Announcement: New publication on tourism and protected areas

Publication of the Special Issue of Koedoe, a journal of African Protected Area Conservation and Science, that addresses various aspects of the relationship between protected areas and tourism, has just been announced!


The issue coverage is world wide, with articles dealing with this relationship in Africa, North America,and Asia, with implications everywhere else. The issue was prepared to lay a foundation for discussions at the upcoming World Parks Congress in Australia during November. We believe the articles raise a number of questions about tourism as a solution, as a source of finance, and as a development strategy–questions both positive and negative. We invite you to take a look at the various articles in the issue and correspond if you wish to with the authors.


You can access the special issue at this location: Koedoe is an Open Access journal so there is no monetary cost associated with downloading the articles in it.


This is one of several products that TAPAS has produced or will by the time of the WPC, including a special issue of Parks concerning Tourism and the CBD Aichi Targets, the new edition of the Best Practice Guidelines, chapters in the upcoming E-Book on Protected Area Governance and Management, and sessions on a variety of topics at the WPC.

Regional TAPAS group meeting

The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC13) is  fast approaching in Nairobi (24-27 September).

We’ll be holding a regional TAPAS group meeting during the lunch break on Thursday 26th from 13h30 to 14h30.    Sue Snyman will be coordinating the meeting, and please let her know if you’ll be able to participate ( It will be a good opportunity to learn more about the group activities and preparations for the World Parks Congress.

 For more information about the event, please see the following links:


Recent sustainable tourism events: RETOSA and TAPAS group

Below is a link to a presentation made as part of the 1st regional consultation meeting in Southern Africa for developing the 10 YFP Programme on Sustainable Tourism ‘ Mainstreaming Sustainable Consumption and Production in Tourism’


And a link below to a google hangout video on Tourism and Protected Areas, organised by Ron Mader that took place recently,

Sustainable Tourism Certification Alliance

The Sustainable Tourism Certification Alliance (the “Alliance”) aims to create an integrated regional approach to sustainable tourism certification initially in southern and East Africa with stakeholders from other African countries encouraged to participate as a means of broadening the scope of the Alliance over time.  For more information visit

IUCN WCPA TAPAS group planning for 2013: Online survey

Reflecting on the IUCN’s Tourism and Protected Area Specialist (TAPAS) group’s  achievements in 2012, we saw the publication of a special edition of PARKS, a series of workshops at the World Conservation Congress, presentations at the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting (among others), and an international workshop on tourism concessions. Thanks to all of you who drove and contributed towards these! 

We have been asked by the WCPA secretariat to compile the TAPAS 2012 annual report, which is due at the end of January.  I’d like to involve as many members as possible in the development of this report, and would like to invite you to contribute. 

To contribute to this year’s report, please visit this online survey to let us know about publications and presentations you’ve made on tourism and protected areas. We also what your input on what our priorities should be, within the three themes of the WCPA’s strategic directions for the 2013-2016 period:
1. Valuing and conserving nature
2. Governing nature’s use and sharing its benefits equally
3. Deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges. 
Please think about what you can contribute, and where you think our priorities should lie. 
The survey will be open until Friday 25 January 2013, and I look forward to your feedback.

New TAPAS group publication!

Coordinated by Glen Hvenegaard and Elizabeth Halpenny, comes a special edition of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Parks International Journal (edition 18.2) featuring papers by a number of TAPAS group members.

This issue of PARKS looks at the potential contributions to achieving the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Targets from tourism and visitation. Tourism is highly relevant to biodiversity conservation and protected area management and planning, and in addition to Target 11, can contribute to several other Aichi Targets. Authors in this issue explore how, for example, tourism can help achieve public awareness of biodiversity values and opportunities for conservation, keep impacts within safe ecological limits, increase global coverage of protected areas, and promote fair and equitable sharing of benefits from tourism and biodiversity.

EDITORIAL: Protected Area Tourism and the Aichi Targets
Glen T. Hvenegaard, Elizabeth A. Halpenny and Stephen F. McCool

