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Planning for sustainable tourism in Scotland's new national parks

MacLellan, L.R. and Thompson, K.J. (2004) Planning for sustainable tourism in Scotland's new national parks. In: International Geographical Union Congress 2004, 2004-08-15 - 2004-08-20.

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Abstract

This paper focuses on approaches to the delivery of sustainable tourism in protected areas with a view to informing the development proposals for the recently constituted National Parks in Scotland. Scotland presents an interesting opportunity to examine issues related to the management of protected areas and implementation of sustainable tourism. Although not recognised as an IUCN National Park, the Scottish model, drawing on established British models, extends core park objectives to include economic, social and environmental goals, thus arguably encompassing a fuller range of sustainable development criteria. The challenge is to effectively balance conflicting demands of local economic development, visitor satisfaction and environmental conservation. Tourism activities are viewed as a key component in securing this. The research builds 'best practice' case studies, through a combination of secondary research into key principles of sustainable tourism in protected areas and consultation with selected National Park Authorities. The philosophical debate of use versus preservation is explored but the focus is on providing practical guidance for policymakers, park managers, tourism businesses, visitors and local communities.