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Tourism and the natural environment of Scotland: the state of the park

Maclellan, Lachlan (2004) Tourism and the natural environment of Scotland: the state of the park. In: Proceedings of Tourism: State of the Art II. University of Strathclyde. ISBN 0954803906

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Abstract

MacLellan perhaps comes closest in his examination of wildlife tourism as a sustainable form of tourism development in the far north-west of Scotland, a location that according to MacLellan has impeccable credentials as a peripheral area. MacLellan's paper is significant in that it clearly recognises the relationship between peripherality on the one hand and the potential for marine wildlife tourism (a designation that can be considered to be broadly synonymous with marine ecotourism) on the other. Peripherality is depicted as representing at the same time both a threat and an opportunity for local economic development. Indeed, MacLellan (1999: 377) observes that 'tourism is seen as one means of maximising the benefits and overcoming the inherent weaknesses of peripherality'. Yet the paper does not really go on to explain how tourismmight seek to achieve this propitious outcome, nor to elaborate why the particular forms of tourism addressed in the paper (wildlife tourism in general, and whale watching in particular) might be particularly serviceable in this respect. While there is some reference to the growing global demand formore sustainable alternatives to mass tourism and to the considerable economic impacts associated with wildlife-related tourism, no detailed justification of the rationale for wildlife- related tourism as a means of addressing the development aspirations of peripheral areas is offered.