or political. Research efforts should be targeted at indicator parameters, be they species, water quality (in the case of marine and coastal areas), visible damage or satisfaction levels of users (Clark, 1991).

Attractive and well-designed visitor centres are a great help to the interpretation of protected areas. Example: Volcán Masaya National Park, Nicaragua (55).

Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize (56); and Sequoia National Park, California, USA (57).

Good interpretation in protected areas is achieved in various ways. Examples: a well-briefed guide passes on pertinent information aboard a tour boat at Galápagos World Heritage Site, Ecuador (58); an open-air amphitheatre facilitates outdoor presentations in Yellowstone National Park, USA (59).

A scale model displays the Mayan ceremonial site at Copán World Heritage Site, Honduras (60).
The simple sum of the carrying capacities of all sites within a protected area should not, however, be considered equivalent to the carrying capacity of the whole area. For example, if various sites such as beaches or nature trails are interconnected or have a single access, the carrying capacity of the whole area may well be best determined by the site with the lowest real capacity. When calculating the number of visitors that a site can tolerate, it will be found to be more convenient to refer to "number of visits/time/site" than "number of visitors/time/site", since one single person may visit a site several times during the same day. It is also more accurate to refer to "visitors" to an area, when calculating carrying capacity, and not simply "tourists". For a park manager, even the most casual local visitor must be considered, as well as the most sophisticated foreign ecotourist, when estimating carrying capacity. (See Appendix X for an example of a methodology for estimating protected area carrying capacity.)
Actual carrying capacity can be a judgment call as to the acceptable level of change, both in terms of the resource and the satisfaction level of the tourists or visitors. Alternatively, physical considerations such as parking capacity, ferry boat capacity, or quantity of fresh water available, may determine carrying capacity, almost by default.
But in addition to the description of the relationships between specific conditions of use (e.g. types of use, site factors, amount of use) and the impacts associated with these conditions, judgments must be made about the acceptability of various impacts. In fact, Kuss et al. (1990), rather than describing the biophysical, social-cultural, psychological and managerial components of carrying capacity, refer to its descriptive and evaluative components.

Architects should adapt design concepts to natural features in planning accommodation for ecotourists, as in these two cases: a lodge in Aberdare National Park, Kenya, which makes good use of traditional building materials and provides an unobtrusive elevated structure permitting the free flow of wildlife underneath (61); and a lodge for mountain climbers and trekkers at Izta-Popo National Park, Mexico (62).
For them, the descriptive component of carrying capacity is concerned with the observable characteristics of a recreation system. They highlight two types of descriptive data as being the most important: management parameters and impact parameters. Anything an agency can directly manipulate is a management parameter. Examples of management parameters would include the number of visitors in a given area, the type of use and length of stay. Impact parameters would describe what happens to visitors or to the environment as a result of visitor use patterns and other management patterns. The percentage loss of ground vegetation, the frequency of encounters with others while on the trail or in the campsite, and changes in wildlife density and species diversity, would all be examples of impact parameters.
In examining how the number, type and distribution of people using a given area affect the condition of the environment and the recreation experience, the descriptive component identifies how the system works. But as Kuss et al. point out it does not determine the carrying capacity of the area. Evaluation is also necessary. The evaluative component considers the different objective states produced by management parameters in an effort to determine their relative merits. For successful implementation, it is important that this evaluation result in a set of objectives or standards specifying the type of experience to be provided in terms of appropriate impact parameters, as well as the degree of environmental modification acceptable to management.
Specific site plans for infrastructure development should include careful zoning, adaptation to natural surroundings, and functional links between the tourism area and the park administration, as shown in this preliminary design for an ecotourism centre in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico (63).

But defining such objectives or standards can be difficult and requires a greater knowledge of the resources and of visitor impact than many protected areas possess. Complexity is added by the fact that since visitors affect local and regional economies directly, the visitor management objectives of a park should incorporate national tourism and conservation goals. Perhaps the most challenging obstacle to establishing specific visitor management objectives is that of persuading managers to sacrifice some flexibility in order to commit the park to specific goals. Overall, the refinement of objectives is the responsibility of park managers working with the best data available and in cooperation with all affected groups be these visitors, local populations, the tourism industry or conservationists (Pritchard, 1992). Using this definition, which incorporates both scientific and judgmental considerations, carrying capacity becomes even more of a relative concept. Moreover, research has shown that many types of impacts are only weakly or indirectly correlated with use levels. Therefore, establishing capacities and use limits may do little to reduce the problems of impact that they were intended to resolve. Nevertheless, analysis of various management and impact parameters may lead to the development of alternative strategies for reducing impacts at particular times and places.
Limits of acceptable change
In order to improve the practical applicability of the traditional methods for measuring carrying capacity, Stankey and a number of other researchers developed the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) technique.
According to the creators of LAC, much of the problem with applying the traditional carrying capacity concept lies in its implicit question "How much use is too much?", rather than with the general goal of most protected wildland areas which can be summarized by the question, "What natural conditions are desired here?" In their opinion, the carrying capacity concept is hampered by the lack of a clear and predictable relationship between use and impact. The shift in attention from an appropriate use level to the desired condition is the basis of LAC's revised approach to the recreational carrying capacity (Stankey et al., 1985).
The LAC approach concentrates on establishing measurable limits to human-induced changes in the natural and social setting of parks and protected areas, and on identifying appropriate management strategies to maintain and/or restore desired conditions. That is, knowledge of the physical-biological environment is combined with knowledge of the socio-political context in order to define appropriate and acceptable future conditions. The LAC framework is thus based on resource management by objective (McCool and Stankey, 1992).

