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<ul><li> 1. The Macaulay InstituteINDICATORS ANDSUSTAINABLE TOURISM:LITERATURE REVIEWApril 2006White V., McCrum G., Blackstock K.L., and Scott A.The Macaulay Institute Craigiebuckler Aberdeen AB15 8QH</li></ul><p> 2. Contents1. Introduction12. The Sustainability Debate 13. Sustainable Tourism 34. Measuring Sustainability65. Indicators76. Frameworks87. Selecting Indicators138. Analysing Indicator Results 179. Displaying and Communicating Indicator Data 1810. Conclusion 19References 21This work was part of a SEERAD funded project on Sustainable Rural Development(RO203909). The authors would like to acknowledge the input by Cairngorm National ParkAuthority staff and members of the ViSIT forum during the life of this project."Any use which a third party makes of this document, or any reliance upon it, or decisions tobe made based upon it, are the responsibility of such a third party. The Macaulay Instituteaccepts no duty of care or liability whatsoever to any such third party, and no responsibility fordamages, if any, suffered by any third party as a result of decisions or actions taken or nottaken on the basis of the contents of this document." 3. Literature Review1IntroductionSince the publication of Our Common Futures, (WCED, 1987), the conceptof sustainable development has been high on the political agenda and the UKGovernment has demonstrated a commitment to Agenda 21, following the1992 Earth Summit in Rio (Johnson, 2002). To ensure sustainabledevelopment becomes a reality rather than just rhetoric, it is necessary toconsider the worlds major industries within this context. When consideringthe tourism industry, the need to adopt a sustainable approach isexacerbated by its fragility and sensitivity to change, its multi-sectoral natureand its marked dependence on the quality of the host environment andcommunities; tourism which degrades any elements of host communities andnations threatens its own future (Manning, 1999: 179). Twining-Wardstresses this point further, raising the issue that tourists tend to be attracted tothe more vulnerable and sensitive areas, where Hardins Tragedy of theCommons concept is all too familiar (Twining-Ward, 1999) and managementresponsibility may fall into many different hands.Within the Cairngorms National Park (CNP), surveys have shown that it is thequality of the landscape that underlies the reason for most visits (CNPA,2005: 1) and hence such challenges are inherent within its tourism industry.Recently being granted Europarc status, the Cairngorms National ParkAuthority (CNPA) has subsequently adopted a Strategy and Action Plan forSustainable Tourism, (a requirement of the European Charter for SustainableTourism in Protected Areas) and is currently working towards adopting andapplying a set of indicators. In support of this work, the Macaulay Institutehas provided the CNPA with a report that provides a suggested approach toselecting and implementing indicators of sustainable tourism (see AFramework for Developing Indicators of Sustainable Tourism). The projectaimed to support the CNPA and their ViSIT forum by providing a structure forthinking through the process of selecting indicators that encouragedtransparency and deliberation by asking provocative questions, rather thanproviding answers.This literature review, therefore, aims to summarise some of the key literatureunderlying the Framework report and should be read with the project brief inmind. The literature review is one of three supplementary documents to theFramework report. The others are: Indicators of Sustainability: Some Example Sets Indicators and Sustainable Tourism: Interview Findings.2The Sustainability DebateWhilst it is not the intention to plunge into a lengthy debate over the definitionof sustainable development versus that of sustainability, it is important to1 4. introduce some meanings and principles as they will be referred to in thisdocument.Sustainable development was famously defined by the World Commission onEnvironment and Development (WCED) as "development that meets theneeds of the present without compromising the ability of future generations tomeet their own needs" (WCED, 1987), but many authors have sincedeveloped their own definitions and adopted varying stances onsustainability. Attempts have been made to classify these notions, resultingin concepts of weak versus strong, light green versus dark green andtechno/anthropocentric versus eco-centric, with the former in each case takingthe view that natural capital may be replaced with human-made capital,whereas the latter deems natural and human-made capital as incompatible(Haughton and Hunter 1994). Within this range of definitions andapproaches, there are common themes that can be combined to providesome principles for sustainable development, based on the underlying notionthat future generations should be compensated for reductions in theendowment