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Tourism, Health, Wellbeing and Protected Areas

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Around the world, there is mounting evidence that parks and protected areas contribute to a healthy civil society, thus increasing the economic importance of cultural and nature-based tourism. Operating at the intersection of business and the environment, tourism can improve human health and wellbeing as well as serve as a catalyst for increasing appreciation and stewardship of the natural world. While the revenues from nature-based activities help to make the case for investing in park and protected area management; the impacts they have need to be carefully managed, so that visitors do not destroy the natural wonders that attracted them to a destination in the first place.åÊThis book features contributions from tourism and recreation researchers and practitioners exploring the relationship between tourism, hospitality, protected areas, livelihoods and both physical and emotional human wellbeing. The book includes sections focused on theory, policy and practice, and case studies, to inform and guide industry decisions to address real-world problems and proactively plan for a sustainable and healthy future.

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1 Introduction: Tourism, Health and Wellbeing and Protected Environments

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Introduction: Tourism, Health and

Wellbeing and Protected Environments

Iride Azara, Federico Niccolini, B. Derrick Taff,

Eleni Michopoulou and Alan Clarke

This book was conceived during the international conference on ‘Tourism and Protected

Areas’ (officially, Tourism Naturally), held in Italy in October 2016. The conference involved more than 150 academic and industry professionals from 28 countries. Through this international and collective perspective, this book offers a novel compilation of global, transdisciplinary contributions that demonstrate both fundamental – and partially unexplored – features of the relationship between tourism, health, wellbeing and protected areas. A discussion focusing on the links between tourism, health, wellbeing and protected areas is certainly not something novel in either academic or practitioner circles.

Numerous authors have studied these relationships, and many experts have described the need for sustainable, responsible, tourism within the context of protected areas (e.g. Eagles et al.,

 

2 The European Protected Areas Approach to Organizing Ecotourism: A Study of Benchmark Protected Areas

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The European Protected Areas

Approach to Organizing Ecotourism:

A Study of Benchmark Protected Areas

Federico Niccolini, Iacopo Cavallini, Marco Giannini and

Michele Contini

Introduction

The United Nations World Tourism Organization

(UNWTO) has defined sustainable tourism as

‘tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities’ (UNWTO and UNEP, 2005, p. 12). Within this broad concept, ecotourism is considered a type of sustainable tourism, which focuses on improving the conservation of natural resources and increasing environmental education.

Several influential organizations recognize that ecotourism can also produce benefits from a socio-economic point of view. The United

Nations (2012) state that ecotourism has potential positive impacts on income generation and job creation, while at the same time ‘encouraging local and indigenous communities in host countries and tourists alike to preserve and respect the natural and cultural heritage’1 (Das and Chatterjee, 2015, p. 2). To this aim, an effective ecotourism strategy requires the involvement of various stakeholders, such as resource managers, policy makers, communities and tourists themselves.

 

3 Tourism, Wellbeing and Cultural Ecosystem Services: A Case Study of Orség National Park, Hungary

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Tourism, Wellbeing and Cultural

Ecosystem Services: A Case Study of Őrség National Park, Hungary

Melanie K. Smith and Barbara Csurgó

Introduction

This chapter focuses on the relationship between tourism, wellbeing and protected areas using a cultural ecosystem services framework. Within the context of ecosystem services research, cultural ecosystem services (CES) have been relatively under-researched, partly because of the complexity of measuring intangible benefits and values (Chan et al., 2012; Milcu et al., 2013;

Leyshon, 2014; Andersson et al., 2015). This is especially true of spirituality, aesthetics, inspiration and sense of place. Although it has been noted that more research has been undertaken on recreation and tourism in the context of CES

(Hernández-Morcillo et al., 2013; Plieninger et al., 2013), there are still relatively few studies.