  • Tourism, conservation and the Aichi targets, Ralf Buckley
  • The impact of land management systems on community attitudes towards tourism and conservation in six  South African countries, Susan Snyman
  • An analysis of livelihood linkages of tourism in Kaziranga National Park, a Natural World Heritage Site in India, Syed Ainul Hussain, Shivani Chandola Barthwal, Ruchi Badola, Syed Mohammad Tufailur Rahman, Archi Rastogi, Chongpi Tuboi and Anil Kumar Bhardwaj
  • Tourism and biodiversity along the Euro-Mediterranean Coast: Prospects for overcoming a deeply rooted conflict, Emma Salizzoni
  • Protected area branding strategies to increase stewardship among park constituencies, Lisa M. King, Stephen F. McCool, Peter Fredman and Elizabeth A. Halpenny
  • Conserving biodiversity through Parks Canada’s volunteer programme, John Waithaka, Mike Wong, Johanne Ranger and Elizabeth A. Halpenny
  • Supporting the CBD Aichi Biodiversity Conservation Targets through park tourism: A case study of Parks Canada’s visitor experience programme , Ed Jager and Elizabeth A. Halpenny
  • Building the capability to manage tourism as support for the Aichi Target, Stephen McCool, Yi-Chung Hsu, Sergio Brant Rocha, Anna Dóra Sæþórsdóttir, Lloyd Gardner and Wayne Freimund
  • Sustainable tourism capacity building for marine protected areas, Thomas E. Fish and Anne H. Walton
  • Community-based monitoring of tourism resources as a tool for supporting the Convention On Biological Diversity Targets: A preliminary global assessment, Anna Miller, Yu-Fai Leung and Dau-Jye Lu
  • European Charter parks—A growing network for sustainable tourism development in protected areas, Agnese Balandina, Lasse Lovén, Olaf Ostermann and Richard Parington
  • Using tourism to conserve the mist forests and mysterious cultural heritage of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, Jamaica, Susan Otuokon, Shauna-Lee Chai and Marlon Beale

Link to the journal:

Call for Technical Contributions: Best practice guide for sustainable tourism in protected areas (3rd Edition)


TAPAS Group members, and others involved in tourism and protected areas, are invited to contribute towards this fully updated edition of the IUCN WCPA  Best practice guide for sustainable tourism in protected areas.  Contributors would support this collaborative effort by providing a section, subsection, best practice case example, and/or digital images to the new BPG.

If you are interested in contributing towards any of the following sections, please let me know.

