The Responsible Tourist: Highlighted in the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Program magazine

The Responsible Tourist, written by Anna Spenceley and Andrew Rylance, has been highlighted in an article of the new 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme’s annual magazine.

To access the magazine, and the other articles included, click here.

R tourist 10YFP

An initiative contributing to:




Concession and partnership guidelines profiled in the new 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Program magazine

The TAPAS Group’s new guidance on tourism partnerships and concessions in protected areas is profiled in the new 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme’s annual magazine.

To access the magazine, and the other articles included, click here.

10YFP magazine concession page

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity to release new publication on tourism concessions and partnerships in parks

14 September 2017, 17:00, QuingYang Room, 5th floor,
Chengdu Century City International Convention Center, China

14 September 2017 – The tourism sector is recognized as the largest global market-based contributor to the financing of protected area systems in many countries. Protected areas are an essential tool for safeguarding the world’s biodiversity and preserving ecosystem services, currently at serious risk. In 2014, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) noted that, under appropriate safeguards, tourism can contribute to protected areas through partnerships and concessions. However, most countries currently underuse tourism as a means to contribute towards the financial sustainability of protected areas.Cover CBD 2 Sept 2017

The new publication released by the CBD Secretariat and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group, with support from the UN World Tourism Organization, Guidelines for tourism partnerships and concessions for protected areas: generating sustainable revenues for conservation and development, aims to assist countries in addressing this gap.

Designed to support tourism partnerships and concessions as means to increase the sector’s financial and technical contribution to conservation, the guidelines result from a wide consultation process with global experts and were validated in workshops in Southern Africa. Geared towards protected area authorities, ministries of environment and tourism, policy experts and interested businesses, the publication can be used as technical reference and as a capacity building tool.

The publication includes information on the fundamentals of tourism, different tourism partnerships, financing concessions, a step-by-step guide to concession processes, integrating sustainability, contract management and concession capacity requirements.


  • Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity,
  • Márcio Favilla, Executive Director, Operational Programmes/Institutional Relations, UNWTO
  • Zhu Chunquan, Head of the IUCN China Office. 

Download the guidelines: “Guidelines for tourism partnerships and concessions for protected areas: generating sustainable revenues for conservation and development” in high resolution or low resolution.

For more information and to request interviews please contact: Mr. Lijie Cai,, or Mr. Johan Hedlund,, Programme Officers, Secretariat of the CBD.

New guidelines in development by TAPAS Group: Visitor counting, visitor surveys and economic analysis

An expert workshop on ‘Best practice guidelines on economic evaluation of tourism in protected areas’ was sponsored by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) between 2 and 5 May 2017, at the International Nature Conservation Academy, Vilm, Germany. The workshop brought together 12 experts from 6 countries to discuss the development of a global standard for visitor and socio-economic monitoring in protected areas to improve global comparability of resulting data and the overall quality of monitoring efforts.

The new guideline will be developed by the expert volunteers, led by Barbara Engels (Coordinator of the Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group’s Economics Working Group) with the following contributions:

  • Introduction  – Barbara Engels and Anna Spenceley
  • General methodology & the big picture – Marius Müller
  • Monitoring vs case studies – Niklas Scheder
  • Visitor counting – Manuel Woltering and Jan-Philip Schägner
  • Visitor survey – Daniel Metzler and Catherine Cullinane Thomas
  • Economic analysis  – Thiago Beraldo Souza and Daniel Metzler
  • Reporting and communication  – Liisa Kajala and Joel Erkkonen
  • Outlook and associated research  – Anna Spenceley and Barbara Engels
  • Tools/references links

VilmFrom left to right: Liisa Kajala, Manuel Woltering, Marius Müller, Catherine Cullinane Thomas, Jan-Philip Schägner, Anna Spenceley, Niklas Scheder, Barbara Engels, Daniel Metzler, Joel Erkkonen and Thiago Beraldo Souza 





Sustainable Tourism Expert Dr. Anna Spenceley Appointed to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Board of Directors

Portrait iSimangaliso June 2017Expert in sustainable tourism, Dr. Anna Spenceley, has gained a seat on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Board of Directors.

Dr. Anna Spenceley was appointed to the GSTC Board of Directors, along with Ingunn Sørnes, and four re-elected board members: Jane Ashton, Beatriz Barreal Danel, Jorge Moller, and Melinda Watt.

“I’m thrilled to be back as part of the GSTC Board, and would like to thank all the GSTC members who supported my application,” Says Dr. Spenceley. “I’m looking forward to working with distinguished Board members, working groups, and members, to promote the positive impact that the GSTC has on sustainable tourism globally.”

“One of my first tasks is a Seychelles conference on ‘Sustainable Tourism in Small Island Developing States’ in November. This is being organised in partnership with the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF), the University of Seychelles (Department of Tourism and Cultural Heritage), the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group), and the GSTC is a core partner, ” adds Dr. Spenceley.

Dr. Spenceley served one term previously on the GSTC Board as the Vice-Chair, and she currently serves on the GSTC Destination Stewardship Working Group, the GSTC Accreditation Panel, and is a GSTC Trainer.  Anna is Chair of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group. She is also a Senior Research Fellow with the University of Johannesburg, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Brighton. Her publications include ‘The Responsible Tourism’ – an e-book which helps travellers find sustainable holidays – and edited the book volumes “Responsible Tourism: Critical issues for Conservation and Development” and “Tourism and poverty reduction: Impacts and principles in developing countries”.

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable tourism standards with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism knowledge and practices among public and private stakeholders. The GSTC is an independent and neutral nonprofit organization that establishes and manages global baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. The standards are two sets of GSTC Criteria: Destination Criteria and Industry Criteria, the minimum requirements for tourism businesses and destinations to pursue in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, along with conservation and poverty alleviation. The GSTC represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, leading travel companies, hotels, country tourism boards, tour operators, individuals and communities – all strive to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

See the GSTC post here


New book in development: Private sector tourism in conservation areas in Africa

Book Cover FINAL.pngTourism involves numerous stakeholders interacting in various partnerships and relationships. These stakeholders include governments, communities, NGOs, the private sector, and academics. With many African governments struggling to finance protected areas and the associated tourism, the role of the private sector is becoming increasingly important. The literature includes research on the role of government, communities and various other stakeholders but little has been comprehensively documented about the role of the private sector in tourism in Africa and the various ways that the private sector can engage in tourism.

However, there are no clear guidelines or analyses of the various partnership models available for the private sector or the roles of various stakeholders in these partnerships.


A new book is being developed by Dr Susan Snyman and Dr Anna Spenceley to address this gap, and CABI have agreed to publish the volume once completed.

Through the use of extensive case studies from throughout Africa this book will present a set of guidelines to ensure optimal benefits for stakeholders as well as promoting the sustainability of tourism in Africa. It will include descriptions of the various models/options for the private sector to engage in tourism in conservation areas in Africa including, amongst others, pure private sector ownership, joint ventures, tripartite agreements and government leases. Processes to develop partnerships from start to finish will be included as well as best practices for the private sector engaging in tourism. The book will allow for an assessment of what private sector tourism options are most suitable based on guidelines of conditions and desired outcomes promoting the long-term sustainability of African tourism.