As Miss Jellaby takes her class on a nice nature walk through a most extraordinary jungle, she does not realise that they are being followed by a very hungry boa constrictor.
Some researchers perceive tourism as a process which creates dependency and causes loss of socioeconomic and environmental control, and is harmful to traditional sociocultural structures. For others it is clearly an opportunity for development and convergence among societies. The main consequences of tourism are economic, sociocultural and socio-ecological ones. These directly affect the natural and cultural landscape, as well as the inhabitants of the destinations. 'Proper management' can unite the local community; strengthen the historical memory and promote the recognition that the landscape is a legacy worth preserving. If local people can learn to appreciate the need for regulation and careful development of cultural tourism then it is possible to have an alternative to the strategies of convenience, based upon the view of tourism only for profit. Designing tourism to serve heritage and local sustainable development not only helps to conserve the resources that make it possible, but also complies with the ethical duty to guide social perception towards awareness and respect, which in turn will lead to sustainability. The ideas offered in the papers of this book are selections from those presented at a series of conferences organised by the Wessex Institute of Technology. By means of case studies and theoretical developments, the authors attempt to present methods designed to minimise the impacts of tourism and encourage its positive effects. Some ideas in the book discuss the role of local communities, their participation in development management, the singularities of community tourism, planning, local governance and the relationship between socio-economic benefits and impacts.
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