Fig. 8: The LAC Planning System. Source: Stankey et al., 1985
LAC involves nine steps, as illustrated in Figure 8. The process defines a series of "opportunity classes" for wilderness areas. An opportunity class provides a qualitative description of the kinds of resource and social conditions acceptable for that class, and the type of management activity considered appropriate. The following opportunity classes are identified for wilderness areas (and correspond to specific zones): pristine, primitive, semiprimitive non-motorized, and transition.
To date, the LAC system has proved itself to be a valuable management tool in several wilderness areas in the USA. However, the process may appear complex in the context of some developing countries, where its full application could be difficult, so adaptations are recommended in such cases.
As with determining the objectives of a protected area, or the level of tourism that would be appropriate in a given situation, intersectoral cooperation is also required to set the minimum acceptable levels of negative impacts. Lawrence (1992) presents some ideas as to how this might be achieved. She has proposed that economic development — which can be considered as including tourism or ecotourism development — should be based on acceptable changes in environmental and social quality. The planning method that she suggests incorporates several analysis and management techniques. The first step involves identifying social and environmental changes that could occur in the destination area and evaluates their level of acceptability. A wide variety of people who have a long-term interest in the development area(s) should be involved. It would then be decided what measures should be taken to ensure that the acceptable levels of social and environmental change are not exceeded.
The process begins with the identification of important and social environmental indicators. The researchers who conduct the analysis are responsible for choosing participants who have a long-term interest in the development area(s). These might include government officials, hotel proprietors, tourist guides, biologists and anthropologists. The specific types of people involved in this phase of the process will vary, however, according to the type(s) of protected area and its attractions. An ornithologist would be an obvious participant if the area includes birds that attract birdwatchers, whereas an anthropologist or archaeologist might better serve an area with ancient ruins. Once this panel of experts has been chosen, the Delphi technique (see below) can be used to establish a consensus on the variables that require further study. By consulting as many parties as possible with an interest or role in tourism for the area in question, conflict can be avoided.
Delphi surveys are a widely accepted technique for gathering information on issues which are not easily quantifiable, such as the environmental and social impacts of tourism development. The process begins with an anonymous survey of selected individuals with an interest in a proposal or who possess relevant skills. The initial survey is intended to solicit the opinions of the respondents with respect to the impact of the proposed development. Subsequent surveys are used to establish the relevant importance of the issues. The Delphi process is not infallible but can facilitate the planning process since it integrates the input of many relevant players (Lawrence, 1992).
Visitor impact management
Another technique for assessing and managing the environmental and "experiential" impacts of increasing numbers of visitors to natural areas has been developed by the National Parks and Conservation Association of the USA. It is called visitor impact management (VIM) and recognizes that recreational impacts on the environment and the quality of the recreational experience are complex and influenced by factors other than use levels. The description that follows has been taken mainly from Loomis and Graefe (1992).
VIM has two main objectives:
• to review and synthesize the existing literature dealing with recreational carrying capacity and visitor impacts
• to apply the resultant understanding to the development of a methodology or framework for the management of visitor impacts that could be applied across the variety of units within the US National Park system.
Several additional goals underlay the development of the VIM framework. It was important to provide a variety of types of information and tools to assist planners and managers with the difficult task of controlling or reducing undesirable visitor impacts. It was also important to develop management approaches that built upon current scientific understanding of the nature and causes of visitor impacts, and that did not repeat the problems of past management programmes. Finally, it was also necessary to consider not only impacts on the natural environment, but also those that affected the quality of the recreation experience, and to develop a consistent process for dealing with these prevalent types of recreational impact.
A review of the scientific literature related to carrying capacity and visitor impacts, undertaken by Loomis and Graefe (op. cit.), identified five major sets of considerations that are critical to understanding the nature of recreation impacts and that should be incorporated within any programme aimed at managing them:
Box 27: Overuse of protected areas
Congestion (or overcrowding) is a significant management problem for many parks and protected areas. Healy (1991) considers that for many tourism destinations, overcrowding arises as a result of unspecified ownership. The "tragedy of the commons" is a well-known concept among economists. Because precise ownership is often unclear, there is a tendency for tourism resources to be overused. Congestion is one type of overuse and both a function of the number of visitors and the physical layout of the site. Extensive areas and/or areas that have well-distributed access points and attractions will be more able to withstand overcrowding than small protected areas, or protected area parks with highly concentrated features.
Yet some areas might be perfectly acceptable even if filled with large numbers of people. In other words, overcrowding is perceived differently by different people. Tourists interested in "getting away from it all" will be unhappy if they see too many other visitors. But even a single encounter might be too many for some. Clearly, the number of encounters that tourists are willing to accept usually extends across a range, and should be estimated for management purposes. Management can then focus on regulating the number of encounters to keep it below the maximum.
Resource damage is another type of overuse, and can occur even in situations of only moderate or minimal use. Resource degradation resulting from the construction of tourist facilities built to serve the tourists, including hotels, restaurants and souvenir stands, is a common problem. Many of these facilities contribute to the tourists' experience, but have a negative impact on the resource itself, especially since the number of such facilities usually increases over time, thereby attracting more tourists to the area. Butler (1980, cited by Healy, 1991), has termed this the "tourism cycle". He has described tourism as evolving in six stages: exploration, involvement, development, consolidation, stagnation, and either decline or rejuvenation. If rejuvenation is not possible at the end of the cycle, tourism becomes non-renewable. The product is consumed by successive waves of tourists and development responses until the landscape or a cultural feature (the original attraction) has been rendered unattractive.
1. Impact interrelationships. No single, predictable response to recreational use can be predicted for natural environments or in terms of individual behaviour. Instead, an interrelated set of impact indicators can be identified. Some forms of impact are more direct or evident than others, but any impact indicator or combination of indicators could become the basis of a management strategy.
2. Use-impact relationships. The various impact indicators are related to the amount of recreation use of a given area, although the strength and nature of the relationships vary widely for different types of impact, and in accordance with different measures of visitor use and the particular situational factors. Most impacts do not exhibit a direct linear relationship with visitor density.
3. Varying tolerance of impacts. There is inherent variation in tolerance among environments and user groups. All areas do not respond in the same way to encounters with visitors. Some species may benefit at the expense of others which are negatively impacted or displaced. The same holds true for various recreational user groups. Some groups may enjoy higher user densities, yet others find these levels unacceptable.
4. Activity-specific influences. Some types of recreational activity create impacts more quickly than other types of activity. The extent of an impact resulting from a given activity can vary according to such factors as type of transportation or equipment used, and visitor characteristics, such as party size and behaviour.
5. Site-specific influences. The impacts of recreation are influenced by a variety of site-specific and seasonal variables. That is, given the basic tolerance level for a particular type of recreation, the outcome of recreational use may still depend greatly on the time and place of the human activity.
These five issues represent important management considerations, regardless of the type of impact one is dealing with. That is, these considerations apply whether one is focusing on ecological, physical, or social impacts.
The actual VIM framework is designed to facilitate
• identification of problem conditions
• determination of potential causal factors affecting the occurrence and severity of the unacceptable impacts
• selection of potential management strategies for ameliorating the unacceptable impacts.
The VIM framework includes an eight-step sequential process for assessing and managing visitor impacts, as shown in Figure 10.

Fig. 10: Visitor impact management/planning process.
Source: Loomis and Graefe, 1992.
Step 7 of the VIM planning process sets out to identify management strategies. Management techniques aimed at reducing a particular impact problem may adversely affect other aspects of the situation or introduce new problems for managers. For this reason, a matrix approach for evaluation of alternative management strategies is recommended (see Figure 11).


Guidelines
The techniques described in the preceding sections require considerable time and resources. Guidelines, on the other hand, can be drawn up fairly inexpensively. But as with EIA, establishing carrying capacity, LAC and VIM, they seek to prevent the worst impacts and to lessen others.
Guidelines can be used for a number of audiences, provided content and presentation are modelled accordingly. Visitors to protected areas, for instance, need and usually appreciate tips and information on how to behave. Many tourism impacts result from the activities of inexperienced or unknowledgeable visitors. For example, people snorkelling for the first time may stand on coral heads to adjust their masks or catch their breath. Thus visitors should be made fully aware of the consequences of such inadvertent contact with fragile resources. Areas that are not fragile can be reserved for visitors who need to learn and practice how to avoid damaging the resource. Of course, tourists' differing interests will necessitate different types and levels of information. For example, tourists coming to a park for a day-visit or a short stay at a hotel will not be interested in knowing about regulations and codes of conduct regarding human waste disposal in remote areas.

