PTRM 528: Tourism and Protected Area Management

Tourism and Protected Area Management: Striving for Sustainability

Nature-based tourism is viewed in this course as a tool of economic development. As such the primary goals are: (1) providing opportunities for economic advancement; (2) enhancing quality of life; and (3) protection of natural and cultural heritage. Tourism has grown into a globally significant industry as international and domestic travel continues to increase. Improving our understanding of tourism, development and sustainability allows us to strengthen our capability to achieve economic progress, improve delivery of competitive tourism products and understand the consequences of tourism marketing decisions.

The market for nature-based tourism is growing rapidly, which not only presents enormous opportunities for entrepreneurship and development but also introduces the potential for unacceptable impacts to the natural resources at the foundation of the tourism product. Many of these natural resources lie within formally designated national parks and other types of protected areas, and are therefore frequently subject to objectives designed to preserve biodiversity. The challenge for managers of these protected areas is to seek ways of integrating preservation of biodiversity with accommodation for access to visitors.

A popular vision for these challenges is to move toward sustainable tourism; a form of sustainable development. Sustainable development is a concept defined by the Brundtland Commission in the late 1980s resulting from a convergence of concerns about the environment, increasing interest in development as a poverty alleviation strategy, greater interest in advancing the quality of life and changing models of governance.

This course will explore ideas of development and sustainability as they pertain to tourism in the context of protected areas. We will critically assess, through case studies and other readings, the opportunities and challenges for implementing sustainable tourism in a protected area context from an economic, social and environmental perspective.

Instructor: Keith Bosak        

Course offered January 15, 2018 to March 5, 2018

Purpose:

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the concepts of sustainable tourism as they are applied in a protected area context.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand and explore some basic concepts of tourism and nature-based tourism
  • Learn about the history and origins of sustainable development and the types of sustainability.
  • Critically analyze the concepts of development and sustainable development.
  • Understand the role of tourism in conservation, particularly in protected areas.
  • Be able to explain the economic, social and environmental impacts of tourism.
  • Be able to define and differentiate between ecotourism, adventure tourism, responsible tourism and nature-based tourism.
  • Engage with current literature on sustainable tourism.
  • Understand the market for sustainable tourism
  • Identify various marketing strategies for sustainable tourism.
  • Understand how to successfully manage sustainable tourism
  • Learn about the importance of local involvement and understand how to involve communities in decision-making.
  • Identify and pursue more sophisticated questions for academic inquiry.

Course structure:

This course will be structured using four modules. Each module will consist of an introduction, a set of required readings, review questions from the readings, discussion questions, and an assessment. The four modules are as follows:

  1. Tourism as development: definitions, theories and concepts
  2. Tourism: impacts and responses
  3. Sustainable tourism: definitions, theories and concepts
  4. Sustainable tourism: planning, managing and monitoring

Learning materials:

Reading materials for this course will consist of book chapters and articles from peer-reviewed journals. All reading materials will be available on Moodle.

Assignments and assessment:

The assignments and assessments for this course will be used to measure your understanding of the topics covered and your ability to communicate that understanding. The assignments will also provide additional opportunities for learning about and synthesizing the topics covered in this course. All assignments are due on the assigned date and late assignments will not be accepted.

Explanation of assignments and assessment:

Each module will consist of an introductory section, a set of readings, and online discussion followed by an assessment. Students will be required to answer a set of review questions from the readings to ensure that they have comprehended and synthesized the concepts from the readings. Second, students will be required to engage in online discussion by responding to each of the discussion questions posted by the instructor. Finally, students will complete a practical project/paper at the end of the course to assess the student’s overall understanding of the material covered during the course.

Grading:

Each of the four modules counts for 20% of your total grade for a total of 80%. The final project will count for 20% of the final grade. Within each module, the assignment is worth 50% and the discussion questions are worth 50%. Grading is as follows:

A   90-100%
B   80-89.9%
C   70-79.9%
D   60-69.9%
F   Below 60%

Reading list:

Module-1: Tourism as development: definitions, theories, concepts

  • De Blij, H. And Murphy, A. (2003) Human Geography: Culture, society and space 7th ed. Ch-26 Concepts of Development.
  • Goeldner, C. & Ritchie, B. (2006) Tourism: Principles, practices and philosophies. Ch-1.
  • Fennell, D. (2003) Ecotourism: An introduction 2nd ed. Ch-1.

Module-2: Tourism as development: impacts and responses

  • Goeldner, C. & Ritchie, B. (2006) Tourism: Principles, practices and philosophies. Ch-14.
  • Newsome, D., Moore, S. & Dowling, R. (2002) Natural Area Tourism: Ecology, impacts and management. Ch-3 Environmental impacts.
  • World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). (1987) Our common future. Ch-2.  

Module-3: Sustainable Tourism: definitions, theories and concepts

  • Swarbrooke, J. (1999) Sustainable Tourism Management. Ch-2 The nature and scope of sustainable tourism.
  • Swarbrooke, J. (1999) Sustainable Tourism Management. Ch-3 A critique of current thinking in sustainable tourism management.
  • Honey, M. (1999) Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who owns paradise? Ch-1 The golden toad.
  • Fennell, D. (2003) Ecotourism: An introduction 2nd ed. Ch-2.

Module-4: Sustainable tourism: planning, managing and monitoring

  • Newsome, D., Moore, S. & Dowling, R. (2002) Natural Area Tourism: Ecology, impacts and management. Ch-4 Planning.
  • The Nature Conservancy (2004) Ecotourism Development: A manual for conservation planners and managers. Ch’s 2&3.
  • Newsome, D., Moore, S. & Dowling, R. (2002) Natural Area Tourism: Ecology, impacts and management. Ch-5 Management.
  • The Nature Conservancy (2004) Ecotourism Development: A manual for conservation planners and managers. Ch-5.
  • Newsome, D., Moore, S. & Dowling, R. (2002) Natural Area Tourism: Ecology, impacts and management. Ch-7 Monitoring.