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Notes & References; Sustainable Tourism; by Peter O’Connor.

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Notes & Refs; Sustainable Tourism; by Peter O’Connor.

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Table of Contents

Notes & Refs; Sustainable Tourism; 1

Strategic Planning. 3

Community Involvement; 4

Brundtland Report. 5

Technology, Museums and Sustainability; 5

Birth of the Participative Web; 6

References. 7

Resources. 8

The Museum as Lived Place: Bunratty Folk Park, Ireland. 9

Sustainable tourism management practice; 9

Tourism Policy and Planning: 10

Tourism Ireland; 10

Birth of the Participative Web. 10

 Sustainable Tourism

In the very first volume of Journal of Sustainable Tourism 1993 the co-editors of the journal pointed out that over the last half century of peace the developed nations have enjoyed “exceptional periods of both peace and economic expansion …. The post-war era has brought beneficial changes, notably in decolonisation and self-determination”. (Bramwell,B. & Lane, B. 1993). Added to that is ease and speed of transport. For the first time in man’s history we are free to roam the entire world at relatively low-cost and with great ease. For much of the post-war period the growth models of Rostow and Myrdel were unchallenged. Bramwell & Lane; Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Volume 1, Issue 1, 1993. The desire to push for change and economic development was “unchallenged”. However from the mid-6o’s onwards the ideas of continuous growth began to be questioned as unrestrained growth was seen to have the potential to cause irreversible damage Environmentalism was born when scientist Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring 1962 was printed and began to inroads in the thinking of many – even the Times of London started to feature articles from 1953 onwards but though that was minimal and steady there was a(modest) explosion of 300% from 1965 to 1973 (Brooks et al 1980). Sandbach and others point to similar phenomena in other ‘developed’ countries. With this came the rapid development of environmental pressure groups – leading eventually to Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, CND and ever more radical groups. The later publication of The Ecological Principles of Economic Development  by Dasman, Milton and Freeman developed work carried out by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources at (IUCN) Geneva. They in turn developed The World Conservation Stratagy – launched in 1980 on the global stage and this in turn lead to the Brundtland Report in 1987. However even in 1990 when Nelso Mandela was released amid a wave of optimism as Conor Mark Jameson reminds us in Silent Spring Revisited pg 151of the situation in Britain of the Green Bill which did nothing about the shortcomings of the SSSI’s at a time when the industrial-scale stripping of the peatlands (just like currently in Ireland) had become frightening in scale. Even the then prime minister was encouraging people to buy peat – to burn. Prince Charles was a lone figure standing against this – in the end less than 4% of raised peatbogs survive in Britain. In Ireland the figure is (currently) much higher but only because foreign (Dutch mostly) groups have bought parts of bogs and bequeathed these to the state with the proviso that they (and the surrounding areas) must be maintained (this has forced the Irish authorities to protect large areas of peatlands – to comply with the terms of the bequeaths). Around this time 10% of all UK corncrakes survived in Co Fermanagh. Researchers worked with farmers yet in 2 years the numbers fell from 70 to 17 and in the rest of that part of the province went from 60 to 10 even in spite of help from RSPB and late harvesting. Scotland and the free-part of Ireland followed these studies with their attempts the following year – to mixed response.

To put this into perspective – according to RSPB; sand martins have declined in numbers by 92% since the publication of Silent Spring.

Around this time a ‘league table’ of Europe’s offenders against nature saw Spain heading the league with 57 threats of legal action for violation of directives- ignoring legislation and putting roads across wetlands. 12 of the most important wildlife sites in European Mediterranean area were under threat. This compares to legislation against Belgium (46 warnings) and UK (31 warnings). EU figures.

Strategic Planning.

Under the heading Sustainable Tourism: An Evolving Global Approach the point is made in the introduction that reference to sustainable tourism is now made in most strategic tourism planning documents. Yet, despite its common use, definitional arguments exist over its meaning and subsequent operational functionality. In addition to this, literature on sustainable tourism rarely discusses its development prior to the publication of Our Common Future (World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), 1987) and its relevance to current conceptualisations of tourism. Sustainable Tourism

———————————————————————————————————

Indeed, the mid 1800s saw the focus of economics rest squarely upon industrialisation, economic-growth and prosperity. … Economic models such as those by Rostow (1960) and Myrdal (1959, cited in Oppermann, 1993) were based upon this notion and were successful in developing a form of “colonial-style tourism that created little value for the denizens of the area visited. Nor indeed little understanding of the local issues learned by the visitors. In their excellent workbook on Sense of Place the Lake District, Cumbria Sense of Place Toolkit points out that each and every area/locality has particular distinctive qualities that make it special in some way. “By recognising and valuing these qualities, tourism businesses can use them to improve their marketing and promotional activities and enhance their customers’ experience of the area”. A ‘Sense of place’ can be hard to describe, but essentially it covers all those attributes that make a locality special and unique and give it a sense of identity. (cumbriatourism.org)

