Special Issue "Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability of Culture and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (14 November 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Patricia L. Winter
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Pacific Southwest Research Station, US Forest Service
Interests: fostering environmentally sustainable behaviors, social trust, cultural diversity, risk perceptions and risk response, improving socioecological resilience, work environment quality and equity
Dr. Steve Selin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, Div of Forestry and Natural Resources, West Virginia University
Tel. (304) 293-7033
Interests: human dimensions research, sustainable recreation management, collaborative governance, community-based conservation, nature-based tourism
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Kelly S. Bricker
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Parks, Recreation and Tourism, University of Utah
Interests: nature-based tourism, sustainable tourism, nature-based recreation and planning, sense of place, sustainable development goals and tourism
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Lee Cerverny
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest Service
Interests: natural resource governance, recreation and human use planning for public land management agencies, the public health benefits of public lands

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The journal “Sustainability” is seeking submissions for the Special Issue “Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability.” Outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism occur within a socioecological system with feedback loops to changing social, economic, technological, and ecological conditions. Sustainable recreation and nature-based tourism involve social/cultural, economic, ecological, and institutional components. Outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism present essential benefits to individuals, community, and society, thereby contributing to sustainability. Being outdoors, engaging in active recreation, and visiting natural attractions provide opportunities for people to learn about natural systems and develop attachments to places that contribute to positive spillover effects. Recent work has highlighted the numerous contributions of nature connection to mental and physical health. The equitable provision of opportunities, cultural variations in desired experiences, barriers to outdoor recreation, and diverse perceptions of both nature and recreation add to the complexity in outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism service delivery. Changes in technology (eco-innovation) and equipment have added to experiential choices for the participant, and increased complexity for the service provider. At the global scale, climate change and other disturbance factors are impacting ecosystems and opportunities that warrant consideration, where adaptation strategies are of particular interest for longer-term planning. Population growth and regional shifts in demographics and distribution, (e.g., urbanization) as well as socio-economic trends such as changes in culture and consumption patterns, affect who engages in outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism, opportunities sought, nature access, and governance of outdoor services. Given dynamic ecological and socio-economic conditions, what constitutes sustainable recreation and tourism? Overall, the complexity of sustainable outdoor recreation and tourism may suggest a need for different approaches to service delivery, culture change among service providers and managers of natural spaces, and novel approaches to inclusive governance and shared stewardship of our natural and cultural heritage. Given the clear importance of outdoor recreation/nature-based tourism to society, we invite you to consider with us how your work improves our understanding of the intersections of outdoor recreation, nature-based tourism, and sustainability.

The Guest Editors are especially interested in the following topics regarding outdoor recreation/nature-based tourism and sustainability:

  • Climate change and other disturbance factors (e.g., fire, invasives);
  • Eco-innovation, technology;
  • Sustainable development goals;
  • Health and well-being, quality of life;
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Outdoor recreation and nature-based-tourism’s contributions to sustainability;
  • Indigenous lands, engagement, and recreation use;
  • Agency culture change, emerging governance structures, and organizational capacity-building;
  • Gateway and ammenity communities.

Our aim is to compile an Issue that considers the intersections of outdoor recreation, nature-based tourism, and sustainability with relevance to the journal’s global audience. Additional topics not listed here may be considered based on strength of the submission and degree of fit to the full Issue.

Dr. Patricia L. Winter
Dr. Steve Selin
Dr. Kelly Bricker
Dr. Lee Cerverny
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • outdoor recreation
  • sustainability
  • nature-based tourism
  • public lands, parks, and protected areas
  • human health and well-being.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Recreation as a Social-Ecological Complex Adaptive System
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030753 - 21 Jan 2020
Abstract
The environment and society are both the context for and product of human actions and interactions. Outdoor recreation is the primary interaction many people have with the environment and it is an interaction that greatly contributes to human well-being. To sustainably manage the [...] Read more.