Fig. 11: Evaluation of alternative management strategies.
Source: Loomis and Graefe, 1992.
Crowding is a constant problem during the high tourist season in the Maasai Mara National Park of Kenya. This is to the detriment of wildlife and tourists. The prime time for safaris is just after dawn or just before sundown. Almost all tourists, travelling in various types of vehicle, leave the lodges and campsites (concentrated in two areas) at the same time and over a limited number of roads. The result is a shortage of space and animals.
As soon as animals high on the "must-see" list are spotted, vehicles scramble to obtain a good vantage point. Neither the frightened animals nor the stressed tourists are pleased by the encounter. It is ironic (and an opportunity for improved management) that other parts of the park are virtually devoid of tourists.
To address this problem, management at Maasai Mara has identified the amenities sought by tourists and how these have changed over time. A questionnaire was distributed to visitors, and tourists were monitored through use of a chase vehicle (with the permission of the tourists and their drivers). The excessive congestion was found to be the result of a preference for a limited number of animals (despite the large range available), limited viewing time, inadequate information, poor roads and viewing tracks, and, for the drivers, the expense of travelling to outlying areas.
It became evident that the drivers were a major source of information for the tourists. Yet frequently, they were inexperienced and unknowledgable about the resource itself, its history, or the objectives of the park. It was concluded that educating the drivers so that they could describe the park's features as a whole (and not just its "big five" mammals), thereby encouraging visitors to travel to other areas of the park, would be one means of alleviating the congestion problem.
Road layout was also identified as a problem. Therefore management zones were assigned to areas, based on type of use, capacity to absorb use and distance from other areas. This included a ban on stopping a vehicle within sight of the lodge. Fines and other disciplinary measures have been adopted to enforce compliance with the new restrictions. Although drivers were displeased by the additional restrictions, tourists generally supported them.
Source: Adapted from Gakahu, 1992b.
Examples of guidelines for tourists/visitors include those distributed by US state and federal agencies. These agencies have been very active in drawing visitors' attention to endangered species that are protected by law, and have made a major effort to convey a conservation message to people visiting public land. Penalties are used to help enforce these guidelines.
However, it was religious and ecumenical organizations who were the first to draw up guidelines (in the form codes of ethics) for tourists in general, in 1975. Initially these aimed to help stamp out social ills such as child prostitution, but later they were expanded to encourage respect and concern for the natural environment in developing countries.
Guidelines can also be targeted at tourism operators who organize nature-based travel experiences. Blangy and Wood (1992) suggest that such enterprises, working in tandem with organizations (be these governmental, non-governmental or private) which seek to conserve natural areas can help create a genuine ecotourism experience by:
• raising public awareness of environmental protection
• providing an economic resource for wildlands management
• maximizing economic benefits for local communities
• fostering cultural sensitivity
• minimizing the negative impacts of travel on the environment.
Guidelines on how tourism operators should (or should not) operate can be a useful first step in such a process. That said, it should be remembered that it was nature-based tourism operators who pioneered codes of ethics for environmental travel. Their guidelines, aimed at their clients, consist of commonsense principles on how to behave in the wild. In fact, until recently, very few host countries and destination reserves and communities in developing countries issued adequate information for travellers, tourism guidelines having been conceived and provided principally by organizations in outgoing countries. (The Ecotourism Committee of the Tsuli Tsuli/Audubon Society of Costa Rica is an exception. It has produced a code of environmental ethics for ecotour operators. See Box 20.)
A third group for whom guidelines may prove beneficial consists of the park or protected area staff themselves. (However, if illiteracy is common, written guidelines alone will be ineffective and some thought could be given to talks, seminars, etc., instead.)
Box 29: Guidelines for tourists
• Travel in a spirit of humility and with a genuine desire to learn more about the people of your host country. Be aware of the feelings of other people, thus preventing what might be offensive behaviour on your part. This applies particularly to photography.
• Cultivate the habit of listening and observing, rather than merely hearing and seeing.
• Realize that people in the country you visit may have time concepts and thought patterns that differ from your own.
• Instead of looking for the "beach paradise", discover the enrichment of seeing a different way of life, through other eyes.
• Acquaint yourself with local customs. What is courteous in one country may be quite the reverse in another — people will normally be happy to help you.
• Instead of the Western practice of "knowing all the answers", cultivate the habit of asking questions.
• Remember that you are only one of many tourists visiting this country and do not expect special privileges.
• If you really want your experience to be a "home away from home", it is foolish to waste money on travelling.
• Whenever you are shopping, remember that the "bargain" you obtained was possible only because of the low wages paid to the maker.
• Do not make promises to people in your host country unless you can carry them through.
• Spend time reflecting on your daily experience in an attempt to deepen your understanding. It has been said that "what enriches you may rob and violate others".
Source: Adapted from a brochure issued by the Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism, 1989.
Expertise should be drawn from many different quarters when establishing guidelines. Moreover, designing guidelines in partnership with all the entities affected by visitors can eliminate overlap, while at the same time ensuring that they are comprehensive and practical. Making guidelines part of a community involvement programme is an effective way of securing local people's commitment to their implementation.1
The following organizations are just some of those which have a role to play in the creation of effective guidelines:
• communities seeking to educate visitors about local customs
• public land managers working at all levels seeking to inform visitors of regulations, proper use and behaviour
• private enterprises: out-bound and in-bound operators, private reserves, lodges, airlines, and equipment retailers, all seeking to inform their customers concerning appropriate behaviour
• NGOs seeking to inform their members concerning appropriate behaviour
• professional associations seeking to maintain professional standards among members.
Blangy and Wood (1992) refer to a recent survey by The Ecotourism Society (TES) which entailed the gathering of 54 sets of tourism guidelines from different parts of the world. The guidelines were observed to have been developed by five different types of organization or sector:
• tourism industry, especially tour operators
• environmental NGOs
• governments (i.e. national and local land management agencies)
• religious and ecumenical groups (i.e. church councils)
• retailers of outdoor equipment
• consumer associations.
Tour operators surveyed by The Ecotourism Society expressed great interest in the generation of additional guidelines by local land managers, state agencies, NGOs and communities. It should not be feared that creation of such additional guidelines requires considerable expenditure. Guidelines programmes can be initiated inexpensively by allocating staff time to the project, and public agencies can also encourage local groups to conceive and adopt their own guideline documents by allocating a small amount of funding to pay the costs of a meeting facilitator, or to assist with the design and editing of a brochure. The TES survey also revealed that out-bound operators are willing to help their local partners in less developed countries to produce guidelines. Additionally, international and local NGOs often have funds for environmental education projects and may be willing to cover some of the costs of producing a set of guidelines. Tourist boards interested in promoting ecotourism are another possible source of funding for the production, printing and distribution of local guidelines.
Box 30: Targeting ecotourism guidelines
Potential target audiences for ecotourism guidelines for a given protected area include:
• visitors with tour groups
• unescorted daytime visitors
• unescorted overnight campers and backpackers
• tour guides
• tour operators
• scientists
• collectors
• amateur photographers
• boaters, snorkellers, divers
• souvenir hunters
• park managers
• park concessionaires
• designers of park physical facilities.
Source: Adapted and expanded from Blangy and Wood, 1992.
Box 31: Techniques for generating ecotourism guidelines
The following are some of the key points to consider when compiling guidelines for ecotourism:
• decide who the primary audience is (e.g. general visitors, tour operators, user groups)
• identify the theme or key thrust of the guidelines (e.g. environmental protection, increased cultural awareness)
• consult the tourist guides of target areas
• seek technical assistance from scientists who have studied tourism impacts
• gather all the partners together to form a committee to include residents, resource managers, guides, commercial operators, lodge owners, service personnel, and local retailers
• use guidelines from other protected areas as a model
• set objectives and formulate a means of evaluating whether the objectives have been met (e.g. less animal harassment or reduced trail erosion)
• work the document back and forth between the local committee and technical specialists
• consider how the guidelines will be disseminated or distributed (e.g. as signboards, leaflets, brochures, placards, audiovisual presentation).
Source: Adapted from Blangy and Wood, 1992.
Box 32: Checklist of issues to be considered when drafting guidelines
When drafting guidelines, take these general points and issues into consideration:
 Ecological aspects:
 garbage disposal
 human-waste treatment
 firewood collection and fuel self-sufficiency
 campfire placement
 camping site placement
 trail, driving, or boating behaviour
 plant, coral, endangered species protection
 suitable distances for wildlife viewing and photography
 feeding or touching animals
 control of pets
 preservation of clean water supply
 minimizing noise levels of day visitors and campers
 visual impacts of visitors on visitors
 size of groups
 removal of plants, insects, shells, rocks, etc.
 souvenirs banned by international trade laws.
 Social aspects:
 local customs and traditions
 permission to take photographs
 dress code
 language
 privacy
 response to begging
 use of technological equipment
 bartering and bargaining
 indigenous rights
 role of women in local society
 local religious beliefs and ceremonies
 local officials
 off-limits areas.
 Economic aspects:
 local standard of living
 principal local and regional economic activities
 local products
 local services
 local projects.
Source: from Blangy and Wood, 1992.
Distribution of guidelines
Content of guidelines and funding of their production are not the only consideration, however. Distribution is also important. It is therefore worth remembering that there are many outlets for guidelines besides the protected areas themselves. Blangy and Wood (1992) cite the following:
• travel guide books
• hiking and road maps
• promotional brochures
• pre-departure literature from tour operators
• airlines' seat pockets
• car-hire desks
• visitor centres
• literature available at entrances to protected areas
• hotel rooms and campsites
• outfitter sales desks and equipment (e.g. scuba, hiking, bicycling) hire points, souvenir stands, restaurants).
Nevertheless, guidelines for tourists are most useful when made available onsite. If tourists can view the impacts of tourism, or the fragility of the protected natural area immediately after having read the guidelines, the do's and dont's will come to life. It can be particularly effective to back up printed guidelines with a briefing. The ideal time for such a briefing is just before departing for the day's field trip. Those responsible for briefings should be knowledgeable about tourism impacts and able to explain the guidelines (giving examples of impacts they have observed) and to respond to questions. Alternatively, a film or video can be presented — for example to a captive audience during an airline trip or at a visitor centre — to back up written materials.
Distribution of guidelines can be enhanced through some well-planned publicity. Outbound operators sometimes announce their guidelines via a formal media campaign, targeted at international travellers and travel agents. Guidelines can also be included in press kits, incorporated into brochures, and promoted so as to appear in editorial pieces.
Ideally, guidelines should be printed as leaflets for distribution to individual tourists; but this may necessitate large print runs. Given the limited resources of many protected areas, managers will therefore need to be flexible and creative in finding the money necessary to print guidelines in sufficient quantity. Guidelines for tourist operators or guides will not normally require large print runs and therefore cost less to produce. Occasionally it may be possible to find outside sponsors to donate the necessary funds for large print runs. Consumer groups interested in the park, hotel and tour operator associations, local businesses interested in exposure, international non-governmental organizations, national organizations (including tourist boards) are also possible sources of funding. Offering to allocate a small amount of space in the published guidelines for advertisements from sponsors may help. Alternatively, information leaflets can be sold to tourists directly, especially if it is made clear that the proceeds will help fund conservation or management in the park.
Box 33: ASTA'S ten ecotourism commandments
• Respect the frailty of the Earth. Realise that unless everyone is willing to help preserve its unique and beautiful destinations, that future generations may not have the opportunity to enjoy them.
• Leave only footprints. Take only photographs. No graffiti! No litter! Do not take away "souvenirs" from historical sites and natural areas.
• To make your travels more meaningful, educate yourself about the geography, customs, manners, and cultures of the region you visit. Take time to listen to the people. Encourage local conservation efforts.
• Respect the privacy and dignity of others. Inquire before photographing people.
• Do not buy endangered plants, or products such as ivory, tortoiseshell, animal skins and feathers. Read the customs lists of products which it is prohibited to export.
• Always follow designated trails. Do not disturb animals, plants or their natural habitats.
• Learn about and support conservation-oriented programmes and organizations working to preserve the environment.
• Whenever possible, walk or use environmentally-sound methods of transportation. Encourage drivers of public vehicles to stop engines when parked.
• Patronize those (hotels, airlines, resorts, cruise lines, tour operators and suppliers) who advance: energy and environmental conservation; water and air quality; recycling; safe management of waste and toxic materials; noise abatement; community involvement, and whose staff are experienced, well-trained and dedicated to strong principles of conservation.
• Ask your ASTA travel agent to identify those organizations which subscribe to ASTA Environmental Guidelines for air, land and sea travel. (ASTA has recommended that these organizations adopt their own environmental codes to cover special sites and ecosystems.)
Pooling resources with other protected areas on tourist itineraries is another possibility. But care should be taken to avoid burdening tourists with the same information at each and every park or protected area they visit.
Evaluation of guidelines
As yet, few tourism guidelines have been evaluated in terms of their effectiveness. But travellers can be surveyed relatively easily on their return home and requested to provide information on whether their trip complied with the guidelines distributed.
If the objectives of the guidelines have been defined carefully and relate to specific sites or specific biological species, then guideline effectiveness can be measured by assessing the level of tourism impacts on the target wildland or species. For example, in the case of the "Save the Manatee" guidelines in Florida, it has been possible to document the significant decline in manatee mortality and injury following distribution of the guidelines to tourists (Blangy and Wood, 1992).
Guidelines can also be assessed by means of a questionnaire. Printed on the back or at the end of a set of guidelines, a questionnaire can serve as an important consumer feedback mechanism. Feedback can be incorporated into a revised document. It is a good idea to provide several well-posted receptacles for collection of completed questionnaires. (Rangers can ask for questionnaires as visitors exit and can also note down verbal feedback from exiting visitors). Using guidelines as a feedback mechanism can help staff to detect problems in advance, thereby improving protected area maintenance. And questionnaires give visitors the opportunity to participate in conservation efforts.
Box 34: Style tips for writing guidelines for tourists
• Be self explanatory: explain why, use examples, figures and drawings to illustrate consequences.
• Be positive and emphasize the benefits of compliance; i.e. avoid language that prohibits actions. Encourage responsible behaviour.
• Keep texts short.
• Translate guidelines into as many languages as possible.
• Use local printers and editors; print on recycled paper if feasible.
• Guidelines should be supplemented by advice on where and how to best view wildlife (without disturbing it), safety recommendations, and a directory of contacts and sources for further information (for example, field guides). Requests for donations are also appropriate.
• The name, address, and phone and fax numbers of the organization that prepared the guidelines should be clearly marked.
• A questionnaire for visitors on the effectiveness of guidelines should be considered.
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Case Study: Levera National Park in Grenada, West Indies
The Levera National Park Management Plan was drawn up following development of the plan, with the assistance of the Organization of American States, for a national parks system in Grenada. The proposed national park, centred around the brackish Levera Pond, covers 220 hectares, ranging in elevation from sea level to 260 metres. The government owns 22% of the area of the proposed park; the remainder is privately owned.
The mangrove surrounded Levera Pond is an important habitat for many animal and fish species. Juvenile marine fish remain in the Levera Pond before migrating to the sea during the rainy season. Other features of the proposed park included picturesque lava domes, two offshore islands used as breeding sites by birds and as nesting sites by turtles, patch reefs in the surrounding waters, and the popular Bathway Beach. The surrounding waters are to be protected down to the 6 metre contour line.
Planning for the Levera National Park included input from a workshop attended by members of the local population and regional organizations. The workshop recommended protection for a series of areas in the north of Grenada. The European Development Fund (EDF) subsequently provided funding for the Levera National Park and surrounding developments. The cost components and economic results of the proposal were as follows:
Costs US$
Levera Park 87,000
Road improvements 417,000
Tourism attractions 98,000
Management programmes 160,000
Staff 370,000
TOTAL 1,132,000
Economic results US$
Gross economic benefit 1,908,000
Net economic benefit 763,000
Economic IRR (25 years) (24.26 %)
Financial IRR (25 Years) (6.69 %)
Effects on national budget (0.7% of 1988 national budget) 322,000
Effects on balance of payments (3.5% of 1986 trade deficit) 1,908,000
Source: Adapted from Huber, 1992.