Community Involvement;

A paper by Anne Hardy, Robert J. S. Beeton & Leonie Pearson (pages 475-496) analyses the context within which sustainable tourism has been developing and the conceptualisations used. The paper argues that sustainable tourism has traditionally given more focus to aspects related to the environment and economic development and that more focus should be given to community involvement. (Hardy, Beaton & Pearson) 2002). This is a major theme in the paper by Stoma Cole who spent time in Indonesia working with various villages 2006 – ‘08 (among them; Wogo & Ngadha villages) to develop sustainable tourism ventures that were in the community, run by the community and were seen as independent of government administration in a country where this author felt that the government seems to micro-manage to the nth degree during an extensive visit in mid-1990’s. Community-managed tourism businesses tend to work well especial outside of urban areas because they are seen as providers of employment, economic-drivers but just as importantly they bring a sense of local pride that is inestimable in value as was seen in late 1960’ – early 70’s Co Clare when Bunratty Castle became famous. Alongside the castle is an extensive folk park, particularly popular with families, tourists and schools. It provides visitors a glimpse into Irish life in the 19th century: This features reconstructions of historical cottages and buildings, recreating the general feel of the 19th century with a period style village main street. Old tools, furniture and artefacts are displayed, with the village kept alive by some inhabited shops, an old home bakery and peat fires in cottages. Recently the governing body of Bunratty has installed QRcodes and many other technically advanced ‘gadgets’ that allow visitors a chance to ‘go deeper’ into the history or technique of a particular artefact or building/feature.

Often the sight of participants scanning QR codes, recording comments, or opening a token also led onlookers to strike up conversations. People were particularly interested in the content recorded by others; their stories, comments, and reflections provided different perspectives on what they encountered.  ().

Brundtland Report.

Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development; Our Common Future

In the Brundtland Report we read “Environmental degradation, first seen as mainly a problem of the rich nations and a side effect of industrial wealth, has become a survival issue for developing nations. It is part of the downward spiral of linked ecological and economic decline in which many of the poorest nations are trapped … Despite official hope expressed on all sides, no trends identifiable today, no programmes or policies, offer any real hope of narrowing the growing gap between rich and poor nations. And as part of our “development”, we have amassed weapons arsenals capable of diverting the paths that evolution has followed for millions of years and of creating a planet our ancestors would not recognize.”

The downward spiral of poverty and environmental degradation is a waste of opportunities and of resources. In particular, it is a waste of human resources. These links between poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation formed a major theme in the analysis and recommendations of the Brundtland report which stated that “what is needed now is a new era of economic growth – growth that is forceful and at the same time socially and environmentally sustainable”.

Technology, Museums and Sustainability;

We see more and ever more technology in use in museums and folk-parks (eg Bunratty Co Clare) where QR codes, re cording comments (see above) are in use but also becoming more common and viable is a technology that one carries with them on a note-book, smart-phone or other device where one can listen/watch articles/notes/videos about a section of wall/building/tree/top of a mountain ot whatever. GPS-enhanced one simply walks/drives along routes where experts/locals have told their stories/played music/sang or other media-enhancements mean that one has a ‘personal-guide’ with one and can accept differing layers of knowledge – from superficial to extremely in-depth at the touch of a (virtual) button. These media-units can be played before –during or after a visit and of course can be upgraded 24/7. An excellent example of this technology is supplied by John Ward of Navigatour (http://www.navigatour.ie). The company offers native apps for both Android and iPhone, cross platform apps that work on most GPS devices and are also partners with Trip Advisor to allow for maximum tourist exposure with your app. Navigatour claim that pride themselves in producing native apps that truly reflect the character of an area, rather than simply offering tourists a variety of commercial partners selling their wares. The visitor needs to know what makes a place special and that is what can be highlighted – the quirky, the hidden, the unique brought together through text, pictures, audio and visual media that will enthuse visitors to an area. This author can be heard speaking about the area on various clips of the Blackwater Valley. (http://www.navigatour.ie/Youghal.html) ‘Meandering of the River’, ‘Dromore View’, ‘Kiltera Standing Stones’, ‘Villierstown’, ‘Dromona Gate Lodge’, ‘The Henley of Ireland’, ‘Glenribbeen’.