The environment and society are both the context for and product of human actions and interactions. Outdoor recreation is the primary interaction many people have with the environment and it is an interaction that greatly contributes to human well-being. To sustainably manage the social and ecological components of outdoor recreation, an integrative and dynamic systems perspective is needed. Analyses that link recreation management and recreational experiences to both social and ecological outcomes across multiple sales and over time are not developed. This article will outline how a number of fragmented recreation management frameworks such as the recreation experience model, beneficial outcomes, the recreation opportunity spectrum, limits of acceptable change, and constraints theory can be organized within a larger social-ecological framework. The outdoor recreation meta-framework presented here links structuration theory from the social sciences with theories of complex adaptive systems and hierarchical patch dynamics from ecology to understand the human and ecological drivers for and responses to outdoor recreation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Cruise Tourism in Marine World Heritage Sites
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020611 - 14 Jan 2020
Abstract
Cruise-ship tourism is one of the fastest growing industry sectors, with itineraries that regularly visit marine parks and protected areas. UNESCO Marine World Heritage (MWH) Sites feature some of the world’s most exceptional ecosystems, resulting in some cruise lines targeting these sites. To [...] Read more.
Cruise-ship tourism is one of the fastest growing industry sectors, with itineraries that regularly visit marine parks and protected areas. UNESCO Marine World Heritage (MWH) Sites feature some of the world’s most exceptional ecosystems, resulting in some cruise lines targeting these sites. To understand the extent of cruise ship visitation and determine perceptions of cruise ship sustainability within and across environmental, economic, and sociocultural dimensions, we conducted an online survey of 45 (out of 50) sites. The survey included responses about the characteristics of cruise ship visitation, strategies for sustainably managing ships, and ideas for encouraging sustainable practices. Among the 45 respondents, 30 (67%) indicated that their MWH site hosts cruise ships or cruise ship passengers, and 25 sites have cruise ships that enter the protected area marine waters. Most sites (62%) indicated an increase in cruise visitation over the last three years. While most sites regulate ballast water (73%) and wastewater (73%) discharge, common concerns focused on ship air emissions and wildlife interactions. Lack of funds generated by cruise ships toward community infrastructure was noted. MWH site managers expressed interest in developing site networks to facilitate sharing of ideas as a first step for increasing sustainability across all sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Equity in Access to Outdoor Recreation—Informing a Sustainable Future
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010124 - 22 Dec 2019
Abstract
Despite an increasingly ethnically and racially diverse population in the United States (U.S.), growing evidence indicates that minorities are underrepresented in national forest visitation. Many reasons for continuing underrepresentation have been examined, involving research reaching back multiple decades. In the current study, a [...] Read more.
Despite an increasingly ethnically and racially diverse population in the United States (U.S.), growing evidence indicates that minorities are underrepresented in national forest visitation. Many reasons for continuing underrepresentation have been examined, involving research reaching back multiple decades. In the current study, a random sample of residents (n = 1977) from four large metropolitan statistical areas in California was involved in a telephone survey about forest visitation. Analysis revealed a continuing pattern of inequities in lifetime visitation to a national forest, as well as recency of visitation. Constraints to national forest visitation show similarities among groups. Lack of time was the most often mentioned constraint, with resource-related constraints more frequently cited by minority respondents. In contrast to prior studies, a lack of information or concerns about discrimination were not cited by survey respondents, though the open-ended approach to top constraints may underpin some of this variation from prior research. The primary information source for outdoor recreation used most frequently and most trusted was the Internet, followed closely by social networks (family and friends). In the presentation of U.S. outdoor recreation information, natural resource management agencies, use groups, and opportunity providers would benefit from incorporating culturally relevant messaging and images to affirm the message of inclusion and welcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Bridging Worlds: Utilizing a Multi-Stakeholder Framework to Create Extension–Tourism Partnerships
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010080 - 20 Dec 2019
Abstract
Some counties in the United States are turning to visions of sustainable development in response to increasing environmental problems caused by land use expansion and intensification. Sustainable tourism is one industry capable of fostering this change because of its relationship to all facets [...] Read more.
