Tourism impact assessment: A tool to evaluate the environmental impacts of touristic activities in Natural Protected Areas

Abstract:

Tourism may be an ally or a threat to conservation. The expansion and diversification of tourism had an increasing environmental impact on protected ecosystems. Therefore, it is important to assess and anticipate the potential impacts of tourism on Natural Protected Areas (NPA), to articulate the public use of NPA and their conservation. The Tourism Impact Assessment (TIA) is a methodology for evaluating the environmental impacts associated with tourism in NPA. We tested TIA on three NPA of the National Protected Areas System of Uruguay. We identified fifteen main tourist activities that can affect four biological components (i.e., biodiversity, plant coverage, soil and water), and 21 potential impacts. The severity of these impacts was evaluated for each area based on expert consultation. We conclude that TIA is a practical tool to assess, monitor and prevent tourism impacts in NPA that can be used to reach a sustainable tourism management.

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Cita: Canteiro M., Córdova-Tapia F. y Brazeiro A. 2018. Tourism impact assessment: A tool to evaluate the environmental impacts oftouristic activities in Natural Protected Areas. Tourism Managemnet Perspectives 28: 220-227.

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