In recent years there has been a dramatic rise in the number of participatory media technologies that museums have begun to use to engage with the visitors and indeed to ensure these visitors promote the venture/museum while or shortly after attending. The use of; Web 2.0. Blogs, wikis, podcasts, vodcasts, photo and video sharing, virtual environments, tagging, annotation and other authoring tools offer people better and more immediate ways to engage with museum content processes through co-creation and interactive cultural experiences and not rely on the written word/tour-guide alone. (Russo & Peacock; 2009). Arguably, these platforms and tools are creating new relationships between institutions and the public. We contend that to create sustained participation in social media spaces, museums need to reconsider their relationships with the public and thoroughly explore user motivations and intentions for participation in social media activities. We suggest some ways in which museums might design and evaluate their social media initiatives to ensure their success and sustainability, and offer some questions for further research.

Birth of the Participative Web;

Great Expectations: Sustaining Participation in Social Media Spaces; Museums and the Web; Angelina Russo, Swinburne University of Technology, and Darren Peacock, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.

See Resources below or go direct to; Birth-of-the-participative-web

References;

Bunratty; http://www.landedestates.ie/LandedEstates/jsp/property-show.jsp?id=1960 Bunratty Castle”. Landedestates.ie. 2011-05-18 also Shannon Heritage; http://www.shannonheritage.com/

Bramwell,B. & Lane, B. Sustainable Tourism: An Evolving Global Approach; Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Volume 1, Issue 1, 1993

Brundland Report; http://conspect.nl/pdf/Our_Common_Future-Brundtland_Report_1987.pdf Oxford University Press. 1987 Accessed 12-01-2013.

Carson,R. Silent Spring; Houghton Mifflin, Cambridge, Ms, USA 1962.

Ciofli,L.&McLoughlin, turf-fires-fine-linen-and-porter-cake M. FORUMS XIX.5 September + October 2012, Page: 18.   http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/september-october-2012/of-turf-fires-fine-linen-and-porter-cake

Cole, Stroma; Information and Empowerment: The Keys to Achieving Sustainable Tourism 1998

Cumbria Tourism; http://www.cumbriatourism.org/marketing/sense-of-place.aspx. Accessed 12-01-2013.

Hardy,A. Robert J., Beeton S. &  Pearson,L. Sustainable Tourism: An Overview of the Concept and its Position in Relation to Conceptualisations of Tourism; Journal of Sustainable Tourism; Volume 10, Issue 6, pages 475-496;  2002.  DOI:10.1080/09669580208667183

Jameson, Conor Mark;  Silent Spring Revisited; Bloomsbury NY, Berlin, London 2012.

Kiel, C. Sightseeing in the mansions of the dead, School of Environment, University of Gloucestershire, UK.

Ward, J. Navigatour http://www.navigatour.ie/Home.html

Russo, A., & Peacock D. Great Expectations: Sustaining Participation in Social Media Spaces; Archives & Museum Informatics, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA 2009. (http://www.archimuse.com/mw2009/papers/russo/russo.html – accessed 13-01-2013).

 

Resources.

Cumbria Tourism is committed to developing ‘sense of place’ as an asset for visitors and tourism businesses to use. This toolkit provides you with the means of accessing the rich environmental, cultural and historical facets of Cumbria for yourself. Discover woodlands brimming with wildlife, upland hay meadows awash with wild flowers, sandy expanses of beach backed by rolling dunes, ancient prehistoric stone circles, Roman forts, Anglian and Norse art, Norman churches, medieval abbeys, classical Georgian elegance, Victorian architecture, not forgetting the distinctive flavours of traditional and modern Cumbria foods. The historical, cultural and environmental resources of Cumbria are just waiting to be tapped to enhance your customer’s experience of all the county offers.                               http://www.cumbriatourism.org/marketing/sense-of-place.aspx

Sense of Place by Cadwyn Clwyd – Rural Development Plan for Wales.

Summary of project

The project aims to develop a sense of place in rural Flintshire through combining the area’s unique natural, cultural and heritage assets to develop the tourism product in the area. The project will seek to develop a sense of place in all areas within rural Flintshire. It will also use environmentally designated areas such as the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Halkyn Mountain SSSI and SAC and the Dee Estuary SSSI and Natura 2000 site to develop a sense of place in the area. It is noted that the project does not intend to create a new brand for the area, its intention is to develop the tourism offer and foster a sense of place in rural Flintshire within the context of Borderlands – the North Wales regional marketing initiative and Visit Wales.

http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/farmingandcountryside/ruraldevelopment/projectsdatabase/flintshire/senseofplace/?lang=en

