Much of our work on destination management, project development and marketing (see Our Services) has focussed on specific initiatives that address the link between tourism, local communities, transport, environmental impact and conservation. Examples include our work concerning:
Heritage sites – a range of studies involving management, access, interpretation and funding of individual natural and cultural heritage sites
Visitor management – studies addressing visitor flows, congestion management, and transport options in destinations
Sustainable land management and local produce – work on the link between agriculture, forestry and tourism, and the promotion of local produce to tourists and tourism enterprises
Walking and cycling tourism – work on market segmentation, impact assessment, product development and promotion of short and long distance trails and related events.
Three areas where we have been particularly active in developing policy frameworks and response mechanisms include:
Tourism in Protected Areas. We were closely involved in establishing the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas, and one of our directors currently serves on the Evaluation Committee. This Charter, awarded by the EUROPARC Federation, sets out the structures, principles and actions that should be put in place by national parks and other designated areas in pursuing sustainable tourism. We have prepared tourism strategies for 7 protected areas, in England, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy, leading to subsequent award of the Charter to them.
Ecotourism. Defined as ”responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”. We were lead consultants to the World Summit on Ecotourism in Quebec, 2002 and produced WWF’s Guidelines for Community-based Ecotourism Development which have been used all over the world.
Tourism and Poverty Alleviation. We have worked closely with UNWTO in this aspect of sustainable tourism, producing their publication Tourism and Poverty Alleviation, Recommendations for Action , and subsequently conducting missions in Ethiopia, Vietnam and Kenya to identify practical projects on the ground which have subsequently been funded.