Some counties in the United States are turning to visions of sustainable development in response to increasing environmental problems caused by land use expansion and intensification. Sustainable tourism is one industry capable of fostering this change because of its relationship to all facets of a destination, from transportation and culture to natural resource management. This paper addresses a study that examined what support tourism destinations in Florida need from the Cooperative Extension Service to better utilize natural areas as responsible tourism attractions to benefit the local community, economy, and biodiversity (i.e., ecotourism). A nominal group technique, questionnaires, and interviews with local tourism professionals were used to investigate needs and support for ecotourism development. Results show, when nature-based tourism products are present, growth in ecotourism market supply is desired by tourism providers. Results also indicate that this growth is possible with the help of Extension agents, who would serve as educators on responsible tourism topics and facilitate partnerships between government, businesses, local residents, and visitors. Integrating these results into the (2013) multi-stakeholder framework developed by Waligo et al. for sustainable tourism development, this paper outlines reasoning and process for the Cooperative Extension Service to provide important support for a prevalent natural resource use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Community Engagement: An Appreciative Inquiry Case Study with Theodore Roosevelt National Park Gateway Communities
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7147; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247147 - 13 Dec 2019
Abstract
Appreciative Inquiry was employed to understand the mutual impact of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and nearby communities’ relationships with tourism. Specifically, the goals of this study were to: understand the role of Theodore Roosevelt National Park related to stimulating regional tourism; to ascertain [...] Read more.
Appreciative Inquiry was employed to understand the mutual impact of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and nearby communities’ relationships with tourism. Specifically, the goals of this study were to: understand the role of Theodore Roosevelt National Park related to stimulating regional tourism; to ascertain gateway community resident perceptions of benefits from tourism as it relates to economic development and quality of; and, to explore nearby communities’ relationships with the park and how those communities may help influence quality visitor experiences, advance park goals, and develop and leverage partnerships. Results include a collection of emergent themes from the community inquiry related to resource access and tourism management, citizen and community engagement, conservation, marketing, and communication between the park and neighboring residents. These findings illuminate the need to understand nearby communities’ relationship to public lands and regional sustainability support between public land managers and these communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Protected Areas, Tourism, and Rural Transition in Aysén, Chile
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7087; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247087 - 11 Dec 2019
Abstract
Following global trends, nature-based tourism in the Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia has grown dramatically in recent years. This growth has challenged traditional economic activities derived from commodification of natural resources, including ranching, logging, and mining. A qualitative research study conducted in 2016–2017 [...] Read more.
Following global trends, nature-based tourism in the Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia has grown dramatically in recent years. This growth has challenged traditional economic activities derived from commodification of natural resources, including ranching, logging, and mining. A qualitative research study conducted in 2016–2017 used semi-structured interviews and focus groups to investigate how local residents perceived the changes that accompany rural development around the nationally protected area of Cerro Castillo, projected to be one of the region’s protected areas that will drive economic development through tourism in coming decades. Results identified several themes reminiscent of the rural transition that took place in the western United States in the mid to late-1900s. During this era, the remote, rugged, wild frontier lands of the sparsely populated intermountain west shifted from an economy grounded in extractive industries to a service-based one, geared towards amenity migrants and tourists seeking recreation opportunities and closeness to nature. Patterns and lessons are drawn between similar transitions across geographies and timescales, which may assist planners with understandings of trends and tendencies as tourism continues to influence rural transition in Patagonia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Perceptions vs. Practice: A Longitudinal Analysis of Energy-Efficient and Energy Conservation Practices in Minnesota’s Tourism Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6741; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236741 - 28 Nov 2019
Abstract
The importance of adopting sustainable practices in the tourism industry is well established. This project assessed tourism professionals’ perceptions of constraints and benefits to sustainable practices as well as actual implementation of energy practices across time. Adopting a longitudinal approach, perceptions and practices [...] Read more.
