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Nature Conservation and Nature-Based Tourism: A Paradox?

Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
School of Biological Earth & Environmental Sciences, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Parklands Drive, Southport, QLD 4222, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2019, 6(9), 104;
Received: 9 July 2019 / Revised: 4 August 2019 / Accepted: 3 September 2019 / Published: 6 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact of Nature-Based Tourism)
Throughout the world, areas have been reserved for their exceptional environmental values, such as high biodiversity. Financial, political and community support for these protected areas is often dependent on visitation by nature-based tourists. This visitation inevitably creates environmental impacts, such as the construction and maintenance of roads, tracks and trails; trampling of vegetation and erosion of soils; and propagation of disturbance of resilient species, such as weeds. This creates tension between the conservation of environmental values and visitation. This review examines some of the main features of environmental impacts by nature-based tourists through a discussion of observational and manipulative studies. It explores the disturbance context and unravels the management implications of detecting impacts and understanding their causes. Regulation of access to visitor areas is a typical management response, qualified by the mode of access (e.g., vehicular, ambulatory). Managing access and associated impacts are reviewed in relation to roads, tracks and trails; wildlife viewing; and accommodations. Responses to visitor impacts, such as environmental education and sustainable tour experiences are explored. The review concludes with ten recommendations for further research in order to better resolve the tension between nature conservation and nature-based tourism. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature-based tourism; recreation; conservation; environmental impacts; protected areas; review nature-based tourism; recreation; conservation; environmental impacts; protected areas; review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wolf, I.D.; Croft, D.B.; Green, R.J. Nature Conservation and Nature-Based Tourism: A Paradox? Environments 2019, 6, 104.

AMA Style

Wolf ID, Croft DB, Green RJ. Nature Conservation and Nature-Based Tourism: A Paradox? Environments. 2019; 6(9):104.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wolf, Isabelle D., David B. Croft, and Ronda J. Green. 2019. "Nature Conservation and Nature-Based Tourism: A Paradox?" Environments 6, no. 9: 104.

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