Overtourism and Undertourism
Dr. Anna Spenceley has been thinking a lot about the issue of visitor management and overcrowding, limits of acceptable change (LAC), and carrying capacity in protected areas. So she wrote a report about it for the World Bank:
Tools for Protected Areas
Many PA managers are grappling with the task of offering tourism to their constituencies, while ensuring that the conservation objectives are prioritized. While some are trying to establish tourism in new or emerging destinations, others need to adapt to rapid growth in visitation, and the environmental and social pressures that this induces. While a series of visitor management planning approaches are available, there is a lack of agreement among practitioners over the most appropriate approaches to use.…
There is an urgent need from many natural destination managers to identify practical tools and approaches that provide solutions to overtourism. Tools need to be designed so that they can be applied reliably and quickly, and in line with best practices.… Ideally, this would be undertaken in conjunction with destination managers (e.g., PA authorities), technical experts, major online travel agencies, and social media platforms. — From the World Bank report on Tools and Resources for Nature-Based Tourism.
See Dr. Spenceley’s presentation on the topic. For one example of effective visitor management, see the Turtle Island story below.