People responsible for tourist sites are looking to manage them in sustainable ways. Sustainable methods include limiting visitor numbers to prevent damage, as used at the Pyramids in Egypt.
Sustainable tourism is tourism attempting to have a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people. The aim of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development brings a positive experience for local people, tourism companies and the tourists themselves. The guidelines focus on 4 main areas:
- Maximizing tourism’s social and economic benefits to local communities;
- Reducing negative impacts on cultural heritage;
- Reducing harm to local environments;
- Planning for sustainability.
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN URBAN AREAS:
- Recycling Bins
- Enforced fines for littering
- Pedestrianised areas
- Cheap public transport
- Bike hire
- Promote local hotels and shops
- Reduce electricity and water waste by educating tourists
- Ensure locals can also afford to visit nationally visit historic sites. Many countries run dual pricing, where tourists pay more than locals to visit sites.
- Possible introduce quotas or curfews to protect areas.
- Ensure locals are not priced out of local market - try and maintain traditional mix of residents, tourists, businesses, etc.
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN COASTAL ENVIRONMENTS:
- Banning of plastic bags (very harmful to turtles who mistake them for jellyfish)
- Avoid light pollution near turtle nesting sites. Baby turtles are often confused by light and struggle to find the sea (normally they use the light from the horizon)
- Avoid sewage being pumped into the sea
- Promote sustainable diving (possible introduce quotas like in Sipadan in Malaysia)
- Avoid privatisation of beaches. Ensure that locals can also use the beach
- Stop trade in coral, turtles shells, etc.
- Ensure that seafood is caught from sustainable sources. In Japan, sustainable sushi is being introduced to protect blue fin tuna, whales, etc.
- Minimise damage to mangroves, dunes, forests, etc. when building resorts.
- Ensure proper boating channels to avoid injury and death to turtles, manatees, etc. from speed boats and jet skis.
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN NATIONAL PARKS:
- Create National Parks to protect flora and fauna
- Reforest areas that have been damaged or logged
- Ensure that no illegal logging takes place
- Stop poaching (catching wild animals) by making it illegal and enforcing with strong penalties.
- Only allow low impact activities e.g. walking, horse riding.
- Start breeding and reintroduction programmes e.g. the giant panda in China.
- Only allow small scale developments using locals products to build the small-scale low-impact developments e.g. basic cabins or just tents
- Use renewable energy sources e.g. local HEP
- Ensure no non-biodegradable products are released into local water sources or the ground
- Educate tourists about flora and fauna and the importance of protection.
- Give flora and fauna and economic value, making animals more valuable a live than dead. In Rwanda tourists now pay $500 to see mountain gorillas. This has completely stopped poaching because the mountain gorillas are now more valuable alive than dead.
Ecotourism encourages visitors to a country to leave a small carbon footprint, to the benefit of local communities and environments. It has become an increasingly popular option for many people.
Ecotourism is a type of sustainable development. The aim of ecotourism is to reduce the impact that tourism has on naturally beautiful environments. Any tourist destination can be harmed by increased levels of tourism. If areas are damaged or destroyed, they might not be available to future generations.
THE ECOTOURISM APPROACH IS:
- Ensuring that tourism does not exploit the natural environment or local communities.
- Consultation with local communities on planned developments.
- Making sure that infrastructure improvements benefit local people and not just tourists.
GUIDLINES FOR ECOTOURISTS:
Ecotourism sets out guidelines for how tourists should behave when visiting fragile environments:
- Protect the environment - keep to footpaths, don't leave litter or start fires.
- Don't interfere with wildlife - don't scare or feed the animals.
- Protect resources - don't take too many showers or use air conditioning.
- Support local communities - stay in locally owned accommodation and buy produce from local people.
- Eat local food and drink - avoid products that have been imported from MEDCs.
- Respect local customs and traditions - some communities are offended when tourists wear inappropriate clothes in religious places, strip off on the beach or behave in a rowdy manner. Locals appreciate tourists who try to learn the language and show an interest in their culture.