Romagosa et al. (2015) also note the gap in the literature about health and wellbeing benefits in the context of protected areas compared to urban and suburban parks. This chapter therefore aims to explore the relationship between tourism, wellbeing and CES in the context of protected areas, especially national parks. A case study will be provided of the Őrség National

 

4 Sustainable Tourism in Natural Protected Areas: The Points of View of Hosts and Guests in Sila National Park

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Sustainable Tourism in Natural

Protected Areas: The Points of View of

Hosts and Guests in Sila National Park

Sonia Ferrari and Monica Gilli

Introduction

It is widely accepted that natural protected areas

(NPAs) are important tourism destinations and prime settings for the development of sustainable forms of tourism due to their very function and nature (Newsome et al., 2013; Wearing et al., 2016). Buckley (2012), Stoddard et al.

(2012), Swarbrooke (1999) and Tyrrell et al.

(2013) point out that sustainable tourism is a way to create value and shared benefits among parks’ stakeholders, primarily local communities. However, Ferrari and Pratesi (2012) highlight that in addition to seeing positively tourism development, it is also important that residents have a favourable view of NPAs in order to experience beneficial processes of place development.

It can be argued that the attitude of the community is positive if the presence of a NPA brings significant net benefits, both in direct terms (e.g. increased revenues and growth in employment levels) and/or indirect terms (e.g. destination image enhancement, increasing notoriety, launch of an umbrella brand that promotes local productions, new contacts and experience in project management) (Keller, 2002; Aurier et al., 2005; Bell, 2008; Snyman, 2014). This is significant because the Italian context, the presence of villages in the NPAs enables the parks to offer visitors a wide range of historical, cultural and gastronomic resources, potentially amplifying the benefits for the local communities, thus increasing tourism sustainability and a positive

 

5 Wellness Tourism as a Complementary Activity in Saltpans Regeneration

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Wellness Tourism as a

Complementary Activity in Saltpans

Regeneration

Helena Albuquerque, Ana Margarida Ferreira da Silva,

Filomena Martins and Carlos Costa

Introduction

Tourists’ motivations and behaviours have changed, leading to the emergence and development of different tourism subsectors and product offers (Chen et al., 2008; Page et al., 2017). As

Cracolici and Nijkamp (2009) and MedinaMuñoz and Medina-Muñoz, (2014) point out: a change in tourists’ attitudes from mass tourism to a ‘new age of tourism’ based on ‘tailor-made tourist facilities’ has meant that tourists are nowadays searching for attractive destinations with specific types of tourist products that align with their values and beliefs. Wellness tourism is one of these subsectors and one that has experienced considerable growth in the last decades due to the importance that tourists give to wellbeing and to practices that improve life satisfaction

(Voigt et al., 2011; Kim et al., 2017). While wellness tourism is not a new topic of investigation in tourism research, its literature is still very ambiguous especially in relation to the several tourism products and activities that can be included within this broad umbrella term and the contributions these products and practices can make to the development of destinations (Smith and

 

6 A Model for Developing Evidence-based Health Tourism: The Case of ‘Alpine Health Region Salzburg, Austria’

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A Model for Developing Evidencebased Health Tourism: The Case of

‘Alpine Health Region Salzburg, Austria’

Georg Christian Steckenbauer, Stephanie Tischler,

Arnulf Hartl and Christina Pichler

Introduction

Health tourism is increasingly perceived as a field of strategic importance by tourism destinations, and thus more and more tourism products focusing on health and wellbeing are being integrated in product portfolios (Illing, 2008; Rulle et al., 2010; Peris-Ortiz and Álvarez-García,

2015). It is commonly accepted that to develop competitive tourism destinations, a systematic destination development strategy is required which is inclusive of a structured product development process (Ritchie and Crouch, 2003; Lee and King, 2006). In the context of health tourism, natural resources can be used as a basis for the development of products and with an aim to create a unique position on the market. Indeed, as Smith and Puczkó (2008, p. 256) highlight

 

7 Participatory Location-based Learning and ICT as Tools to Increase International Reputation of a Wellbeing Destination in Rural Areas: A Case Study

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Participatory Location-based Learning and ICT as Tools to Increase International

Reputation of a Wellbeing Destination in

Rural Areas: A Case Study

Alessio Cavicchi, Emanuele Frontoni, Roberto Pierdicca,

Chiara Rinaldi, Giovanna Bertella and Cristina Santini

Introduction

In May 2016, the University of Macerata and the Piceno Laboratory on Mediterranean Diet jointly organized an international student competition in Fermo (Marche Region, Italy), bringing together scholars and students from five higher education institutions in Europe. The idea behind the event was that an experiential location-based and collaborative approach to learning in tourism could have important potential for local development.