Case Study: Economic value of bird watching in Ontario, Canada
Point Pelee National Park is widely recognized as one of the most important centres for migratory birdwatching in North America. The park is located on the shores of Lake Erie, approximately 80 km from Windsor, Ontario. At the time of the study, during the 1987 spring migration, the park received almost 60,000 gate visits (involving nearly 20,000 individual bird watchers).
The study, based on the results of random personal interviews with 603 "birders", sought to evaluate their spending patterns during the duration of their visit to the area and their willingness to pay for their experience. The study found that the bird watchers were a relatively atypical group, comprised mostly of men (59%), with an average age of 49.3 years (versus the Canadian average of 42 years), and predominantly professional (57.9%). (The study did not cover people under 16 years of age.) Some 62% of those interviewed held at least a bachelor's degree (considerably more than the overall Canadian average of 10%).
The birders had an average 15.2 years experience as active bird watchers and 80% had visited the park before. However, the majority visited the park only once a year. During the study period they spent an average of 3.4 days (39.7% stayed in the area for 2 to 3 days) in the area and around US$2.1 million. Extrapolating from data provided by the Canadian Parks Service, the authors estimated that in 1987 the annual expenditure of birders coming to visit the park was US$5.4 million. Travel, accommodation, and food expenses each accounted for about a quarter of total expenditure. Long-term visitors tended to spend slightly more than the average US$66 per day for all visitors (including day visitors). Many of the visitors stayed at Leamington, the town closest to the park, but the limit on the number of available beds obliged many others to stay further away.
Using contingent value methodology (CVM), the respondents were asked what they would have been prepared to pay for their experience. Using the result as a proxy for the value they received, it was determined that most of the birders would have visited the park even if the cost had been double. (However, it should be added that CVM is a controversial method and should be used with care.)
Concurrent surveys of business owners and local hotel and restaurant operators were also positive, although to a lesser extent. Businesses estimated sales to birders during May to be less than 25% of the US$2.1 million reportedly spent by birders. Hotels and restaurants increased working schedules, including temporary hires, by approximately 3,000 hours, infusing some US$16,000 in additional wages into the local economy. In general, the authors felt that the businesses were not taking full advantage of the influx of visitors for the May bird migrations. (Since the time of the study, a brochure has been published by the community to attract birders, indicating some effort to boost tourism in the area.) The authors also felt more could be done to attract birders during the fall migrations which were considered almost as good as the May migration, but which are less well-known. Opportunities also exist for promoting other features of interest in the area; these could bring in an additional US$6.6 million.
Case Study: Tourism in Rwanda
In Rwanda, considerable revenue was generated by ecotourism visits to the Mountain Gorilla Project in the Parc National des Volcans. This revenue was instrumental in strengthening protection of the gorillas from poachers and their habitat from encroachment by agricultural activities. The revenue also helped to cover the costs of the national conservation authority as well as those incurred in managing the national parks.
Although visiting the gorillas which inhabit the Virunga Mountains on the border between Zaire, Rwanda and Uganda had been a popular tourist attraction for some years, it was not until 1978 that the Mountain Gorilla Project established a framework for tourism in conjunction with an overall conservation plan. The project which was a government/NGO partnership, successfully combined visitor management, park protection and conservation education. Visitors in groups of 6 to 8 paid US$140 each to spend an hour in very close proximity to the great apes under the close supervision of the guides. Proceeds were used to used to improve management and protection from poachers. Furthermore, by conferring an economic value on the gorillas, tourism development demonstrated to central government the benefits to be gained from maintaining the park, rather than allocating it to other land uses, such as tea and coffee plantations, or tin mining. Zaïre, impressed with the success of these efforts, has established a similar gorilla and tourism project, which has also been successful.
However, a number of problems surfaced. For example, the income generated by the programme resulted in an overdependency on tourism. This was unfortunate given that tourism demand can and has fluctuated substantially. For instance, confrontations between Rwandan government forces and insurgents from Uganda in the gorillas' habitat resulted in a sharp drop in the number of tourists visiting the area. The ensuing decline in revenue made it very difficult for the park authorities to continue managing protected areas properly. Additionally, although both sides were committed to ensuring the safety of the gorillas, poaching increased. This indicated that success in promoting gorilla conservation as a local concern had been limited at most.
The decrease in revenue from tourism, coinciding with the need for increased protection from poaching, underlined the necessity for careful planning of such projects. In this case, too few of the economic benefits accruing from gorilla watching reached the local communities. Thus, rather than perceiving the gorillas as an asset, some locals considered gorilla conservation to be a government activity and the gorillas themselves a justifiable target for poaching. Concern was also expressed that tourism would become the project's focus, to the detriment of the gorillas' well-being. For example, the intensified links with human beings did not apparently harm the gorillas in any way, but the spread of disease remained a concern.
Case Study: The economic benefits of ecotourism in New Zealand
New Zealand is a small, sparsely populated, mountainous country. Much of its remaining wilderness is preserved as 12 national parks and 1,500 reserves, occupying one-third of its total land area, and including 13,000 km of coastline, and most of the outlying and subantarctic islands.
The growth in international tourism during the past 30 years has been rapid: from 41,000 visitors in 1961 to almost 1 million in 1991. Tourism is centred mainly on national parks and other protected areas. Foreign visitor polls indicate that approximately 70% of travellers visit the country to see its national parks. Tourism expenditures accounted for US$6 billion per annum in 1989 (both domestic and international travellers), contributing 12.6% to GDP, and accounting for 150,000 full-time jobs. Tourism is New Zealand's largest foreign exchange earner and the tourism industry contributes US$19 million to the government in taxation. An increase to 3 million visitors a year may be possible by the year 2000.
In New Zealand the costs associated with increased tourism are due primarily to increased pressures at a small number of locations in sensitive protected areas. These have been exacerbated by the 50% cut in the resources allocated for administration. Cooperation between tourism and conservation interests in New Zealand begins at the top — with a national conservation authority that includes industry nominees. Second level liaison between conservation managers and park users (through a Conservation Tourism Liaison Group (CTLG)) plays a significant part in managing conflicts, for example, at Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park.
Case Study: The economic impact of national parks in Victoria, Australia
Two of Victoria's largest and most popular national parks have contrasting histories which allow one to gauge the economic impact of the creation of a national park on a surrounding community. Wilsons Promontory National Park was established in 1898 and added to at several later stages. The Grampians National Park was established in 1984. A recent study, in an attempt to quantify the economic impact of the parks on the areas surrounding them, compared a variety of indicators, including the number of accommodation units, visitation rates, the number of building permits, etc., for the last decade.
Over 400,000 visitor days are recorded for the Promontory each year. During the past decade, there has been a steady growth of around 5% per annum in the number of day visitors and lodge occupancy rates, but little change in the number of camping nights from 1979–1980 onwards. (There was no increase in the number of camping sites and accommodation units over the study period.)
Estimated visitation rates for The Grampians have increased from 352,000 visitor days in 1970 to 1.21 million in 1982 and to 1.44 million in 1990. In The Grampians study area, 37 new hotels/motels or camping areas were added, as well as over 700 new beds or camping sites, in the period 1978–1991. Of these, 27 new establishments (and 400 new beds/sites correspond to the seven-year period after the park was created (1984–91).
In short, growth was evident in the Grampian area and not the Promontory over the last decade, and that growth was more rapid after than before the creation of the Grampians National Park. This improvement was built on an already solid base and so it is tempting to suggest that the declaration of a national park accelerates the rate of increase.
Source: Adapted from Wescott, 1992.
Case Study: Nature conservation and economics on an island reserve
The International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP) took over the management of Cousin Island (a 29 ha granite island in the Inner Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean) in 1968. At this time the island was an unprofitable coconut plantation. However, over 20 years of management as a nature reserve have restored the island's ecological value and greatly enhanced its attraction to tourists.
In 1967 only around 25 of the endemic Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) survived and there seemed little likelihood that it would be saved from extinction. In a final effort to prevent this, ICBP purchased the island with funds subscribed in Great Britain and turned it into a fully protected reserve with a resident trained staff. By minimizing disturbance and restoring the natural habitat of scrub and forest, the world population of this bird has increased tenfold. Other threatened species inhabiting this very small island, including various seabirds, have also begun to thrive. Cousin, which is a particularly beautiful palm-fringed island, is now internationally famous as a conservation show-piece.
Initially, wildlife tourism contributed to the losses incurred in running the reserve. But today Cousin Island is not only self-financing but also makes a profit. The latter is used to further other conservation initiatives in the Seychelles. The Seychelles Government is now developing an ecotourism model for application to the country's protected area network.
Source: Adapted from Rands, 1992, and Mountfort, 1988.
Case Study: Impact of a marine park on the regional economy
A case study by the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, concerning the proposed Pitons National Park, has shown that creation of the park could prove crucial to the economic well-being of the nearby town of Soufrière. At the outset of the study it was generally agreed that in terms of environmental protection, the park would be "a good thing". The question to be answered, though, was whether or not a luxury hotel on the same site would generate considerably more income and jobs (that Soufrière and the country could not afford to forgo). An analysis was therefore made to compare the short-and long-term direct and indirect benefits of the hotel "versus" the park.
