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Sustainable Development and Use of Our Natural Resources for Recreation and Tourism: The Ideal and t


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Title: Sustainable Development and Use of Our Natural Resources for Recreation and Tourism: The Ideal and t

Sustainable Development and Use of Our Natural
Resources for Recreation and Tourism The Ideal
and the Reality
  • 2002 Idaho Governors Conference
    on Recreation
    and Tourism
  • Nampa Civic Center
  • May 2, 2002
  • Dr. Steve Burr
  • Director, Institute for Outdoor Recreation and
  • College of Natural Resources, Utah State

Part 2Sustainable Development and Use of
Natural Resources for Recreation and Tourism
The Ideal
and the Reality
  • Conservation, Recreation, and Tourism
  • Tourism Impacts
  • Tourism and Community Development
  • Sustainability
    Sustainable Development and Use
  • Sustainable Tourism Development (STD)
  • Obstacles to the Achievement of STD
  • Feasible Approaches
    and Best Chances for Success

Conservation, Recreation and Tourism
  • Broadly viewed
    Natural Resource-Based Tourism
    is not viable without
    Conservation and Recreation.
  • Symbiotic relationship
    the three mutually complement
    and support
    each other
  • Synergistic relationship
    the whole is greater than
    the parts

Conservation, Recreation and Tourism
  • Conservation supports attractive and useful
    environments and destinations causing
  • Designation and establishment of parks,
    preserves, and other protected areas
  • Legal means to preserve and protect
    scenery and wildlands
  • Resource management and protection
  • Education and interpretive programs
  • Clean and healthy environments.

Conservation, Recreation and Tourism
  • Recreation supports and encourages
  • Travel
  • Development of access to scenic locations
    for recreation
  • Development of recreation resources,
    areas, facilities, activities, and services.

Conservation, Recreation and Tourism
  • Tourism causes the following
    to be made
  • Conveniences for the visitor
    transportation and tours
  • Food, lodging, hospitality,
    and other support services
  • Economic incentives to finance
    conservation and recreation
  • Political support for recreation and conservation
    from visitors (and locals?).

Conservation, Recreation and Tourism
RECREATION Refreshing Activitiy Fun
Experience Pursued in Free Time Vacation
CONSERVATION Behavior designed to assure wise
use and preservation of our history, culture,
traditions, uniquely valued lands,
and natural resources
TOURISM Commercial Activity Supporting Travel
What Impacts Do Tourists Have
on the Environment?
  • Positive Impacts
  • Promotes administrative and planning controls
  • Implementation of environmental clean-up and
  • Allows for improvement and preservation
  • Protects wildlife and plant species
  • Promotes non-consumptive uses
  • Negative Impacts
  • Over-crowding
  • Over-development
  • Maximizing visitation at expense of the natural
  • Recreational impacts on wildlife and
    fragile vegetation
  • Air and water pollution
  • Crime and vandalism
  • Souvenir collection

Socio-Cultural Impacts of Tourism
  • TouristHost Relationships Interactions
  • Ethnic/Cultural differences
  • Language differences
  • Expectations
  • Time patterns
  • Spacial patterns
  • Intensity of development
  • Size of community
  • Commoditization
  • Trinketization

Tourist Core
Stages of
Tourism Development
Tourism Destination Life-Cycle Model Form of
Economic Succession for
Communities in the Intermountain West
  • First Stage
    Early on, local economies were
    heavily dependent on extractive uses of natural
  • Second Stage
    Communities closely situated to attractive
    outdoor recreation amenities attract increasing
    numbers of tourists, and ensuing proliferation of
    tourist-support businesses dominate the local

Tourism Destination Life-Cycle Model Form of
Economic Succession for
Communities in the Intermountain West
  • Third Stage
    Many tourists who travel to
    experience the attractive outdoor
    recreation amenities perceive additional
    quality-of-life characteristics/attributes at a
    specific place, and move to small western towns
    establishing permanent residence.

Tourism Destination Life-Cycle Model
footloose entrepreneurs equity migrants
travel-stimulated entrepreneurial
migrants amenity migrants
  • These amenity migrants bring their own
    businesses or start new businesses.
  • Some are retirees, bringing income from
    retirement pensions, investments, and savings.
  • This builds demand for support services, fueling
    local economic activity and growth.
  • Extractive uses of natural resources and even
    tourism may become minor contributors to local
    economies at this stage of economic succession.

