Nuisance, necessity or asset? National parks rangers' perceptions of tourism, organisational policies and institutional support

Larsen, Kathryn A., Valentine, Peter, and Birtles, Alastair (2006) Nuisance, necessity or asset? National parks rangers' perceptions of tourism, organisational policies and institutional support. Australasian Parks and Leisure, 9 (2). pp. 42-46.

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Abstract

[Extract] The 'cardinal principle' for the management of Queensland's national parks as stated in the Nature Conservation Act, 1992 (OLD) is the permanent 'preservation' of the area's natural condition and the protection of the area's cultural resources and values. However, the management objectives for almost all classes of protected areas, as per the IUCN six-category classification system1, also allow for some kind of 'use' and often that use is for tourism. The current management principles of Queensland national parks also allows for their presentation via nature-based and ecologically sustainable tourism.

Because people tend to hold different values for protected areas, there are conflicting views between members of the community about the use' versus 'preservation' of parks. One such manifestation of this clash in values can occur between tourism operators and rangers. Stewart Moore and Bill Carter2 describe the relationship between tourism operators and natural resource managers, such as rangers, as 'tenuous'. That is, tourism operators believe that protected area managers have a 'keep out' mentality and approach the question of visitor numbers from a 'fewer the better' perspective, while the tourism operators tend :0 favour 'more the merrier: In both Australia3 and the United States' protected area managers traditionally placed resource management objectives (eg managing physical and biological resources) ahead of visitor Management and planning (eg maintaining visitor infrastructure and planning for visitor use).

Item ID: 4093
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: protected area management; tourism; organisational culture; rangers
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ISSN: 1446-5604
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2009 00:01
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160513 Tourism Policy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 51%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960605 Institutional Arrangements for Environmental Protection @ 49%
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