The Museum as Lived Place: Bunratty Folk Park, Ireland

A concern for place experience, or how people connect to locations in ways that are personal and meaningful, is key when designing the augmentation of visitor activities at a heritage institution, especially one specifically trying to communicate authenticity and character through the physical environment and its fittings. The curatorial goal of living history museums is to provide reconstructions of everyday life in times past by showcasing material and engaging visitors through costumes and crafts. Living history museums offer a unique multisensory and immersive experience often not possible in enclosed museums that includes smell and taste as important ways of exploring what is on display. A living history museum showcasing a collection of 32 historic dwellings with period-appropriate fittings, Bunratty Folk Park is appreciated by many visitors for its authentic charm and for allowing the exploration of ways of life of Ireland’s rural past. The park comprises farmhouses and craftsmen cottages (shown in Figure 1), a manor house, a fully reconstructed village street, and other environments, such as farmyards, gardens, and animal enclosures; http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/september-october-2012/of-turf-fires-fine-linen-and-porter-cake

Sustainable tourism management practice;

 Sustainable Tourism Management, CABI, 1999  John Swarbrooke; Sustainable tourism is attracting enormous attention today throughout the world. This book provides an up-to-date, comprehensive coverage of the practice and management of the subject. It offers a range of definitions of sustainable tourism from different sectors of tourism and different parts of the world. Key issues and current debates are also discussed and a range of examples of sustainable tourism management practice are given. The book is designed to be interactive, with group and individual exercises and discussion points to further understanding of the subject.

Tourism Planning;

Tourism Planning: Policies, Processes & Relationships; Pearson Education, 2008; By Colin Michael Hal. Seen as the core learning resource for students of tourism planning; with, a wide range of international case studies and examples.

Tourism Policy and Planning:

Tourism Policy and Planning: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; David L. Edgell, Sr., Maria DelMastro Allen, Ginger Smith, Jason R. Swanson; Routledge, 2008. “From the perspective of economic policy, tourism for local communities is a vital economic development tool producing income, creating jobs, spawning new businesses, spurring economic development, promoting economic diversification, developing new products, and contributing to economic integration. If local and national governments are committed to broad based tourism policies, then tourism will provide its citizens with a higher quality of life while it generates sustained economic, environmental, and social benefits”.

Tourism Ireland;

Tourism Ireland (Fáilte Ireland’s ‘foreign wing’) Marketing Plan sets out our priorities for marketing the island of Ireland overseas, on a market-by-market basis and has been developed as part of a three year strategy.

www.tourismireland.com/corporate-publications/marketing-plan.

Birth of the Participative Web

The second generation Web, or the ‘participative Web,’ can be dated from shortly after the turn of the millennium, although the term Web 2.0, by which it is also often known, was not coined by Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty until 2004.  In 2007, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) offered the following definition of the participative Web as,

…characterised by increased participation and interaction of Internet users who use it to communicate and express themselves.

See; pfiddle.wordpress.com/ Birth of the Participative Web; Birth-of-the-Participative-Web

Plato’s Symposium contrasts two odes to Love, one presenting Love as sophisticated and reasonable and luxuriously fused in beauty the other as a street kid starved for beauty. And Plato opts for the latter as more real.

International Review of Sociology, Monographic On Modernization

Theory: Monographic Series, 3, 1991, Rome: Borla, 213-226.The Gro Brundtland Report (1987)

Or, The Logic of Awesome Decisions, By Joseph Agassi, Tel-Aviv University and York University, Toronto, Canada.  Critique of Brundtland Report.

===============================================================================

Origins of the Sustainability Concept

It is generally acknowledged that the Club of Rome’s (1972) book ‘The Limits to Growth’ was the first modern day use of the term as we know it.  It subsequently came to public attention with the publication of the World Conservation Strategy (WCS) in March 1980.  The WCS was a strategy for the conservation of the Earth’s living resources in the face of major international environmental problems such as deforestation, desertification, ecosystem degradation and destruction, extinction of species and loss of genetic diversity, loss of cropland, pollution and soil erosion and was developed by a combination of government agencies, non-governmental organisations and experts from over 100 countries.