1. Introduction and Concepts
  1. Brief introduction to the potential role of tourism in protected areas (PA), tie to 2014 World Parks Congress themes, 2012 WWC themes, IUCN strategic plan, etc.
  2. Brief introduction of the old and new challenges (and opportunities) of tourism management in protected areas
    1. Here we acknowledge the notion of carrying capacity in the tourism management literature but we emphasize that this BPG will move beyond the flawed conceptualization and instead focus on a holistic/adaptive approach to sustainable tourism management
    2. Lack of visitation/tourism can also be a problem in some PAs
  3. Contextual (concise) description of global issues and forces influencing management of tourism (climate change, financial crisis, economic restructuring, security, technology, changes in governance, etc.)
  4. Purposes of BPG: help PA managers and other readers think critically about how to provide visitor use while protecting natural heritage; help make the decision on how much human induced change is acceptable
  5. What do we mean by ‘best practices’? Brief discussion of our assumptions and the influence of contextual factors
  6. Key concepts and scope: What do we mean by sustainability and tourism in protected areas?
    1. Emphasize that “sustainable tourism” is not a form of tourism but rather an overarching principle
    2. Link to related concepts, such as responsible tourism
    3. To integrate (instead of “balance”) tourism/visitor use with conservation goals; explain why the word choice
    4. Tourism management vs. visitor management, what is our focus
  7. What is the tourism/visitor experience? Diversity of tourism/visitor experience as related to PAs; why is visitor experience important?
  8. What is included in the book (terrestrial PAs is the main focus but including BPGs from coastal/marine PAs when appropriate)? What is outside the scope (e.g. cultural/archaeological sites)? Who is the intended audience (primarily PA managers, who else?)?
  9. Brief outline of the book
2. Historical, Cultural and Geographical Context
  1. Why is tourism in PA? How has the tourism-PA relationship evolved? When and how has sustainability been built into this relationship? How has this relationship contributed to PA designations (such as World Heritage sites)?
  2. Cultural context of PA management
  3. How have the public attitudes towards PAs and tourism in PAs evolved?
  4. geographic distribution of PA resources in different world regions in support of key PA tourism/visitor experiences; describe associated approaches to managing tourism (nature tourism, community-based tourism, ecotourism, geotourism, etc.; introduce several examples of good and established PA-tourism relationship in each of these approaches to set a positive tone)
3. Legal, Governance and Policy Issues
  1. Types of PA (IUCN categories, natural PA vs. cultural PA, terrestrial/coastal/marine, national vs local, public/parastatal/NGO/communal/private, designations such as World Heritage, Biosphere Reserve, UNESCO Geopark, etc.) and their related legal basis and policies; compare and contrast these PA types with respect to different goals of tourism development and related requirements to meet PA objectives (identifying the decision space for managers in different PA types)
  2. Global tourism policies and guidelines (WTO, UNEP, Global Sustainable Tourism Council, etc.)
  3. Legal basis/policies on individual tourists, groups, concessions
  4. Capacity of PA agencies for tourism management; recommendations for increasing management capacity
    1. Joint ventures and management, co-management
4. Positive Impacts of PA Tourism
  1. Start off by illustrating several documented examples of PA tourism that have generated positive impacts.
  2. A Summary of Positive Impacts and Trends
    1. Conservation (e.g., CBD, physical environment/landscape protection, etc.)
    2. Economic
    3. Community development
    4. Human health (healthy parks)
  3. Make an explicit connection of these impacts to the visitor experience
5. Negative Impacts of PA Tourism
  1. Start off by illustrating several documented examples of PA tourism that have generated negative impacts.
  2. A Summary of Negative Impacts and Trends
    1. Biophysical attributes (and cultural resources in natural settings)
    2. Tourism and PA infrastructure
    3. Community
  3. Make an explicit connection of these impacts to the visitor experience
6. Planning Principles and Process
  1. Key principles: consistency with PA objectives, integrating visitation and conservation goals, maximizing positive impacts while minimizing negative impacts, adaptive management, participatory approach, etc.
  2. General ties between PA planning process and sustainable tourism (what planning process can do to enhance the sustainability of tourism and its contributions to PA objectives)
  3. Planning principles for commercial tourism
  4. Planning principles for individual visitors
  5. Infrastructure and services, green technology
  6. Community-based tourism and engagement: basic principles (to be extended in the CapacityBuilding chapter); the rights and ethics of community involvement
  7. PA expansion in support of tourism
  8. Human resource management, staff, training, capacity building (briefly here, to be extended in the CapacityBuilding chapter)
  9. Tourism/visitor management plans
    1. Need and utility of plan document
    2. Key contents
    3. Good examples
7. Management and Monitoring Strategies
  1. Management principles for commercial tourism and individual visitors
  2. Brief introduction of several contemporary visitor management decision-making frameworks (LAC/VERP, VAMP, TOMM, etc.) and international examples of how they are applied
  3. The integral role of monitoring (tourism resources, use, impacts and management effectiveness) in support of decision-making frameworks and management
    1. Monitoring needs, objectives and priorities
  4. Monitoring strategies
    1. Tourism resources and infrastructure
    2. Tourism use and economic outputs (brief description of related databases, to be elaborated in the References chapter i.      Methods for estimating economic impacts of PA tourism
    1. Impact monitoring
    2. Visitor experience monitoring
    3. Monitoring management effectiveness (tourism-related, incl. rules compliance and law enforcement)
8. Tools for Tourism and Visitor Management
  1. Provide a comprehensive classification of management tools
  2. Organized description of tools and international examples of their applications
    1. Certifications (both industry and governmental examples: e.g., Green Globe, PANParks, European Charter for Sust Tour in PA, etc.)
    2. Regulatory and planning tools (rules and regulations, access restrictions, zoning, visitor use limits)
    3. Law enforcement
    4. Marketing (promotion) and demarketing
    5. Fees and economic tools
    6. Infrastructure, transportation and travel patterns
    7. Site design
    8. Natural resource management
    9. Concessions
    10. Technologies (green technology, best practices, public participation, social media)
    11. Education and interpretation
    12. Communication (with visitors and general public, including branding)
    13. Conflict management (visitors)
    14. Security and safety (inc. liability issues)
    15. Other tools to be identified throughout the revision
  3. Brief summary of empirical evaluation of the efficacy of the above tools

Invitation to review new publication on tourism concessions

A new publication “Guidelines for the Planning and Management of Concessions, Leases, Licenses, and Permits in Parks and Protected Areas” has been submitted  for consideration as part of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Best Practice series.

If you would like to act as an independent reviewer of this publication, please contact me. 

Other titles in this series can be accessed here:


Tourism events at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biodiversity in Hyderabad, India

Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism: Generating value for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems” – BMZ-BMU joint Side Event – 9th Oct 1:15 pm-1:45pm  – with Les Carlisle from &Beyond

Highlighting tourism’s contribution to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development” -UNWTO and CBD side event – 10th Oct from 1.15-2.45 pm – with Ron Mader  of /TAPAS and Erika Harms / Ronald Sanbria of the Global Sustainability Council

Tourism concessions and partnerships in parks“, SEMIA and CBD event – 12 Oct from 1.15-2.45 pm – with Ana Luisa of SEMIA and Oliver Hillel of the CBD secretariat

Web-based Communication Strategies for biodiversity for indigenous tourism” – Workshop – Oct 14th – with Ron Mader of and the IUCN Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS)

Link to COP –