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Ana Krvarić

Project Officer at WWF Adria

Sustainable recovery of tourism in protected areas from the COVID-19 pandemic  

In their guest post for Transforming One Planet Vision into Action, Spenceley et al share their reflections on working towards a responsible recovery from COVID-19 for the tourism sector.

Full paper “Tourism in protected areas amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is submitted to the Special Issue on Protected and Conserved Areas and Pandemics in the journal PARKS.

Some of their thoughts:

˝We recommend that protected area tourism is ‘built back better’ than before COVID-19, by not returning to business as usual, by taking into account climate change, biodiversity loss, and by being more inclusive, equitable and integrated with sustainable development principles. Nobody can predict how the pandemic will evolve, nor the recovery timeline, but stakeholders can identify plausible scenarios and create action plans that work towards sustainable tourism. Furthermore, market research suggests that post-COVID-19 people will seek out adventure travel, natural spaces, safe and quality experiences. Therefore, it is imperative that protected areas are prepared for directing this surge towards positive outcomes.˝

˝The way forward for tourism has five dimensions: (1) fostering openness to change, with a new way of thinking and acting; (2) developing a vision; (3) protecting natural and cultural heritage for their importance to the environmental services of the area and peoples’ dependency on tourism; (4) recovering and rebuilding local livelihoods and the health of residents and visitors; and (5) reframing tourism, including the resources it uses, to achieve productive and healthy livelihoods without degrading the biodiversity upon which it depends.˝

˝We recommend that planning be more holistic, inclusive, equitable, adaptable and focus on what tourism and outdoor recreation sustains.˝

Full post can be reached via the link:

#COVID19 #COVID19Impact #IUCN #management #PandemiaImpact #ProtectedArea #ProtectedAreaManagement #TAPASGroup #UNWTO #WCPA