Negative Economic Impact of Tourism
  • Places new stress on
    existing infrastructure
  • Expanded police and fire protection,
    search rescue, and medical services often
  • Other public services needed
  • Where does the tourist money go?
  • High-risk and seasonality
    of tourism enterprise
  • Under-employment and Unemployment

Negative Economic Impact of Tourism
  • Additional capital and maintenance costs
    for public amenities
  • parks, convention centers, recreation areas,
    libraries, museums, historic restorations
  • Increasing numbers of visitors
    means increasing local population
  • need for educational services, hospitals,
    housing, public welfare, and overall economic
  • Tourism expansion demands greater quantities of
    land and other resources.
  • Competes with existing land uses
    and other economic
    development opportunities.

Tourism and Community Development
  • Tourism plays an important role in the process of
    community development, helping to ensure the
    protection and preservation of both environmental
    and community amenities.
  • Offers key opportunities for developing
    interactions within a community
    leading to relationships between
    and among community members and allowing for the
    natural emergence of other community networks.
  • Can create a new sense of community pride among
    local residents.

Tourism as
a Rural
Development Industry
  • Potential Benefits versus Potential Costs
  • Negative environmental and social impacts
  • Potentially exploitative tendency
  • Being approached with a sense of caution
  • Ill-conceived and poorly planned tourism
    development can erode the very qualities of
    the natural and human environments that attract
    visitors in the first place.
    (Innskeep, 1991)

Tourism as
a Rural
Development Industry
  • Critical Challenge
  • To not degrade environmental resources nor
    negatively exploit local human and cultural
    resources, in order that these resources may be
    maintained for present and future generations.
  • Sustainable Tourism Development, as a concept,
    is one of the healthiest insights of tourism.

    (Hunt, 1992)

Sustainability and
Sustainable Development
  • Concept of sustainability recently associated
    with tourism development initiatives and efforts.
    (French, 1992 Long Nuckolls, 1992)
  • Development that meets the needs of the present
    without compromising the ability of future
    generations to meet their own needs.

    (World Commission on Environment and
    Development, 1987)

Sustainable Development
  • All development paths that are either
    environmentally benign or beneficial.
  • Tied to sustainable use--
    careful and sensitive
    economic development is possible without
    degrading or depleting natural resources needed
    by present and future generations.
  • Promotes intergenerational responsibility.

Sustainable Tourism Development
  • Involves management of all resources in such a
    way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs
    are fulfilled while maintaining cultural
    integrity, essential ecological processes,
    biological diversity, and life support systems.
    (Inskeep, 1991)

Sustainable Tourism Development
  • Remains viable over an indefinite period and
    does not degrade nor alter the environment (human
    and physical) in which it exists to such a degree
    that it prohibits the successful development
    and well-being of other activities and
    processes. (Butler, 1993)

Sustainable Tourism Development
  • Should follow ethical principles that respect
    the culture and environment of the
    host area, the economy and traditional way of
    life, the indigenous behavior, and the local
    leadership and political patterns. (Cronin, 1990)

Sustainable Tourism Development
  • Interest in protecting, using carefully and
    benefiting the human and cultural, as well as the
    natural heritage of an area, implying active
    participation and leadership by local people,
    organizations, and government.

    (Inskeep, 1991)

Can Tourism Development Really Be
Policy Endorsement
Policy Implementation
(the Ideal)
(the Reality)
  • Difficult to prove sustainability
  • Better sense of what might ultimately
    be an unsustainable outcome

SustainabilityAn Ideal Balance of Capacities
in Three
SustainabilityAn Ideal Balance of Capacities
in Three
  • Maximize Goal Achievement across the three
    systems at one and the same time
    through an Adaptive Process of Trade-Offs.
  • The more the three systems and goals converge,
    the more sustainable development

SustainabilityThe Reality
Political-Legal System
SustainabilityThe Reality
Political-Legal System
SustainabilityThe Reality
Political-Legal System
SustainabilityThe Reality
  • Not possible to maximize all goals at the
    same time through an adaptive process
    of trade-offs.
  • Conflict almost always exists between and among
    inter- and intra-system goals.
  • As a result of values, choices are made
    as to which goals are more valuable and
    which should receive higher priority.
  • As a result, different development strategies
    assign different priorities to the systems
    and their goals.