The analyses followed standard procedures. The project was assumed to have a ten-year life. For the financial analysis, investment and operating costs were estimated on an annual basis. Principal costs were for land acquisition, infrastructure, visitor attractions and personnel. The main sources of park income, also annualized, were: admission fees, concessions (restaurant/bar, sugar mill/distillery/museum, botanic garden, spice/fruit-tree plantation, mini-zoo, glass-bottom boat), and gift shop sales. Income from grants and donations was expected to be substantial but was not included in the estimate.
Based on a high demand estimate, the financial internal rate of return was calculated at 15.9%. Using an interest rate of 12%, the net present value was estimated at US$340 000. The results of the economic analysis showed an internal rate of return of 49% and a net present value of US$10.5 million, using a 12% discount rate. Other benefits were also determined. It was estimated that by year 10, the project would have generated about 1000 new jobs, nearly 130 of these within the park itself. Clearly, this would have a significant development impact on an area that currently has a labour force of only 3600.
It was estimated that the foreign exchange impact would be considerable and that, in addition, social benefits (such as increased employment opportunities, higher level jobs, housing, schools, urban infrastructure, etc.) would accrue to the region. Last but not least, the natural beauty of Pitons National Park would be preserved for coming generations.
Since the planning team did not have access to information concerning plans for the hotel, it could not compare anticipated benefits of the park with those arising from construction and operation of the hotel. However, based on Caribbean experience of foreign financing of luxury hotels, a qualitative analysis was performed which proved to be favourable to the park proposal. Important lessons learned from this study were:
• park planning should use an integrated, multisectoral, multidisciplinary approach
• parks must be seen as an integral part of the socio-economic development of an area
• a park can have a major impact on the economy of its surrounding region
• social benefits are an important factor in economic analysis
• if a park does not appear to be financially viable on its own account, investment in man-made attractions can increase income without significantly increasing impact on the park's resources
• countries should consider legislation to permit parks to collect fees from visitors and to retain income generated
• income generated by the park should augment, not replace, budgetary allocations
• the private sector must become more involved in the planning and management of parks.
Source: Adapted from Heyman, 1992.
Case Study: National Vacation Village system in Japan
National Vacation Village (NVV) is a district resort system established by the Japanese Environment Agency within national and quasi-national parks. It is administered by the National Vacation Village Corporation. The system was launched in 1960 to promote both public enjoyment and maintenance of national parks. Lodging charges are reasonable, the natural environment around park facilities is conserved, and nature-oriented services for visitors are provided.
There are 32 NVV districts in Japan, each comprising an average of 50 ha of natural environment, accommodation and other recreational facilities. The first 20 years witnessed some difficulties in financial management. However, remodelling of old facilities, provision of more diverse food services and recreational facilities, and improved interpretation and public relations, combined with increasing interest in outdoor activities, mean that the NVV system is no longer running at a loss.
The following figures correspond to the fiscal year 1990:
Number of visitors 4.5 million
Number of visitors
staying overnight 1.4 million
Total revenue US$ 115 million
Total expenses US$ 115 million
(including payment of interests: US$ 5 million, depreciation expenses: US$ 13 million)
Among local residents, the NVV system is perceived as a sound enterprise in which the government takes the initiative. Among local authorities, the system is highly praised since it contributes to the socioeconomic and cultural well-being of communities. Among the Japanese in general the system is very popular since it provides many opportunities for outdoor recreation, at very reasonable rates.
Future plans for the NVV system will include seeking to increase the level of investment in order to improve existing facilities and to provide more programmes and orientation for outdoor recreational activities.
Case Study: The economic impact of whale watching
Whale watching as a commercial activity began in 1955 in North America along the southern California coast. For the first two decades, it grew steadily. By 1981, figures for California and New England, then the only two extensive whale watching areas, amounted to about 300,000 whale watchers and direct revenues of more than US$3 million. Additional revenues worldwide, including Canada, Mexico and Australia, probably amounted to around US$1 million.
The economic importance of whale watching has grown rapidly. By 1988, whale watching worldwide was worth an estimated US$11–16 million in direct revenues and US$38.5–56 million in total revenue (including expenditure on travel, accommodation, food, film, clothing, and souvenirs). But between 1988 and 1992, whale watching grew even more dramatically.
Today, whale watching is carried out on the waters of some 30 countries, plus Antarctica. All the large whale species and many dolphins and porpoises can be seen regularly on a wide range of tours, lasting from an hour to two weeks. The tours are conducted from fishing boats, rubber inflatables, sailboats, kayaks, dinghies, barges, cruise ships, airplanes, helicopters, and shore lookouts. Whale and dolphin watchers now number more than 4 million per year worldwide, and spend at least US$75.6 million in direct revenue on tours. Total revenues are in the region of US$317.9 million. These are conservative estimates. Although whale watching activity has reached a plateau in some parts of the world, the total numbers will probably continue to increase steadily.
"Direct revenues" comprise the amount of money spent on a whale-watching trip. In the 1980s, research determined that whale watchers were spending "total revenues" which were about 3.5 times the cost of a trip; this multiplier is considered to provide a reasonable estimate of total revenues from direct revenues for day or half-day trips near urban centres such as the eastern US, California or Hawaii. For smaller, remote ports, however, total revenues can be 5 to 10 times the direct revenues.
Whale watching is a non-consumptive "use" of whales with recreational, educational and scientific, as well as economic dimensions. It has made a major contribution to fundraising for scientific research, and the tour boats themselves have provided a ready platform for research. It can also be an important educational experience, offering both children and adults an opportunity to learn about whales, the nature of scientific research and the importance of marine conservation. Whale watching in certain parts of the world has helped to create support for habitat preservation for whales and dolphins, and to ensure better management of the ocean's resources.
During the recent worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling, whale-watching tours have also become popular off Japan, Norway and Iceland. In fact, the extraordinary success of whale watching suggests that whaling is far from being the best "use" of whales.
In 1988, it was estimated that nature-oriented travel led to the transfer of US$25 billion per year from northern developed to southern developing countries. Whale watching currently constitutes only a small part of this north-south transfer, but has immense potential in the southern nations. In developing countries prime destinations for whale watching include: Ojo de Liebre, Guerrero Negro and San Ignacio Lagoons in Baja California, Mexico (grey whales); Sea of Cortez in Mexico (at least five big whale species and several dolphin species); Puerto Pirámides in Península Valdés, Argentina (southern right whales — an estimated 22,000 people went whale watching in 1991, generating a total revenue of US$18 million); Samaná Bay in the Dominican Republic (humpback whales); the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador; and Easter Island, west of the Chilean mainland.
But although whale watching can provide substantial, continuing economic return great care is needed to devise management plans. Tour businesses need to be monitored, boat traffic regulated, and the whales protected from harassment. If prospective tour operators are prepared to learn from the experience of existing tour operators, whale watching can continue to grow, with maximum benefits accruing to local communities, tourism operators, scientists, conservation groups, whale watchers and, ultimately, the whales themselves.
Source: Adapted from E. Hoyt, 1992.
Case Study: Private enterprise and wildlife-based tourism in Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe, both hunting and non-hunting safaris are a major component of wildlife-based tourism. The number of safari and tour operators has grown rapidly since 1980, and especially since 1985. Safari operators and professional hunters operate in the parks and wildlife estate, and on state forest lands, communal lands and privately-owned farms and ranches. Revenue earned from hunting safaris for foreign visitors increased from US$85,000 in 1985 to US$9 million in 1990. During the same period, the value of trophies increased from US$27,000 to US$4 million. In 1990 Zimbabwe supported over 11,000 days of hunting. Although final figures are not yet available, it is believed that Zimbabwean safari and tour operators earned the country around US$52 million in 1990.
But although recreational hunting is an important component of the safari industry, photographic and walking safaris are increasing in popularity, as are canoeing, white-water rafting and water-based game viewing. Recreational hunting, photographic and walking safaris have been developed on private land, in response to a strong overseas demand. The result has been a rapid increase in the area devoted to wildlife. Even in prime agricultural regions, farmers are turning land over to wildlife and offering tour facilities and overnight accommodation for visitors. The Zimbabwean Wildlife Producers Association was created in 1986, in an attempt to structure the industry, and now has some 480 members of whom at least half are actively involved in promoting the utilization of wildlife on their properties; 76 of these farmers recently formed the Wildlife Producers Cooperative that, under the name "Safari Farms", markets "tourism on the ranch" and acts as a travel agent for the producers.
There is also growing interest in Zimbabwe in the CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources) programme. This represents efforts by communal farmers to manage wildlife on an economic basis and to secure financial benefits from both recreational hunting and non-consumptive tourism. District Councils that are considered competent to manage their own wildlife resources are granted "Appropriate Authority Status" by the Ministry of Natural Resources, and are entitled to issue hunting permits, lease hunting concessions to professional operators and generally control the use of wildlife within their areas.
CAMPFIRE is becoming increasingly accepted as a viable form of land use in marginal areas. Through this programme, conventional hotel chains, as well as safari operators, are being encouraged to enter into joint venture agreements with District Councils, utilizing local wildlife populations, or those in adjacent protected areas, for non-consumptive tourism. By spreading the distribution of hotels, significantly greater numbers of tourists can be accommodated, without jeopardizing the wilderness experience of the tourists. Apart from sharing in the tourism profits, District Councils benefit through the creation of jobs and the creation of markets for locally produced products.
Significant funds are already being generated from CAMPFIRE programmes. The total net revenue from wildlife-based activities in the Gurave district Council during its first year of operations (1989) was US$134,000. Increasingly, direct cash payments are being distributed to those households that bear the social and economic costs of permitting large mammals to roam on their land.
Source: Adapted from Heath, 1992.

