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The post COVID-19 tourism dilemma for geoparks in Indonesia

Cahyadi, H.S. and Newsome, D. (2021) The post COVID-19 tourism dilemma for geoparks in Indonesia. International Journal of Geoheritage and Parks .

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This paper provides a brief account and rapid assessment, utilising qualitative data, of the impact of COVID-19 on domestic and international tourism activity in geoparks in Indonesia. The popularity of geoparks and associated heavy domestic visitation have given rise to over-tourism scenarios such as congestion, littering, waste disposal problems, ecological damage and localised declines in air quality. The COVID-19 Pandemic resulted in the closure of all tourist destinations in Indonesia, including geoparks and this had a significant economic impact on tourism actors when business premises were forced to close and staff in the tourism industry lost employment. Following closure of geoparks, management perceived a decline in negative impacts and realised the scope to undertake recovery work at damaged sites. However, evidence from wildlife tourism hotspots suggests increased poaching and deforestation has occurred in protected areas due to reduced conservation actions and ranger patrols during the lockdown. The Indonesian Government has developed a five-point action plan to assist recovery of the sector. Following the lifting of restrictions, previously observed, pre-COVID-19 Pandemic, heavy visitation problems have been re-established. This situation has the capacity to lead to negative visitor perceptions and unsustainable environmental conditions. We posit that the over-tourism ‘problem’ requires attention and research in order to provide solutions to on-going traffic congestion, crowding and associated negative impacts in Indonesian geoparks.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
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