On 3 November the PUP Consortium co-sponsored with IUCN’s Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS), Ecoturismo Genuino and the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Program to offer the webinar entitled What is overtourism in protected areas and what can we do about it?
The webinar speakers were Jon Kohl (director of the PUP Global Heritage Consortium) and Dr. Stephen McCool (University of Montana and board director of PUP). Dr. Anna Spenceley (coordinator of TAPAS) and Allan Rhodes (director of Ecoturismo Genuino and advisor of PUP) moderated the talk attended by 131 participants from around the world. TAPAS organized the webinar with its partners as part of the 2017 Year of Sustainable Tourism.
The official summary of the webinar: “Rising visitor use levels in tourism destinations over the last several years have caught residents and managers off-guard, leading to potentially significant social and biophysical impacts. This condition has been termed “overtourism”, but has been previously known by other terms such as “over use” and “over crowded.” Concern about this situation has a long history in protected area management. Regardless of the term, the concerns about impacts have legitimate foundations. Resolving this problem will require a better understanding of it first, before proposing simplified solutions.
“As a collaboration between the IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group, Ecotourism Genuino, PUP Global Heritage Consortium and the 10 YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme, the webinar was designed to build awareness of the challenges of high levels of visitor use in protected areas, review what has lead to this challenge, and to suggest a way forward.”
To see additional Sustainable Tourism Webinars archived at the World Tourism Organization website, click here.