Fig. 33: The parks and wildlife estate, Zimbabwe, 1990. Source: Heath, 1992.
Fig. 34: Zimbabwe, CAMPFIRE Projects Source: Surveyer General (1979), Zimbabwe Land Classification; Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management (1991), Personal Communication.


Case Study: Aboriginal societies and ecotourism in Canada
In Canada's Northwest Territories, aboriginal societies, tourism interests, and conservation agencies are finding increasingly that at least some of their varying goals can be achieved through common cooperative action.
The Northwest Territories (NWT) comprises an area of some 3.4 million km2 (about one-third of the total area of Canada). Within this vast region lives a population of just 55,000 people. A substantial proportion of that population consists of Inuit, Indian and Metis aboriginal peoples who live in small, remote communities that are dependent on biophysical resources. In general, the living standards in these aboriginal communities are well below those in the rest of Canada.
The period when contact was first established between Canada's aboriginal peoples and the Euro-American society to the south, ranges from approximately 200 to barely 50 years ago. For many of these peoples, the shift from the nomadic life of seasonal camps to year-round residence in newly-established settlements occurred only a generation ago.
Until relatively recently, much of the tourism in the NWT shared many of the unfavourable characteristics that distinguish other kinds of economic activity such as mining. For example, tourism generally involved the development and operation — by entrepreneurs and staff from outside the region — of a fishing or hunting lodge. Affluent guests would arrive by air and leave a week later with their trophies. They would spend large amounts of money, but virtually none of that money found its way into the economy of the aboriginal communities of the region. Nor did the visitors have any contact with host communities.
However, ecotourism has recently emerged in the NWT and is providing opportunities for visitors and residents to come together in circumstances of mutual respect and benefit. A remote Inuit community is more likely to favour a tourism approach that is conducive to understanding and appreciation of Inuit traditions and values, than an approach that ignores or threatens those values.
The scale of tourism initiatives is itself important. All but a handle of communities in the NWT have populations of less than 1500 people. A continuing deluge of tourists delivered by the busload, shipload or planeload would overwhelm such communities. Fortunately, given the climate of northern Canada, the likelihood of such inundations is slight. Besides, ecotourism tends to be small-scale.
During the past 20 years, the territorial government of the NWT has established its own park system. The primary purposes of territorial parks are to support tourism and to provide recreational opportunities for NWT residents. Perhaps the most interesting territorial park initiatives with respect to aboriginal communities are two very successful historic parks in the Baffin region of the eastern Arctic.
The focal point of Qaummaarviit Territorial Historic Park near Iqaluit is an archaeological site settled 700 to 800 years ago by the Thule people, from whom today's Inuit are descended. And at Kekerten Territorial Historic Park near Pangnirtung, the theme is the whaling industry during the first period of contact between Inuits and Euro-Americans a century ago. There has been a high level of cooperation between the territorial government and local communities concerning both initiatives.
Local involvement was also crucial to the planning and development of the Angmarlik Visitor Centre in Pangnirtung. The centre introduces visitors to the cultural and natural histories of the region, and also responds to visitor enquiries concerning accommodation, guided excursions to Kekerten park and other nearby sites, and outfitted trips to more distant destinations. The centre also serves as a meeting point for community elders and also facilitates meetings between elders and tourists. It thus enriches the experience of visitors and at the same time encourages the community to view tourism positively. Tourism is now regarded locally as an activity that heightens understanding and appreciation of Inuit values and traditions, rather than as a phenomenon that threatens those values. Tourism is also considered beneficial since it provides employment and generates income. Moreover, in many NWT communities, tourism facilities and services are owned by community cooperatives, thus helping to ensure that benefits generated by tourism remain within those communities.


