What LT&C had announced already earlier this year, has now finally been launched at the CBD COP14 in Sharm el-Sheikh: IUCN, the world ’s most authoritative organisation defining nature conservation, made up of government and non-government members, has shed new light on the complex relationship between tourism and protected areas. Their new “Guidelines on Tourism and Visitor Management in Protected Areas” is a MUST-READ and an important resource for anyone interested in linking tourism and conservation.
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.