Sustainability

The very qualities which attract visitors to the Cairngorms National Park (i.e. the scenery, clean unspoilt area, wildlife, etc) are those which are most at risk from increasing volumes of visitors.

What is sustainable tourism?
A widely accepted definition is:

Any form of development, management or tourist activity which ensures the long-term protection and preservation of natural, cultural and social resources, and contributes in a positive and equitable manner to the economic development and well-being of individuals living, working or staying in protected areas.
European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas

Another, simpler definition is:

Tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future
The International Ecotourism Society

Why have a strategy?
Making tourism sustainable is not only something for the Park and its staff, but also for tourism businesses, visitors and also everyone who lives and works in the Park. Once a strategy is agreed it can be used as a framework by all these people to make sure that planned developments and increase in visitor numbers are within the strategy’s guidelines and so are unlikely to have an adverse impact on the Park’s natural, cultural and social resources.

European Charter for Sustainable Tourism
In July 2005, the CNPA (Cairngorms National Park Authority) was the first National Park in the whole of the UK to be awarded this highly-valued Charter. The award shows the importance of sustainable tourism to the area and the CNPA’s commitment to working with tourism businesses to achieve this.

Useful links:
European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas
The International Ecotourism Society
Tourism Innovation Group - “think global, act local”, led by the Tourism Innovation Group
Sustainability Web Ring
Tourism Intelligence Scotland

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