The WCS defined conservation as: “the management of human use of the biosphere so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefit to present generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations.” (IUCN, 1980)

and had three specific objectives:

1.         To maintain essential ecological processes and life support systems (such as soil regeneration and protection, the recycling of nutrients and the cleansing of waters) on which human survival and development depend

2.         To preserve genetic diversity (the range of genetic material found in the world’s organisms) on which depend the breeding programmes necessary for the protection and improvement of cultivated plants and domesticated animals as well as much scientific advance, technical innovation and the security of the many industries that use living resources

3.         To ensure the sustainable utilisation of species and ecosystems (notably fish and other wildlife, forest and grazing lands) which support millions of rural communities as well as major industries

Following the WCS, in 1983 the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) was created as an independent commission reporting directly to the United Nations Assembly with Cro Harlem Bruntland as its chair.  By 1987 the WCED report ‘Our Common Future’, commonly referred to as the ‘Bruntland Report’ was published and sustainable development entered popular language.  According to the report, sustainable development is development that:

“meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Five basic principles of sustainability were identified in the report, which notably took the sustainability concept beyond the specifically environmental:

1.         The idea of holistic planning and strategy making

2.         The importance of preserving essential ecological processes

3.         The need to protect both human heritage and biodiversity

4.         To develop in such a way that productivity can be sustained over the long term for future generations

5.         Achieving a better balance of fairness and opportunity between nations

Supporters of the report point out that it included essential principles of intra-generational and inter-generational equity and persuaded many governments to endorse the notion of sustainable development

Critics of the report argue it contained inbuilt assumptions about the need for continued expansion of the world economy and that it failed to stress the radical changes in lifestyles and society that would be required to overcome the problems inherent in the western model of development (Mowforth & Munt, 2008)

The next notable stage in the development and dissemination of the sustainability concept was the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (popularly known as ‘The Earth Summit’) which was held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, attended by 178 governments including 120 heads of state.  The purpose of the conference was to:

“elaborate strategies and measures to halt and reverse the effects of environmental degradation in the context of strengthened national and international efforts to promote sustainable and environmentally sound development in all countries.”

The results of the conference were seen to take six parts:

a)         An ‘Earth Charter’ or declaration of basic principles

b)         Agreements on specific legal measures

c)         An agenda for action – Agenda 21 – and the means to implement this agenda

d)         New and additional financial resources

e)         Transfer of technology

f)          Strengthening of institutional capacities and processes

Rio +20 will be held in June 2012.

The scope of the challenge of sustainable development was soon after outlined by Ekins (1993) who argues certain conditions need to be adhered to with respect to resource use, pollution and environmental impacts:

a)         Destabilisation of global environmental features such as climate patterns and the ozone layer must be prevented

b)         Important ecosystems and ecological features must receive absolute protection in order to maintain biological diversity

c)         Renewable resources must be maintained with sustainable harvesting measures rigorously enforced

d)         Non-renewable resources must be used as intensively as possible

e)         Depletion of non-renewable resources should proceed on the basis of maintaining minimum life expectancies of such resources, at which level consumption should be matched by new discoveries of these resources and technological innovation

f)          Emissions into the biosphere should not exceed the biosphere’s capacity to absorb such emissions

g)         Risks of life damaging events from human activity e.g. nuclear power generation must be kept at a very low level

References

Ekins, P (1993) ‘Limits to growth and sustainable development: grappling with ecological realities’.  Ecological Economics 8 pp 269-88

Meadows, D. Et al. (1972) The Limits to Growth, Universe Publications

Mowforth, M. and Munt, I., (2008) Tourism and Sustainability, Abingdon: Taylor and Francis

WCED (1987) Our Common Future Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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About pfiddle

Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Eco-warrior, won E.U. Green Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award. Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob. 55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings. Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.

One response »

  1. Origins of the Sustainability Concept
    It is generally acknowledged that the Club of Rome’s (1972) book ‘The Limits to Growth’ was the first modern day use of the term as we know it. It subsequently came to public attention with the publication of the World Conservation Strategy (WCS) in March 1980. The WCS was a strategy for the conservation of the Earth’s living resources in the face of major international environmental problems such as deforestation, desertification, ecosystem degradation and destruction, extinction of species and loss of genetic diversity, loss of cropland, pollution and soil erosion and was developed by a combination of government agencies, non-governmental organisations and experts from over 100 countries.
    The WCS defined conservation as: “the management of human use of the biosphere so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefit to present generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations.” (IUCN, 1980)
    and had three specific objectives:
    1. To maintain essential ecological processes and life support systems (such as soil regeneration and protection, the recycling of nutrients and the cleansing of waters) on which human survival and development depend
    2. To preserve genetic diversity (the range of genetic material found in the world’s organisms) on which depend the breeding programmes necessary for the protection and improvement of cultivated plants and domesticated animals as well as much scientific advance, technical innovation and the security of the many industries that use living resources
    3. To ensure the sustainable utilisation of species and ecosystems (notably fish and other wildlife, forest and grazing lands) which support millions of rural communities as well as major industries.

    Reply

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