The importance of adopting sustainable practices in the tourism industry is well established. This project assessed tourism professionals’ perceptions of constraints and benefits to sustainable practices as well as actual implementation of energy practices across time. Adopting a longitudinal approach, perceptions and practices were tracked through an Internet-based questionnaire administered among tourism professionals in 2007, 2010, and 2013 in a Midwestern U.S. state. Professionals consistently agreed that attracting new clientele, improving consumer perceptions, and organizational image were benefits of sustainable practices, while initial financial costs constrained implementation. The most frequently implemented energy practices were using daylight and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Only the use of two energy practices increased across time: using CFLs and Energy Star equipment. Overall, the adoption of sustainable practices was varied, and implementation rates remained minimally changed between 2007 and 2013. Reasons for the varied adoption and lack of changes in practice implementation may be explained by perceived barriers to implementation, lack of perceived benefits, and socio-economic contextual factors. With consideration to institutional theory and organizational capacity, industry and organizational-level implications are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010081 - 20 Dec 2019
Abstract
This Special Issue addresses the intersections of outdoor recreation, nature-based tourism, and sustainability. Outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism provide essential benefits to individuals, communities, and society and thereby contribute to sustainability. Equitable provision of opportunities, cultural variations in desired experiences, barriers to outdoor [...] Read more.
This Special Issue addresses the intersections of outdoor recreation, nature-based tourism, and sustainability. Outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism provide essential benefits to individuals, communities, and society and thereby contribute to sustainability. Equitable provision of opportunities, cultural variations in desired experiences, barriers to outdoor recreation, and diverse perceptions of both nature and recreation add to the complexity in outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism service delivery. Outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism occur within a socioecological system with feedback loops to changing social, economic, technological, and ecological conditions. On a global scale, climate change and other disturbance factors are impacting ecosystems and opportunities, increasing the importance of adaptation strategies for longer-term planning. Population growth and regional shifts in demographics and distribution (e.g., urbanization), as well as socioeconomic trends, affect who engages in outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism, opportunities sought, nature access, and governance of outdoor services. Overall the complexity of sustainable outdoor recreation and tourism may suggest a need for different approaches to service delivery, culture change among service providers and managers of natural spaces, and novel approaches to inclusive governance and shared stewardship. Given the clear importance of outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism to society, we invite you to consider this initial introduction to our assembled collection, which is meant to advance our understanding of the intersections of outdoor recreation, nature-based tourism, and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability)
Open AccessReview
Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and Approaches for Outdoor Recreation
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7030; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247030 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
Climate change will alter opportunities and demand for outdoor recreation through altered winter weather conditions and season length, climate-driven changes in user preferences, and damage to recreational infrastructure, among other factors. To ensure that outdoor recreation remains sustainable in the face of these [...] Read more.
Climate change will alter opportunities and demand for outdoor recreation through altered winter weather conditions and season length, climate-driven changes in user preferences, and damage to recreational infrastructure, among other factors. To ensure that outdoor recreation remains sustainable in the face of these challenges, natural resource managers may need to adapt their recreation management. One of the major challenges of adapting recreation to climate change is translating broad concepts into specific, tangible actions. Using a combination of in-depth interviews of recreational managers and a review of peer-reviewed literature and government reports, we developed a synthesis of impacts, strategies, and approaches, and a tiered structure that organizes this information. Six broad climate adaptation strategies and 25 more specific approaches were identified and organized into a “recreation menu”. The recreation menu was tested with two national forests in the US in multi-day workshops designed to integrate these concepts into real-world projects that were at the beginning stages of the planning process. We found that the recreation menu was broad yet specific enough to be applied to recreation-focused projects with different objectives and climate change impacts. These strategies and approaches serve as stepping stones to enable natural resource and recreation managers to translate broad concepts into targeted and prescriptive actions for implementing adaptation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Recreation, Nature-Based Tourism, and Sustainability)
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