To summarize, the following factors are important if tourism is to be developed successfully among small diverse communities:
 Community involvement. The aboriginal societies must be fully involved in all aspects of conservation and tourism planning. If community involvement was absent in the past, a much greater effort will be required, over a long period of time, to overcome feelings of distrust and animosity.
 Community benefits. During on-going consultation with concerned communities, conservation jurisdictions must be able to point to tangible benefits that will flow to the communities from the proposed conservation initiative and associated ecotourism. Those benefits might include:
 continued and/or exclusive access to biophysical resources of the protected area for subsistence purposes
 provision of technical and professional training opportunities relating to positions in tourism and conservation agencies
 priority status in relation to hiring programmes undertaken by tourism interests and conservation agencies
 priority status in the licensing of businesses to be operated in the park or protected area
 compilation of traditional knowledge and heritage values of the aboriginal societies by the conservation jurisdiction, for use by the communities themselves in strengthening their societal traditions, and by the conservation agency in order to deepen visitors' appreciation of the traditional society.
 Scale. It is impossible to quantify precisely the levels of change that are manageable or acceptable. Nevertheless, the readiness with which a traditional society can adjust to changes brought about by a new conservation management regime and by associated tourism is clearly partly dependent on the scale of those changes. The changes wrought by the onset of mass tourism may utterly destroy the social and economic fabric of a traditional society. Control of visitor numbers and visitor use patterns may thus be in the best interests of both the traditional society and the biophysical resources that are the subject of protected area status.
 Ownership of land. In many parts of the world, aboriginal and traditional societies are fighting hard for formal recognition of their claims to land ownership. The establishment of a protected natural area and the accommodation of associated sustainable tourism will be accepted much more readily by aboriginal groups if the legal status of the land in question is first settled to their satisfaction. It may well be possible to advance land ownership and protected area initiatives more or less simultaneously. This is now occurring in the eastern part of the NWT. Elsewhere, in areas where there has been little progress on basic land ownership questions, negotiations concerning establishment of protected areas are making little headway.
 Sensitivity to the needs of area residents and visitors. It is obvious that the concerns of traditional societies must be sensitively and satisfactorily addressed if protected area and associated tourism initiatives are to be successful over the long term. It is perhaps less obvious that the concerns of traditional societies can sometimes be dealt with in part by addressing with sensitivity the needs and concerns of visitors themselves. By and large, the persons who make up the adventure travel and ecotourism market wish to accord every respect to the traditional societies whose homelands they visit. They wish to avoid actions that might be seen to be offensive or detrimental to the interests of local residents. Since they are visiting lands whose people, wildlife and vegetation are largely alien to them, ecotourists must be informed as to what is and what is not acceptable. They will recognize that compliance is in the interests of all concerned, and that the quality of their own experience depends in part upon their compliance.

