New publication! Tourism and the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014


Tourism and the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014

This is a new Conference Report published in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, which summarises the tourism activities from the 2014 World Parks Congress, that took place in Sydney.


A more extended version of this paper, with more detailed analysis, will be available soon.

JOST cover page

New case studies on inclusive and sustainable tourism from South Africa and Namibia: Spier, Phinda and Damaraland

Three new case studies have been released on inclusive business in tourism, on Spier Leisure, Phinda Private Game Researce, and Damaraland Camp.

Case study 1 – Spier: Local procurement strengthens a hotel’s business base
Spier Leisure, part of the Spier Group, is one of the oldest vineyard and farm estates in South Africa, with agricultural activities on the estate dating back to 1692. It operates the mid-priced 155-bed Spier Hotel and conference centre in the winelands of South Africa’s Western Cape. The operation includes accommodations, restaurants, con- ference facilities, a picnic area and a delicatessen. Spier continuously assesses its supply chains with the aim of sourcing as many of its products locally as possible.
This case study demonstrates how a medium-sized company can re-structure its procurement activities to be more inclusive and locally sourced, in the process helping to ensure long-term financial sustainability.

Case study 2 – Phinda Private Game Reserve: Strong community partnership through long-term land leasing

As a luxury tour operator active in 19 countries worldwide, andBeyond provides extraordinary experiential tours and operates 33 lodges in six countries across Africa and South Asia. One such destination, the Phinda Private Game Reserve, encompasses six lodges on rehabilitated land in rural South Africa.

Phinda represents a transitional partnership model in which the private-sector partner continues to operate, manage and market the reserve and its lodges, although a portion of the land and asset ownership has been transferred to the community. This case study demonstrates how this kind of partnership, together with philanthropic activities carried out by Phinda’s Africa Foundation, can strengthen an inclusive business approach.

Case study 3 – Damaraland: Creating luxury ecotourism with the local community

Wilderness Safaris has a joint-venture partnership with the Torra Conservancy, a community in Namibia, to operate Damaraland Camp, a luxury ecotourism enterprise. Wilderness Safaris pays lease fees to the Torra Conservancy, provides jobs for community members, uses local skills and materials in construction, and purchases local products and services.

As implemented, the model demonstrates that a joint-venture partnership can be profitable for both the private-sector operator and the community. Moreover, it illustrates that encouraging communities in remote locations to diversify their income streams can be important in order to reduce dependence on a single tourism operator for employment and business opportunities.

2014 Global Eco Forum, Sydney, Australia

On Wednesday, 12 November Ecotourism Australia will host a special one day Global Eco Forum as a parallel event to the World Parks Congress (WPC) in Sydney.

Themed Tourism in Protected Areas, the Forum runs from 8:30am – 3:45pm, allowing delegates to proceed to the official opening of the WPC. The program will focus on the global state of play relating to tourism on protected areas, with world leading speakers from industry, government, intergovernmental organisations and academia.

Keynote speakers from more than 10 nations will cover topics including ecotourism investment, community development, tools and technology, partnerships and quality programs.

Go the website on the link below for the full program. Registration is AUD$250-$295.

Further information:

Full Program:
Speakers & Chairs:
Venue information:
How to get there:

New logo search for the TAPAS Group!

The IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group) is looking for an exciting new logo! This will be used in the activities of the group, including presentations and publications that are produced by our members.

Kindly review the logo suggestions within this survey, and rate which you like the most. The votes will be collated and used by the TAPAS Group’s Executive Committee to guide their decision on which to select.

This survey will be open until Monday 20 October 2014, and should take 5-10 minutes of your time.

Survey link:

TAPAS group strategic planning

The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group’s previous strategy was used to guide the group’s activities from 2010-14. Now the group is in the process of reviewing progress over the past four years, and producing a new strategy for the coming 5 years.

We want to provide opportunity for your ideas from group members on our direction at a strategic level. Input from group members is therefore vital. The survey contains 14 questions, and will be open until Friday 17 October.

Use this link to hear a brief message from the TAPAS Group Chair, Dr Anna Spenceley on the process :

Thank you very much for your time in participating

Survey Link:

Review of tourism and biodiversity for the CBD conference

In preparation for the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Korea in October, the CBD Secretariat will produce a background paper that reviews tourism and biodiversity issues and priorities.

The CBD has requested input from tourism professionals on a series of questions that follow below.

If you would like to participate, please send your responses by Monday 28 July 2014 to me ( and Richard Denman ( who is the consultant leading the process.


1) What trends (if any) have you observed in the relationship between biodiversity and tourism development in the last two years? (Increasing impacts, threats, opportunities, responses etc. …). Please refer us to any evidence if known.

2) In the last two years has your organisation been pursuing any particular initiatives, projects or programmes that relate directly or indirectly to the management of tourism and its impact on biodiversity? (e.g. governance, policies, planning, management, monitoring, capacity building … other)

3) Do you have any observations on tools and instruments for sustainable tourism management that are relevant to biodiversity … effective examples, recent or innovative approaches etc.?

4) Are there any key topics on tourism’s relationship to biodiversity (and specifically within the mandate and responsibility of CBD Parties, i.e. national governments) that you believe could most benefit from further assessment, exposure or action?

5) Are you aware of the CBD’s Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development? Have you used them, in your professional practice, or seen any direct reference to them in the last two years? (In parallel with this exercise we are revising CBD’s Manual on the Guidelines, see , and will keep you informed about this).

6) Finally, are there any destinations, businesses or initiatives that you feel provide particularly good examples of managing tourism development in the interests of biodiversity and ecosystem services?