SustainabilityThe Reality
  • Concept of sustainable development provokes
    groups at different levels to set a
    wide spectrum of goals and then to
    reconcile them.
  • It is this reconciliation or trade-offs implicit
    in sustainable development that has inspired much
    useful work since the early 1980s amounting to
    a new renaissance in thinking in social welfare
    and development issues.
    (Holmberg Sandbrook,

There is No Shortcut
to Sustainability!
  • Patterns of sustainable development must be built
    from the bottom up, showing what can be achieved
    at local levels and then working to disseminate
    positive experiences. (Holmberg Sandbrook,
  • Increased emphasis is being placed on those
    forms of tourism that are particularly sensitive
    to promoting and retaining the integrity of
    natural and socio-cultural environments.
    (Swinnerton Hinch, 1994)

Sustainable Tourism Development
  • There must be a balance between
    a degree or type of development that
    will bring economic and other benefits to
    a community and the point at which
    that development starts to feed on rather than
    sustain the very elements at its basis.
    (Cronin, 1990)

Criteria for
Sustainable Development
  • Follow ethical principles
  • Involve the local population
  • Give the local population an
    element of control
  • Be undertaken with equity in
    mind (Cronin, 1990)

Some Principles of Sustainable
Tourism Development
  • Low impact
  • Small in scale
  • Careful in progress
  • Appropriate and sensitive to the local natural
    and socio-cultural environment
  • Readily integrated into the
    existing social and economic life
    of the community

Sustainable Tourism Development
  • Define goals of STD for a destination.
  • Establish appropriate planning and management
  • Select relevant indicators from a candidate list
    of environmental, economic, and
    socio-cultural criteria.
  • Measure and monitor these indicators.
  • Periodically analyze and assess
    indicator performance.
  • Determine whether original goals
    are being achieved.
  • Implement remedial action if necessary.

Source Weaver Lawton,
Candidate Sustainable Tourism Indicators
  • Environmental
  • Destruction or alteration of natural habitat
    by tourism construction
  • Amount of litter associated with tourism
  • Resource consumption associated with tourism
  • Economic
  • Revenues earned directly from tourism
  • Proportion of destination employment associated
    with tourism
  • Profitability of individual operations
  • Socio-Cultural
  • Number of resident complaints against tourism
  • Amount of crime directed against tourists
  • Number and condition of heritage structures and
  • Integrity of the local culture

Problems Encountered in All of These Steps
  • Sustainable tourism development goals influenced
    by ideological considerations lack of
    common ground often evident.
  • Assuming goal consensus, necessary to define
    temporal, spatial, political, and inter-sectoral
    parameters within which to assess sustainable
  • Long-term planning discouraged by short term
  • Cannot take into account all external influences
    affecting the sector, many of which are unknown.
  • Tourism cannot be isolated from other
    natural resource uses.

For Sustainability Indicators...
  • Potential number of indicators within
    any particular destination is
  • Strategically difficult to monitor more than a
  • No definitive guidelines available to inform
    destinations as to which ones are most important.
  • Decision to include or exclude particular
    indicators is ultimately a subjective exercise,
    highly sensitive to context.
  • Little known about critical thresholds of
    sustainability that apply to each criterion,
    how they can be measured, and how
    often they should be monitored.

Spatial and Temporal Discontinuities Between
Cause and Effect
  • Many of the impacts identified within a
    destination and/or within a specific time period
    actually have their causes in other areas or time
  • Events within destinations may have consequences
    in other destinations and time periods.

Many Obstacles to Achieving Sustainable Tourism
  • Is achieving STD even possible
    and/or worthwhile?
  • If no effort is made at all, unsustainable
    outcomes are virtually guaranteed.
  • Sustainability indicators are just that,
    an indication, rather than an
    absolute confirmation, of sustainability.
  • New information on sustainable practices in
    tourism is continually being generated.
  • More appropriate to describe destinations as
    indicative of STD, rather than definitive.

Focus on Achieving Equity and Balance
  • Sustainable tourism development
    is determined largely by what
    stakeholders want it to be.
  • Through an informed, open,
    and participatory process
    for decision-making
  • Creates empowerment
    and involvement
  • Resulting in cooperative
    and collaborative action.

Sustainable Tourism DevelopmentPolicy
Endorsement / Policy Implementation
  • Effective implementation appears to occur in
    highly interactive communities where local
    leaders from diverse special interest groups
    interact and in the process create a viable
    community field.
  • Main Task Removing those barriers and
    constraints interfering with the natural tendency
    of community to develop allowing for the
    development of relationships and free-flowing