The Piceno Laboratory on Mediterranean

Diet is an association that started working with the University of Macerata through the EUfunded Gastronomic Cities project, which is aimed at creating a city branding based on food and gastronomy. During the project, participatory multi-stakeholder approaches were applied to allow a reflection on the assets available within the territory. Results showed that although Fermo did not have an iconic food product, it was one of the places where the Seven

 

8 Exploring How Medical Voluntourism Contributes to Health and Wellbeing in Haiti

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Exploring How Medical Voluntourism

Contributes to Health and Wellbeing in Haiti

Jennifer Thomsen and Margaret Keneman

Introduction

Voluntourism, a term to describe tourists offering volunteer services during their travel, is increasingly used to improve the conditions of a destination. More specifically, medical voluntourism aims to address the medical and public health needs of a local community. Haiti has been a popular site for voluntourism, especially medical voluntourism, as it is a country with public health challenges that have been further exacerbated by natural disasters. Hands Up for

Haiti (HUFH) is an example of a medical humanitarian organization that has been bringing volunteers to Haiti to focus on malnutrition and water sanitation since the 2010 earthquake. In this chapter, using findings from focus group discussions conducted through HUFH, we explore the nexus between medical voluntourism and health and wellbeing in Haiti. As HUFH continues to evolve post-disaster relief, it is critical that the organization assesses the strengths and weaknesses of its programmes and adapts to social and environmental changes. Therefore, we posit adaptive capacity as a factor that contributes to the programme’s long-term impact and success. The chapter concludes with recommendations for voluntourism organizations to strengthen their adaptive capacity and sustain the health and wellbeing of local communities.

 

9 The Interrelationship Between Place Symbolism, Memory and Voluntary Income Schemes (VIS): The ‘Stick up for Stanage’ Campaign

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The Interrelationship Between

Place Symbolism, Memory and

Voluntary Income Schemes (VIS):

The ‘Stick up for Stanage’ Campaign

Duncan Marson and Emma Pope

Introduction

Since the foundation of the Peak District

National Park in 1951, national park authorities within the United Kingdom have an increasingly varied and complex role to play in the conservation and management of some of the

UK’s most visited and visually emotive natural areas. While the initial inception of the National

Parks and Access to Countryside Act (1949) and the revised Environment Act (1995) supported the establishment of a structured set of ­principles akin to conservation, opportunity, enjoyment and social wellbeing, the wider environment with which national parks have to operate in is dynamic and susceptible to macro and micro change. An increased focus within all national parks now lies in the identification and delineation of so-called ‘tensions’ between parks and people (Barker and Stockdale, 2008). In many respects, it is unsurprising that the facet of tension would become of concern to UK national park management, as the spatial boundaries were born from such social movements as the

 

10 The Visitor: Connecting Health, Wellbeing and the Natural Environment

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The Visitor: Connecting Health,

Wellbeing and the Natural Environment

Andreas Skriver Hansen

Introduction

The focus of this chapter is to investigate the connection between health, wellbeing and the natural environment from a visitor point of view. Specifically, the chapter puts the following research questions to the forefront: how can the connection between health, wellbeing and the natural environment be studied and what are the resulting knowledge benefits? The chapter will examine this by introducing an innovative method to study visitor experiences related to health, wellbeing and the natural environment.

Wellbeing and health are important reasons for why visitors decide to visit nature areas.