of resources brought about by the actions of present generations(Pearce et al., 1989). Haughton and Hunter (1994) argue that these conceptsof futurity, equity and environment must underpin the process of sustainabledevelopment, such that the principles of inter- and intra-generational equityand trans-frontier responsibility are at the forefront of sustainabledevelopment policy.Increasingly, notions of sustainability are being linked to systems thinking (seeBell and Morse, 2003; Kelly and Baker, 2002; Bakkes, 1997) wherebysustainability is understood to be a framework for managing change. Asystem is a whole whose elements interact as they continually affect eachother over time and operate towards a common purpose (after Senge et al.,1994 in Kelly and Baker, 2002); thus systems thinking encourages thinkingabout cause and effect and inter-relationships between elements. Whilst thisholistic approach to measuring sustainability is valuable, recognising thatsustainability is not determined by single components (Ko, 2005: 436),systems theorists are still struggling to suggest a methodology for linkingcause and effect in complex systems, to adequately analyse direct, indirectand flow-on effects of any one action and to deal with multiple, tiered temporaland spatial scales.3Sustainable TourismThe multiple issues bound up in the sustainable development/ sustainabilitydebate are inevitably transferred to the concept of sustainable tourism. Again,the lack of any universal definition has lead to a multiplicity of tailor-mademeanings and applications (Box 1). As with sustainable development, there isthe freedom to adopt varying shades of green in approaching sustainabletourism. From the light green approach that holds tourism development andtourist and operator satisfaction as the central aim to the darker green inwhich the precautionary principle and concept of carrying capacities feature 2 5. highly (Hunter, 1997). The stance adopted has major implications as it willgovern the approach to implementation and hence the outcome. Box 1: Sustainable Tourism- definitions Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of the present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing the opportunity for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled, while maintaining cultural integrity essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems (WTO, 1996) Sustainable tourism is about managing tourisms impacts on the environment, communities, and the future economy to make sure that the effects are positive rather than negative for the benefit of future generations. It is a management approach that is relevant to all types of tourism, regardless of whether it takes place in cities, towns, countryside or the coast. (English Tourism Council, 2002) Tourism which is in a form which can maintain its viability in an area for an infinite period of time. (Butler, 1993: 29) Tourism that takes account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.(CNPA, 2005) Eber (1992) provides a further useful synopsis: if tourism is to be truly beneficial to all concerned . . . and sustainable in the long-term, it must be ensured that resources are not over-consumed, that natural and human environments are protected, that tourism is integrated with other activities, that it provides real benefits to the local communities . . . that local people are involved and included in tourism planning and implementation, and that cultures and people are respected.(Eber, 1992: 2)When combining the term sustainable with tourism, the latter must take-onthe environmental, economic and social considerations and principles that areinherent within the former.Figure 1 illustrates some fundamentalcharacteristics of sustainable tourism. These are neither definitive norexclusive, as characteristics will vary depending on the stance adopted.Given the central aim of this research, any links between general sustainabletourism principles and specific features or requirements of tourism within theCNP have been highlighted.Figure 2 shows the relationships between these different aspects ofsustainable tourism, illustrating one perspective on the tourism-environmentbalancing act required to achieve sustainability. The goals of sustainabletourism as described in figure 1 and 2 relate to different types of tourismcarrying capacity. The figure essentially implies that no single aspect shouldbe allowed to dominate tourism policy-making and decision-taking.3 6. Europarc Aim Better management and control of Satisfying andEuroparc Aim natural areas rewarding Park Aim experience forPark Aim the customer PromotesresearchMaintain and Integrate tourismStakeholderImproved enhance diversity- into planning Reduces over-participation in understandingnatural and cultural consumptiondecision-makingamong tourists heritage and waste SOCIO-and localsCULTURALENVIRON-Promote intra- and MENTALinter-generationalequityImprove