Ten Factors for a Successful Tourism Program
Cooperation Coordination Between Local
Leadership, Business Persons,
and Public Land Managers
Widespread Community Support
A Complete Tourism Package
Support Participation of Local government
Strategic Planning
Cooperation Coordination Among Tourism
Active Convention Visitors Bureaus Travel
Access to Information Technical Assistance
Access to Financial Resources for Tourism
Secrets of Successful Tourism Communitiesfrom
Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway
Communitiesby Howe, McMahon, and Probst, 1997
  • Develop a Widely Shared Vision
  • Create an Inventory of Local Assets
  • Build on Local Assets
  • Minimize the Need for Regulations
  • Meet the Needs of Both Landowner and
  • Team Up with Public Land Managers
  • Recognize the Role of Non-Profit
  • Provide Opportunities for Leaders to Step Forward
  • Pay Attention to Aesthetics

Best Chances for Success
  • From professionals and volunteers working in
    tourism development.
  • Following an approach that focuses on
    the principles of sustainable development in all
    development efforts and initiatives.
  • Facilitates resident involvement, participation
    in decision-making, and local control in

Best Chances for Success
  • Cooperative interaction can create
  • networks both within and outside
    the community
  • roles for involved community members
  • shared experiences
  • opportunities for further
    community development
  • contributions to the general
    quality of life in a community

Special Interest Groups
Tourism Planners Developers
Citizens Residents
Elected Officials
Marketers Promoters
Successful Rural Tourism Development
Government Agencies
Resource Managers
Conservation Groups
A Perceived Quality of Life
  • Amenity Values are values we place on the natural
    resource amenities of
  • Clean Air and Water
  • Natural Landscapes
  • Scenic Beauty Aesthetics
  • Wildlife and Habitat
  • Opportunities for Outdoor Recreation

Our Attitudes and Behavior Toward Natural
  • Attitudes differ
    often based on economic dependency.
  • Rural and urban differences
  • Core values we hold are greater than knowledge in
    influencing attitudes.
  • Education can be effective in increasing
    knowledge and influencing attitudes.

Critical to Our
Natural Resource Amenities
  • Retention and Protection of
    Open Space/Critical Lands
  • Undeveloped land/water that retains most,
    if not all of its natural
  • or
  • Land/Water that is managed for
    the sustainable
    development and use
    of natural resources.

Were All Stakeholders! Societal Values of
Natural Resources
  • Some societal stakeholders place more emphasis on
    the protection of natural resources for non-use
    or intrinsic values.
  • For aesthetics and natural amenities
  • For meeting recreational needs
  • For countering growth and development
  • For providing ecological services
  • -wildlife conservation and habitat protection
  • -wetlands/riparian protection
  • -air and water quality
  • -conservation of biological diversity

Were All Stakeholders! Societal Values of
Natural Resources
  • Some societal stakeholders place more emphasis on
    the use or instrumental value of natural
  • To help meet local economic needs,
    say through outdoor recreation and
    tourism development
  • To retain public access and use
    for recreation
  • To retain traditions of multiple use
    of natural resources on public lands

For Management of Public Lands and
Natural Resources
  • Key challenge is to provide opportunities to
    enhance both the use and environmental protection
    roles of natural resources simultaneously.
  • Need to meet recreational access/use
    and wildlife/habitat protection needs
    simultaneously, whenever and wherever appropriate
    and possible.

Use and Protection
  • Linking these two orientations is
  • Will require an explicit and balanced effort to
    bring these together.
  • Especially important to encourage support and
    collaboration with stakeholders in rural areas.

Use and Protection
  • To enhance long-term benefits, specific projects
    need to be designed to simultaneously meet
    recreational development and use goals along with
    natural resource and environmental protection

New Methods and Collaborative Efforts
  • New methods are needed for combining human values
    of natural resource use and protection in project
    planning, funding, and implementation.
  • Will require more collaborative efforts in
    social and ecological research.
  • Will require more community-based approaches to
    conservation and natural resources management.

Coordinated Resource Management (CRM)
  • CRM is designed to help stakeholders reach
    consensus-based decisions regarding the
    utilization and/or management of natural
  • CRM is a collaborative process that utilizes the
    direct involvement of interested stakeholders for
    planning, reaching management decisions, or
    resolving disputes about natural resources.
  • Benefits
  • Brings affected stakholders into decision-making
  • Informs public through constituency
  • Fosters stakeholder support of decisions and

Institute for Outdoor Recreation and
TourismCollege of Natural ResourcesUtah State
  • Dr. Steve Burr
  • Associate Professor of Recreation Resources
  • Director, Institute for Outdoor Recreation and
    Tourism Extension Specialist in Outdoor
    Recreation and Tourism
  • Institute for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
  • College of Natural Resources

    Utah State University
  • 5220 Old Main Hill
  • Logan, Utah 84322-5220
  • Office (435) 797-7094
  • FAX (435) 797-4040
  • E-mail
  • Visit the IORT Website at