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Minimising visitor impacts to protected areas: The efficacy of low impact education programmes

Journal of Sustainable Tourism

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Abstract

Protected area managers, tourism providers, and other organisations commonly employ education programmes to address visitation-related impairment of natural and cultural resources, social conditions, and neighbouring communities. These programmes have different names (Leave No Trace, Codes of Conduct, Environmental Guidelines for Tourists) but share common objectives: to sustain opportunities for high quality visitor experiences while avoiding or minimising associated negative impacts to protected area resources, visitor experiences, and park neighbours. Theoretical and empirical research studies in the United States are reviewed to evaluate the efficacy of educational efforts that seek to encourage adoption of low impact behaviours. Findings reveal that most of the visitor education efforts evaluated did effectively alter visitor knowledge, behaviour and/or resource and social conditions in the intended direction. These findings, including discussions of message content, delivery, audience characteristics and theoretical grounding, provide insights for improving the efficacy of future educational efforts.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Minimising visitor impacts to protected areas: The efficacy of low impact education programmes
Series title:
Journal of Sustainable Tourism
Volume
15
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
5-27
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Sustainable Tourism
First page:
5
Last page:
27
Number of Pages:
23