Balancing the dual mandate of conservation and visitor use at a Canadian world heritage site in an era of rapid climate change

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Title: Balancing the dual mandate of conservation and visitor use at a Canadian world heritage site in an era of rapid climate change
Authors: Weber, Melissa
Groulx, Mark
Lemieux, Christopher J.
Scott, Daniel
Dawson, Jackie
Date: 2019
Embargo: 2020-12-05
Abstract: National parks in Canada operate under the dual mandate of conserva- tion and visitor use, which involves balancing ecological integrity and nature-based tourism activities. Climate-induced environmental change may increase the existing tension between conservation and visitor use as major tourism resources located in protected areas (PAs) are pro- jected to undergo large-scale changes. This study draws upon the behavioural approach, scenario planning, and landscape visualizations to examine the relationship between climate change impacts, visitor perceptions, and visitor experience management at the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Canada. Four tourism development scen- arios defined by two management drivers (ecological integrity and vis- itor demand) with corresponding storylines and visualizations were developed for 2050. The visualized scenarios were presented to visitors (n 1⁄4 304) in a survey to understand potential implications on visitor sat- isfaction. The results suggest that park managers need to find a balance between ecological integrity and visitor use in a way that ensures com- mercialized tourism development is limited, educational material is prioritized, and ecological integrity is maintained. While understanding the behaviour of future tourists is complex, it is a critical component of climate change adaptation planning and decision-making processes that needs to be prioritized by policymakers and PAs managers.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/39346
DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2019.1620754
CollectionGéographie, environnement et géomatique - Publications // Geography, Environment and Geomatics - Publications
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