IUCN publishes guidelines for sustainability in tourism and visitor management
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has published guidelines on sustainability for "Tourism and visitor management in protected areas". The publication is part of a series on best practices in protected areas and available for download on the IUCN website.
IUCN says "Protected areas are a key component of any global conservation strategy. Tourism provides a crucial and unique way of fostering visitors' connection with protected area values, making it a potentially positive force for conservation. Protected area tourism's economic benefits - which depend on beautiful natural areas, healthy wildlife and nature, and authentic cultures - can also be a powerful argument for conservation. Tourism in protected areas is a major part of the global tourism industry - an industry whose scale and impacts are enormous. Such a high volume of visitors implies certain needs for fundamental infrastructure and requirements for employment and human services, all of which have ramifications for the economy, society, culture and the environment. These Guidelines provide guidance on key issues to help managers achieve sustainable tourism in protected areas."
"Done sustainably, tourism can contribute directly to the objectives of global agreements such as the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, and the Muscat Declaration on Tourism and Culture (UNWTO and UNESCO, 2017). However, inappropriate and poorly managed tourism can cause negative impacts on the biodiversity, landscapes, and resource base of protected areas."
The target audience for these Guidelines is professionals working on tourism in protected areas, including administrators, managers, planners, government agencies, non-governmental organisations, community groups, private landowners and Indigenous groups.
Building on two previous editions on the subject of tourism in the IUCN WCPA Best Practice Guidelines series, these Guidelines provide guidance on key issues to help managers achieve sustainable tourism in protected areas: that which is appropriate, well-managed, and contributes to conservation objectives.