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Assessing sustainable visitor capacity for small island destinations: the case of Rottnest Island, Australia

Northcote, J.K., Scherrer, P. and Macbeth, J. (2010) Assessing sustainable visitor capacity for small island destinations: the case of Rottnest Island, Australia. In: International Conference on Sustainable Tourism: Issues, Debates & Challenges, 22 - 25 April, Crete, Greece pp. 874-885.

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Abstract

Small island destinations present some unique challenges when it comes to visitor management. Often characterised by fragile ecosystems, they can be subject to intense pressures from large numbers of visitors carrying out a range of high impact activities in confined areas. This paper will examine the application of the sustainable visitor capacity (SVC) framework - a new visitor management tool designed in Australia - to Rottnest Island in Western Australia, a popular island destination attracting approximately 500,000 visitors per annum. Several modifications of the framework were undertaken in order to streamline it, adapt it to island conditions, and orient it to the particular objectives of the project. The methodology proved valuable in providing an estimate of sustainable visitor capacity that took into account environmental impacts, visitor satisfaction, service capacity and management strategies. The importance of versatility in assessment methods, visitor input and a streamlined approach are highlighted as key success factors.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Buckinghamshire New University
Notes: In, Wickens, E. & Soteriades, M. (eds), Proceedings, International Conference on Sustainable Tourism: Issues, Debates & Challenges, Crete and Santorini, 22-25 April 2010
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/9985
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