quality ofSUSTAINBLE Respects local life for local communitiescommunities TOURISM Respecting Promotes scientificecological researchlimits/ carrying and Europarc Aim capacities fi ldk8 New, alternative source ofIncreasesmarket forPark AimIncreased knowledge income-about biodiversity diversification of local economyproducts2Park Aim: Promotesustainable social ECONOMICand economicBoosts economic activitySupport localdevelopment of theand growth in peripheral, economiescommunities of theisolated rural areas1areaEncouragesIncreasedoutside employment Europarc Aiminvestment in opportunitiesinfrastructure1Figure 1: Principles of Sustainable Tourism4 7. (BALANCE)ENVIRONMENTTOURISMHealthy environmental Satisfaction ofresource basetourists Satisfaction of local communitySatisfaction of operators intourism industry Figure 2: Aspects of Sustainable Tourism at destination areas (Hunter, 2003: pers. comm.)In his tourist-area life cycle (TALC) model of the evolution of tourism development,Butler (1980) introduces this notion of carrying capacity, proposing that at anytourist destination there is a limit to tourist numbers, beyond which they are adetriment to the future viability of the area as a tourist attraction. Many of thecriticisms of Butlers model have questioned the interpretation of carrying capacity(for example, Haywood, 1986 and Getz, 1992, cited in Prideaux, 2000:227) and thefact that it is limited to the destination area. Carrying capacity, in the context oftourism in general, refers to the ability of a site or region to absorb tourism usewithout deteriorating (Cooper, 1998). However, there is still neither a universallyaccepted definition nor a standard systematic procedure for assessing it(Saveriades, 2000:148).OReilly (1986, cited in Hunter, 1995:67) describes the various carrying capacitiesas follows: Physical carrying capacity the limit of a site beyond which wear and tearwill start taking place or environmental problems will arise. Psychological (or perceptual) carrying capacity the lowest degree ofenjoyment tourists are prepared to accept before they start seekingalternative destinations. Social carrying capacity the level of tolerance of the host population for thepresence and behaviour of tourists in the destination area, and / or thedegree of crowding users (tourists) are prepared to accept by others (othertourists). Economic carrying capacity the ability to absorb tourism activities withoutdisplacing or disrupting desirable local activities.5 8. Attempts to quantify carrying capacity thresholds face a number of difficulties.There will be differences for example, in acceptable levels of crowding andchanges in area management may alter carrying capacity through time (Pearce,1989, cited in Hunter, 1995:69). The prevailing view in the literature (see Cooper,1998, Lindberg et al., 1997) is that although tourism carrying capacity is a usefulconcept to help us understand sustainable tourism theoretically, its practicalapplication as a management tool is very limited (Hunter, 2003).4Measuring SustainabilityThe ambiguity surrounding the meaning of sustainability- and consequentlysustainable tourism - allows for a great deal of flexibility in its application. It isfeasible to amend its definition to fit particular circumstances; a characteristic thathas proved helpful in achieving popularity but a hindrance in terms of achievingconsistency (Bell and Morse, 1999). However, simply adopting the term is notsufficient in ensuring it becomes a reality. There is a long-since recognised needfor continual monitoring to ensure a so-called sustainable programme is in factmoving towards sustainability. Butler (1998: 16) goes as far to say that without theimplementation of monitoring tools, the use of the term sustainable ismeaningless. In 1996 a meeting held in Bellagio, Italy, took this matter to heart,concluding with a set of principles for gauging progress towards sustainabledevelopment (Box 2). Box 2: The Bellagio Principles for Sustainable Development 1.Sustainable development should be clearly defined in its specific context; 2.Sustainability should be viewed in an holistic sense, including economic, social and ecological components; 3. Notions of equity should be included in any perspective of sustainable development; 4. Time horizon should span both human and ecosystem timescales, and the spatial scale should include local and long-distance impacts on people and ecosystems; 5. Progress towards sustainable development should be based on the measurement of a limited number of indicators based on standardised measurement. 6. Methods and data employed for assessment of progress should be open and accessible to all; 7. Progress should be effectively communicated to all; 8. Broad participation is required; 9. Allowance should be made for repeated measurement in order to determine trends and incorporate results of experience; 10. Institutional capacity in order to monitor...</p>