Case Study: Local community involvement in Nepal
The phenomenal increase in trekking tourism during the last 20 years has upset the delicate ecological balance between land and life in the Annapurna Conservation Area and Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park in Nepal. Although trekkers contribute much needed cash to the local economy, they demand many more services than the area can provide, compounding the existing problems of fuel and food shortages and creating environmental and accultural problems.
The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) represents an attempt to deal with some of these problems. It has approached tourism management with an innovative "bottom-up" approach based on local management rather than the more traditional "top-down" enforcement of park regulations. The latter had proved ineffective in managing tourism in Sagarmatha National Park (SNP).
From the outset of its operation in 1986, ACAP has sought to identify and strengthen existing traditional community organizational structures. Lodge management and forest management committees, for example, were formed on the basis of traditional local "rithi thiti samiti" institutions. The committees consider themselves partners in the ACAP. They have been receptive to different ideas, and have experimented with imaginative innovations and strengthened enforcement of traditional regulations.
The Gurungs living in the Annapurna area are less experienced with the tourism trade than the Sherpas of SNP, and less familiar with the operation of lodges and provision of guide and support services for trekkers and mountaineers. ACAP therefore established local lodge owner-operator training programmes.
A lodge management committee was formed very early on in ACAP operations. This committee took a number of actions to manage tourism, including regulation of menu prices to counteract competition and price-reductions, thereby providing some stability for both visitors and the lodge owner-operators. Additionally, it made funds available for the improvement of lodges; lodge-owners were granted these provided they adhered to minimum standard requirements. The committee also enforced new regulations on fuelwood use, and together with the forest management committee, also banned hunting in the Annapurna Sanctuary and the upper Modi Khola valley on their own initiative. This ended the traditional hunting of deer, ghoral and other wildlife in the area and stopped the sale of game in tourist lodges.
Villagers who were not involved in lodge operation were encouraged to grow vegetables and fruit and raise poultry in order to profit from the increased market for these products that tourism has created.
ACAP has also worked with lodge operators to launch a series of clean-up efforts. These have been quite successful, and there has been a good deal of publicity about how free the Annapurna region is from litter in comparison with the Mount Everest region (the "world's highest junkyard"). But it must be emphasized that local residents regarded clean-up activities as a way to earn cash income.
ACAP is not focusing solely on tourism development, however, but is rather promoting broader-based development by providing logistical and financial help for a range of community-identified projects and activities, thereby benefiting all residents. ACAP assists community development. Early local projects included improvement of village drinking water supplies, improvement of trails, establishment of the first medical clinic in the area, and expansion of the school system. Communities are provided with technical training, construction materials and tools. Villagers provide free local labour and locally available resources. Local committees oversee the actual development and operation of the projects and have primary responsibility for the maintenance and sustainability of all project activities.
Case Study: Community-based ecotourism in the South Pacific
Tavoro Forest Park and Reserve is a protected area containing mainly rain forest (but also beaches, a lake and a number of creeks and streams, some of which have waterfalls and pools ideal for swimming). It is located at Bouma on Taveuni Island, the third largest of the Fiji group in the South Pacific. The island receives a number of visitors mostly due to its reputation as an excellent site for diving. Local people are poorly represented in the island's business activities, however, since most tourist facilities are controlled by expatriates.
The land on Taveuni is owned mostly by clans known as "mataqali", who sell the rights to harvest timber in return for cash. The cash is used to pay for the small number of items, including school fees and housing, that the islanders require in order to supplement their normal "affluent subsistence" lifestyles. Some 60% of the islands' forests are operated through logging concessions.
A youth from one of Bouma's neighbouring towns, who was knowledgable about land use, realized that the Bouma forest had potential as a tourist attraction. Visitors were already coming to the site, having heard about it on the island. With the aid of a priest and the priest's father (a mataqali elder), he convinced the majority of the mataqali and the mataqali chief that tourism would be more productive for the community than logging. The mataqali then successfully approached the Fijian government for assistance, considering that official recognition of the proposed area would legitimize it in the eyes of visitors. Trails and a visitor centre were created, and other improvements made, with aid money from the New Zealand Government. The visitor centre was located outside the village to help minimize the impact of tourism on the villagers' lifestyle. In its first six months of operation, the forest reserve generated US$8,000 in revenue, half of which was used to pay for personnel and maintenance costs. The balance has been used to pay school fees and for the construction of a new house for one of the families in the village. All income from the park is controlled by the mataqali and distributed as needed within the community.
The financial arrangements are particularly successful because the village economy has not yet become cash-based. Another village with a similar forest reserve system has encountered difficulties in balancing the needs of the community as a whole with the interests of a number of entrepreneurial villagers who were already providing services for tourists. The Tavoro project has been successful precisely because there is no conflict of interest among the villagers who control the forest. They appear to be satisfied with the modest but steady income provided by the reserve.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post :D
    thought you might like my machinima film the butterfly's tale~
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1fO8SxQs-E
    Bright Blessings
    elf ~

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