Tourism and Protected Areas: Benefits Beyond Boundaries

The IUCN (World Conservation Union) held its fifth World Parks Congress in 2003. In spite of submissions to the organising committee, tourism was not treated as a workshop stream at the conference, nevertheless, the subject permeated much of the discussions and presentations. This text brings together the issues and findings of the congress, where these touched upon tourism, and as such, it forms a valuable contribution to the field of study. The contributions, by 25 practitioners and academics, are literate, detailed and well illustrated with ample case studies and examples drawn from both the developed and developing world, including, among others, Latin America, Canada , Australia , Southern Africa, Fiji - and the European Alps. The text illustrates how far we have yet to go to translate words into actions. By way of example, chapter four details no fewer than two dozen international relevant charters, guidelines and declarations issued between 1992 and 2004 designed to protect designated areas from the effects of mass tourism. Experience has shown that unless these are accompanied by firm action on the part of governments and other relevant authorities, success will be limited. Since the text is based on a congress already four years past, some of the statistics appear dated, such as figures relating to the movement of tourists in the 1990s. The poor quality of black and white photographic reproduction a not infrequent weakness among publishers of tourism texts - mars an otherwise excellent presentation, which should become recommended reading both for postgraduate students of tourism and practitioners working in this field.