Ecotourism is increasingly popular and many people appreciate remote locations, small numbers of tourists and less sophisticated facilities (Kenya, Uganda, Amazon Rainforest etc). If a resort becomes overdeveloped then they will choose alternative destinations.
A honeypot is a particularly popular visitor attraction which attracts tourists (and sometimes locals) in large numbers. The term 'honeypot' originates from bees buzzing around a hive.
Honeypots are frequently used by cities or countries to manage their tourism industry. The use of honeypots can protect fragile land away from major cities while satisfying tourists.
One such example is the construction of local parks to prevent tourists from damaging more valuable ecosystems farther from their main destination. Honeypots have the added benefit of concentrating a large number of income-generating visitors in one place, thus developing that area, and in turn making the area more appealing to tourists. However, honeypots can suffer from problems of overcrowding, including litter, crime, and strain on facilities and transport networks. Honeypots attract tourists because of parking spaces, shopping centres, parks and public toilets.
Examples in the United Kingdom include Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District, Lulworth Cove in Dorset, and Castleton in the Peak District.
Tourism is a big industry in the United Kingdom. It happens in many locations but the specification asks you to look at EITHER a coastal location OR a National Park. I have provided both for you so you can pick and choose! Blackpool is an iconic tourist resort whose coastal location is the main reason for its initial development as a tourist resort. Blackpool is the 4th largest settlement in the North West of England after Manchester, Liverpool and Warrington. In the 2011 censes its population was registered at 142,064, a decrease of around 200 people on year 2001.
People currently go to Blackpool for a range of reasons;
· The Pleasure Beach is a theme park which is the UK’s most visited tourist attraction
· The sandy beach and its piers
· Blackpool Illuminations - a spectacular light show running since 1879 during the Autumn months to prolong the tourist season
· Party political conferences can take place there
· Concerts and shows happen there
Blackpool is dominated by the tourist industry. Indeed, Blackpool’s economic sectors are;
Construction & Other
The vast majority of activity within the service sector is tourism related, 31.4% of economically active people in 2006 worked in the distribution, hotels and restaurant sector (source). The town caters for more visitors than any other UK resort. There are nearly 91,000 bed spaces with the majority in small guesthouses. Many of the visitors to Blackpool have limited disposable income and the jobs generated are typified by low pay and short term contracts. It is not unusual for people to hold 2 or 3 part time low paid jobs as a means of achieving a sustainable income. The graph below shows Blackpool’s development as a resort over time and how this has changed. Blackpool fits the Butler Tourist Life cycle model well.
Like many other British Holiday resorts (think Whitley Bay) Blackpool suffered a decline in tourist numbers. This was because;
1. Foreign travel to the Mediterranean grew in popularity in the 1960s and 70s with its more reliable hot sunny and dry weather, and sandy beaches.
2. The expansion of package holidays and cheaper flights, plus more competing destinations
3. The growth of budget airlines and cheaper accommodation from the 1990s onwards
4. People are changing to self-catering and buying time shares or holiday homes abroad.
5. Overcrowding in Blackpool and a shift in the market to late night drinking, stag and hen parties
To combat this decline Blackpool launched a £300 million regeneration project in 2000 and launched a failed bid for a super casino. More recent projects to improve the town for visitors include;
Brilliance – This is a fantastic town centre lighting scheme which aims to encourage visitors to explore the town centre further at night and in the day
St John’s Square This area is an important public space in the centre of Blackpool. This area has been pedestrianised and new planting, paving and lighting has been added. This is to attract and enhance the character, appearance and atmosphere of the area. A Wave sculpture has been added and WiFi connectivity included too.
Houndshill Shopping Centre This Shopping Centre has been redeveloped to improve shopping in the town centre.
The Beach - Coastal Protection The sea defences had been damaged ion Blackpool. They have been replaced with 'Spanish steps' leading down to the sea that will protect the coastline and increase public access to the seafront.