This is particularly the case when engaging in outdoor recreational activities, where the link between health, wellbeing and the natural environment is very explicit. In fact, the connection is in the word itself: to ‘recreate’, to stimulate or improve one’s physical and mental condition while being active in the outdoors. In support of this, a large part of the outdoor recreation literature has long recognized wellbeing and health as primary motivations for why visitors engage in recreational activities (e.g. Driver et al., 1991;

 

11 Reinventing Coastal Health Tourism Through Lifestyle Sports: The Complexities of Kiteboarding in Practice

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Reinventing Coastal Health Tourism

Through Lifestyle Sports: The Complexities of Kiteboarding in Practice

Timo Derriks

Introducing Lifestyle Sports in

Health Destination Branding

There is a global belief that coastal areas offer the best opportunities for pleasure, leisure and physical activities. Initially, people were attracted by coastal areas because of the fresh sea air, sun, water, scenic views and beaches. Due to the increasing popularity of coastal areas, new tourist destinations arose (Davenport and

­Davenport, 2006), which resulted in destination differentiation. A possible differentiation is the focus on health tourism. The use of lifestyle sports in the branding of differentiated tourism destinations is not uncommon, for example, the case for surfing. This chapter on kiteboarding contributes to this body of knowledge as it highlights kiteboarding practices and relates the further development to recreation, destination branding, spatial planning and nature conservation practices. The complexities of using the lifestyle sport of kiteboarding in coastal health tourism destination development are of central importance.

 

12 Revitalizing Rural Communities in Costa Rica Through Sustainable Tourism

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Revitalizing Rural Communities in

Costa Rica Through Sustainable Tourism

Linda A. Heyne and José Vargas Camacho

21st century tourism must be sustainable or it will no longer survive.

Barry Roberts, Programme Director,

­Certification for Sustainable Tourism

Introduction

Costa Rica, which translates as rich coast, is known as a world leader in sustainable tourism practices (Honey, 2008; Miller, 2012). This widespread recognition is due largely to the country’s gradual awakening to the importance of conserving its natural resources, and the national legislation and policies that have ensued. These domestic initiatives have created the infrastructure as well as the impulse for sustainable tourism to take root in Costa Rica and contribute to the revitalization and wellbeing of its rural communities.

A relatively small country, Costa Rica covers 51,000 square kilometres (19,700 square miles) and is roughly the size of Denmark, or

 

13 Experiencing a Water Sports Holiday as Part of a Rehabilitation Trajectory: Identifying the Salutogenic Mechanisms

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Experiencing a Water Sports Holiday as Part of a Rehabilitation Trajectory:

Identifying the Salutogenic Mechanisms

Marlijn Wagenaar and Lenneke Vaandrager

Introduction

Everyone has the right to go on holiday, including people with a disability (Darcy, 2010). However, people with a disability still face barriers that hinder them from going on holiday. These barriers have been extensively researched in the field of accessible tourism: ‘a form of tourism that involves collaborative processes between stakeholders that enables people with access requirements, including mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive dimensions of access, to function independently and with equity and dignity through the delivery of universally designed tourism products, services and environments’

(Buhalis and Darcy 2011, p. 10). The barriers faced by people with a disability can be divided into internal and exogenous barriers (­McKercher et al., 2003). Internal barriers include obstacles that a person with a disability must overcome before going on holiday and can be categorized as economic (e.g. affordability of the holiday) and intrinsic (e.g. lack of knowledge) obstacles.

 

14 The Potential Role of Public Aquaria in Human Health and Wellbeing

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The Potential Role of Public Aquaria in Human Health and Wellbeing

Deborah L. Cracknell, Sabine Pahl, Mathew P. White and

Michael H. Depledge

Background

Worldwide, stress and mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression, are of growing concern

(World Health Organization, 2013). These problems are not only harmful to the individual, increasing rates of disability and mortality

(World Health Organization, 2013), but place a huge social and monetary burden on a country

(Health and Safety Executive, 2007). Depression is one of the largest single causes of disability, and accounts for 4.3% of the total global disease burden (World Health Organization, 2013). In

England alone, the total cost of mental ill health in 2009/2010 amounted to over £105 billion

(Centre for Mental Health, 2010).

