Visitation to protected areas in light of COVID-19: Input requested

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New guidance is being developed on behalf of the EU to help protected area authorities and park managers operate tourism safely in the wake of COVID-19.

The objectives of the guidance is to ensure that it:

  • Is based on sound data and advice from reputable sources
  • Provides clear linkages to national policies and directives
  • Highlights the importance of tourism in protected areas for visitors (e.g. Healthy Parks, Healthy People), for conservation and for local livelihoods
  • Provides guidance on safe visitation: information, infrastructure and practices
  • Includes examples of good practices
  • Shares links to further information and resources

If you are working on these issues – either from a tourism, protected areas or public health perspective –  and can assist with examples or resources – please get in touch.

Dr Anna Spenceley – annaspenceley@gmail.com


For 500 resources already collected on this topic, please see my post of COVID 19 and sustainable tourism: Information resources, and links under ‘Ideas to help resilience and recovery.’

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Future of Tourism: Guiding principles & signing up

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Spenceley Tourism And Development (STAND) is proud to be a signatory to the Future of Tourism‘s guiding principles.  I encourage others to commit to these too, particularly as we work to recover from COVID-19.

Coalition

Guiding Principles

Whereas tourism done well can benefit destination communities, incentivize protection of nature and history, and enrich the traveling public,

Whereas irresponsible practices have eroded the value of the true tourism product, the destination,

Whereas poorly managed tourism, driven by short-term, unguided market forces, has disrupted communities and ecosystems, worn away cultural and historic sites, added to environmental stress, and degraded the travel experience itself,

Whereas this trend has been aggravated by undue policy emphasis on quantity of tourists over quality of experience and benefits to destination communities,

Whereas, widespread degradation has persisted despite earnest attempts to counteract the trend by many responsible parties,

Whereas recovery from the COVID-19 crisis has presented an opportunity to choose a more sustainable future,

We therefore urge worldwide commitment to these principles:

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Join

Source and links: Future of Tourism Guiding PrinciplesWho has signed –   Become a signatory

 

Webinar 18 August: Building a resilient tourism sector in SADC Transfrontier Conservation Areas

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Building a resilient tourism sector in SADC TFCAs

Tuesday, 18 August, 2020 – 10:00 to 11:30 (South African Standard Time / UCT+2)

Chair: Mr Roland Vorwerk, Marketing Manager, Boundless Southern Africa

  • The many faces of tourism: Mr Mokganedi Ntana, Tourism Development Manager Bobirwa and Selibe Phikwe Region, Greater Mapungubwe TFCA, Botswana Tourism Organisation
  • The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on nature-based tourism: Dr. Anna Spenceley, Chair, IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group
  • How to reboot the tourism sector in TFCAs in a post-COVID-19 world: Mr Don Scott, Owner, Tanda Tula Safari Camps, GLTFCA
  • Q&A

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us04web.zoom.us/meeting/register/up0pfuytqzsoGtc0L0cPmPWqT0wLb4G3ylDK

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

If you have any questions or would like to subscribe to more than one session, please email sadctfcaswebinars@gmail.com.

 

Event Venue:  Zoom
Organiser:  TFCA Network Steering Committee
Event Type: Seminars
Week 7, Webinar session 13 of the series

COVID-19 and tourism in Africa’s protected areas: Impacts and recovery needs – WTO article

Screenshot WTO paper title

  • COVID-19 has led to a steep decline in business for operators in protected areas, coupled with a substantial drop in future booking requests. The most important support tourism operators require is unemployment support for workers, financial support for recovery and cashflow, coupled with tax deductions or deferments.
  • Preliminary data suggests that there will be a 43% decline in expenditure on local products, services and donations this FY compared to last year, and if the crisis continues, three quarters of local employees will be affected with reduced wages/leave without pay/made redundant/unemployed (nearly 14,000 local employees for this sample).
  • Expenditure on environmental services (e.g. for security, anti-poaching, park or concession fees etc.) is predicted to decline by US$20.7 million in spending in the current FY for the sample. There are concerns that this will lead to an increase in illegal wildlife crime.

Read the full article on Trade For Development News by EIF here.

Also see the related EIF Trade for Development News webinar on tourism and COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Protected area tourism – Asia

In the framework of the study financed by the EU “Wildlife economy: sustainable tourism in protected areas”, we want to understand the impact of COVID-19 on wildlife tourism in protected areas, considering the impact on protected areas, businesses and local communities.  To do so, we have a short set of questions that will allow us to compare the period before the crisis with now, and estimates for the foreseeable future.

We also ask about what kind of support might help (relating to the local value chains, and during different phases; conservation; business operations, policy interventions etc.) and on what terms these might work.

The questionnaire should take 20-25 minutes to complete.

Kindly complete this form by 17 July 2020: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID_Park_Tourism_Asia

The preliminary analysis for Africa can be found here.

Responses for Asia to date

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COVID-19 turismo en áreas protegidas -America Latina / COVID-19 Protected area tourism – Latin America

COVID-19 turismo en áreas protegidas – America Latina

La UE quiere entender el impacto del COVID-19 en el turismo natural en las áreas protegidas, considerando el impacto en las áreas protegidas, las empresas y las comunidades locales. Para ello, tenemos una breve serie de preguntas que nos permitirán comparar el período anterior a la crisis con el actual, y las estimaciones para el futuro previsible.

