Managing Tourism in Parks: Research Priorities of Industry Associations and Protected Area Agencies in Australia
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Research priorities of land management agencies and tourism industry associations throughout Australia were determined from a three-phase expert survey, a dedicated workshop at a national conference, and various national consultative groups. Economic and legal issues currently have as high a priority, for these organisations, as scientific issues associated with natural resource conservation and visitor management. Questions relating to fees, charges and asset management are critical to park managers because of major shortfalls in government funding. They affect tour operators as a business cost, albeit less than on equivalent private land. Contractual issues relating to commercial permits, and questions of liability for human injury and environmental damage, have become critical because of an increasing number of lawsuits. Because these are relatively new and unfamiliar issues, protected area agencies have less internal expertise to draw on, and fewer established links with research organisations, than they do for ecological research. Scientific research questions relating to conservation management, visitor impacts, and the effectiveness of visitor management tools are also becoming increasingly urgent because of increases in visitor numbers. Whilst legal and economic questions are currently high on the research agenda for many organisations, therefore, the scientific questions will remain critical in the longer term.
Journal of Ecotourism
© 2002 Multilingual Matters & Channel View Publications. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.