Although medication is commonly prescribed to help people deal with their mental health symptoms, these drugs can cause unpleasant side effects and are expensive to produce and administer. Hence, there is increasing interest from the healthcare sector in ‘alternative’ treatments that can complement and enhance the ‘medical’ approach. As humans have a history of engaging with nature for relaxation and recovery from stress and mental fatigue (Velarde et al., 2007), the relationship between natural environments and human health and wellbeing deserves further investigation (Bowler et al., 2010). It is recognized that exposure to nature, whether through recreational wilderness experiences or encounters closer to home in more urban settings, such as gardens and parks, can alleviate mental fatigue

 

15 Health Effects of Recreation Vehicle Noise: Laboratory Evidence for Mood and Heart Rate

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Health Effects of Recreation

Vehicle Noise: Laboratory Evidence for

Mood and Heart Rate

Jacob A. Benfield, David Weinzimmer, B. Derrick Taff and

Peter Newman

Introduction

As cities get more crowded, suburbs expand into the countryside and roads become more congested, the benefits that parks and protected wilderness areas offer become increasingly valuable to the public. In fact, Driver (2008) lists over 150 potential benefits of outdoor recreation – grouped as personal, social/cultural, economic and environmental – that have some empirical documentation. Parks and protected areas provide a particularly high concentration of these benefits, many of which are unique to these areas. Our parks, forests and wilderness areas provide the nation’s healthiest ecosystems, best wildlife habitat, wildest rivers and tallest mountains; they also offer our best opportunities to destress, reconnect with friends and family and interact intimately with nature. As Wagar (1966) once wrote, ‘The sole purpose of all land management is to provide benefits for people’ (p. 9). In our increasingly crowded and hectic world, one way that protected areas can provide significant benefits for all to enjoy is through opportunities to experience unique natural environments.

 

16 A Dynamic View of Visitors: The Impact of Others on Recreation and Restorative Nature Experiences

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A Dynamic View of Visitors: The

Impact of Others on Recreation and

Restorative Nature Experiences

Benjamin Cherian and Jacob A. Benfield

Attempting to Reconnect

With a burgeoning global population, urbanization has rapidly increased over the past few years and will continue in the upcoming years (United

Nations Population Division, 2009). The shift made from rural environments to urban environments has been the cause of concern across several domains, especially related to human health and wellbeing, and some of that discussion has focused on nature interventions for adapting to urban living (Turner et al., 2004).

Much of that research and policy emphasizes either moving humans closer to nature or incorporating natural elements in developed, urban environments. The latter solution seems to be more prominent than the former in the literature.

For example, researchers in Taiwan sought to study the way in which employers can improve the workspace for employees through natural window views to benefit their productivity and mental state (Chang and Chen, 2005). In their study, college students were asked to rate a series of images and were monitored on a variety of physiological outcomes to see how widespread the effect of the environment of a workspace would have on an individual. The images were differentiated in three ways: whether or not the workspace had a window; whether or not the window had a natural view or an urban view; and whether or not there was an office plant in the room. They found that individuals

 

17 Reconsidering the links between Tourism, Health, Wellbeing and Protected Areas

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Reconsidering the links between

Tourism, Health, Wellbeing and

Protected Areas

Alan Clarke, Iride Azara, Eleni Michopoulou,

Federico Niccolini and B. Derrick Taff

Books like this one sometimes drift away without a final word that draws out what the significance of the volume is, but not in this case. It is particularly important with a volume as ambitious as this one that the editors take on the responsibility of pointing out the important messages of the book that we have worked on with our contributors. Here we have drawn together contributions from around the world, from many disciplines and with varied cases to illustrate how complex the analyses of tourism, health, wellbeing and protected areas have to be. In order to demonstrate the value of this approach we have to consider how the different disciplines contribute to a deeper understanding of sustainable development and how the lessons of sustainability add to the recognition of the

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