También nos preguntamos qué tipo de apoyo podría ayudar (en relación con las cadenas de valor locales, y durante las diferentes fases; conservación; operaciones comerciales, intervenciones de política, etc.) y en qué términos podría funcionar.

Responder al cuestionario debería llevarle entre 20 y 25 minutos.

Sus respuestas individuales serán confidenciales y los resultados se recopilarán para motivar las intervenciones políticas de la UE.

Por favor, rellene este formulario antes del 17 Julio 2020: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID19_turismo_America_latina

El análisis preliminar para África se puede encontrar aquí.

Respuestas a la fecha de América Latina

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COVID-19 Protected area tourism – Latin America

In the framework of the study financed by the EU “Wildlife economy: sustainable tourism in protected areas”, we want to understand the impact of COVID-19 on wildlife tourism in protected areas, considering the impact on protected areas, businesses and local communities.  To do so, we have a short set of questions that will allow us to compare the period before the crisis with now, and estimates for the foreseeable future.

We also ask about what kind of support might help (relating to the local value chains, and during different phases; conservation; business operations, policy interventions etc.) and on what terms these might work.

The questionnaire should take 20-25 minutes to complete.

Kindly complete this form by 17 July 2020: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID-Park_Tourism_Latin_America

The preliminary analysis for Africa can be found here.

Responses to date from Latin America

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Webinar 3 July 2020: The Future of Tourism in Natural Areas: Impact, Governance, Financing

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A creative Lab for policy makers and practitioners at the time of Covid-19


The project is developed by the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development and tsm – Trentino School of Management, in collaboration with the OECD Tourism Committee

Rationale

The Covid-19 pandemic has heavily affected tourism worldwide and it is expected to continue doing so over the coming months. In such a changing context, there is a widespread acknowledgement that tourism will never be the same in the Covid-19 aftermath. The effects of the pandemic will modify the way we move, the way we stay, and the way we experience destinations.

This massive change will not be linear and destinations around the world will face unprecedented challenges. Hence, the demand for new skills, new tools and new strategic approaches will increase. The recovery of tourism requires conceiving innovative ideas and views, considering all phases of the customer journey.

The recovery will require a long time and, now more than ever, there is the need of a transition toward a more sustainable tourism. The sustainability concept should be intended in a broader perspective, and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development should be regarded as the reference guideline for such transformation. This will be particularly important when it comes to the future of tourism in natural areas as the protection of nature will be particularly important after the pandemic.Why a focus on natural areas, and why now? 

Based on various analyses of Covid-19 impacts on tourism, it is fair to assume that nature will be explored more in the post-Covid-19 era. Free spaces, remoteness, air purity, water freshness will gain more value in the eyes of travellers, and Protected Areas might expect a significant rise in the number of visitors, particularly by domestic tourists. This will have advantages but also side effects and will require more responsible management of negative impacts to find new solutions, to build a more sustainable tourism in Natural Areas, and to improve resilience to future shocks and instabilities. Transforming the crisis into an opportunity depends as well on the capacity of the policymakers and operators to gain a deep understanding of the situation and to shift toward new models and settings.

The theme of the Future of Tourism in Natural Areas project (Tour.Nat) is tourism management in natural and protected areas: how to design it, how to make it more balanced, how to reshape the experiences, how to govern and manage the visitors’ flows, how to minimise the negative impacts, how to manage the relationship with local communities, how to engage with nature stakeholders, and how to govern it for the benefit of the local people and the natural environment.

Goal & Topics

The project intends to build an agile living laboratory of practical seminars, individual research, working groups, creative sessions, interactive discussions, and online tutoring. Bearing in mind that no “one-size-fits-all” solutions for the current and post-Covid-19 challenges exist, the steering concept of Tour.Nat is to leverage on the case studies and on the participants’ first hand experiences. The ideas and actions of the post-pandemic tourism – that participants have been developing and are going to test during the summer – will be discussed, studied, analysedand compared to draw practical lessons and viable solutions for the forthcoming seasons.

In dealing with the twofold practice-oriented and policy-making challenge, Tour.Nat builds around three main topics: impacts, governance and financing.

Structure

The Project, capitalising on the 2019 OECD-tsm project on Tourism management for UNESCO designated sites in Natural Areas (T.UN.NA), is conceived on a full web-based peer-to-peer training and capacity-building concept and is built on 3 main components:

TourNat timeline
Participants profile

The international seminar (3 July 2020) is open to everyone interested in Tour.Nat topics.

The Community Lab (15 Oct – 26 Nov 2020) targets are:

  • Practitioners (local and regional Destination Management Organisations, tourism business operators, tourism agencies, experts, representatives of sectoral interest groups and associations, researchers);
  • Policy makers (local, regional and national authorities, national and regional agencies, international tourism sector organisations, tourism management institutions and bodies);
  • Parks and natural areas’ managing authorities and natural areas regulating institutions.

Screenshot Speakers OECD

Registration link: https://www.oecd.org/cfe/leed/tournat.htm

Source, and further information: OECD https://www.oecd.org/cfe/leed/tournat.htm

Tourism and visitor management in protected areas: Visitor management tools and best practices

This presentation shares information on visitor management tools that move away from the question of “How many visitors is too many?” towards “What are the desired conditions?” It shares links to key resources that can help managers decide which tools are best for them to use in destinations.

Tourism will re-emerge post COVID-19, and managers and host communities need to establish the best way to do that for everyone: local people, visitors, businesses, and wildlife.