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Current Practices in Monitoring and Reporting on Sustainability of Visitor Use of Protected Areas

Higginbottom, K., Carter, R.W., Moore, S., Rodger, K. and Narayanan, Y. (2010) Current Practices in Monitoring and Reporting on Sustainability of Visitor Use of Protected Areas. CRC for Sustainable Tourism, Gold Coast, Queensland.

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Many protected areas, especially national parks, have a dual function of preserving valued resources and realising the recreational values inherent within the area. The outcome of this duality can be difficult for protected area managers to reconcile when satisfying visitor use experiences threatens other values, especially biodiversity values. Understanding visitor use and its effect on biophysical resources is an important part of effective management. Monitoring of use and its effects, therefore, becomes vital to an adaptive management approach to address this sometimes conflicting management duality. Of concern though is the development and use of indicators to report on the sustainability of visitor use and management in protected areas (McCool & Stankey 2004).

While protected area managing agencies in Australia have long been concerned with monitoring visitor impacts and experiences, the efforts have largely been site and activity specific, with no consistent methodological approach to enable confident application beyond the site and issue of the specific monitoring. This project sought to describe current approaches to the monitoring and evaluation of visitor use of protected areas and make recommendations regarding an integrated approach.

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: CRC for Sustainable Tourism
Copyright: © CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd 2010
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