Limits of Acceptable Change and tourism

Authored by: Stephen McCool

The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and the Environment

Print publication date:  July  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415582070
eBook ISBN: 9780203121108
Adobe ISBN: 9781136325564


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How do managers sustain the values for which protected areas have been designated in the face of growing and diversifying societal expectations, changing climatic patterns, declining government support and accelerating tourism and visitation? This question dominates every manager’s mind, drives thousands of public meetings annually, forms the basis for innumerable scientific studies, and challenges constituencies who not only want to preserve nature’s heritage but also use it for their shelter and sustenance. Although no statistics exist on the global economic significance and use of protected areas for tourism, we do know that tourism is one of the largest industries – however fragmented it may be – in the world, that international travel is growing exponentially and that natural heritage protected areas host hundreds of millions of visitors annually.

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