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Sustainable tourism development in UK National Parks: principles, meaning & practice

Murphy, Sarah Ann (2014) Sustainable tourism development in UK National Parks: principles, meaning & practice. PhD thesis, York St John University.

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Tourism is revered for its ability to encourage development through the utilisation of ‘free’ natural and cultural resources. However, the benefits of tourism development are often accompanied by negative impacts which degrade the social and environmental context in which tourist interactions occur. This issue is particularly significant in national parks due to the challenges presented by their often opposing dual remit: conservation and recreational access. Sustainable tourism development has been recognised as a means of addressing this issue. However, to date, there has been a lack of research evaluating the understanding and application of sustainable tourism development within national parks. This research addresses this gap. A qualitative research strategy was adopted which utilised a multi-case study methodology involving the Yorkshire Dales and the New Forest. It employed a triangulated strategy which used primary and secondary data collection methods, adding credibility to the findings. The findings revealed that some stakeholders experienced difficulty in understanding the concept due to complex and ambiguous terminology. Consequently, the underlying principles were considered to be more significant. The meaning and operationalisation of the principles varied according to the contextually unique characteristics of destinations. Overall however, it was acknowledged that the concept should not be seen as an end-goal, but as an on-going process, with the principles embedded into planning and management processes if progress is to be achieved. This study culminates by presenting two models; the first is intended to facilitate an evaluation of the main elements affecting sustainable tourism development, namely, context, understanding and operationalisation. The second is intended for use by practitioners, to aid the identification of key principles and the elements of planning and management where these principles need to be embedded. Both models highlight the importance of contextual awareness and thus, further research is recommended to assess their relevance in other destinations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-866-4
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > University of York St. John
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2014 11:33
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2014 11:33
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6815

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