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Social and Environmental Value

Understanding the social and environmental impacts (positive and negative) of tourism remains a challenging for tourism stakeholders today. Tourism is often claimed to provide significant value in terms of community development, environmental benefits and other cultural / social benefits, however many of these are not measured and/or reported. Measurement is vital to be able to communicate the value of tourism, including economic, social and environmental value, and to gain community, government and industry support and commitment to tourism in a destination.Read more
Understanding the social and environmental impacts (positive and negative) of tourism remains a challenging for tourism stakeholders today. Tourism is often claimed to provide significant value in terms of community development, environmental benefits and other cultural / social benefits, however many of these are not measured and/or reported. Measurement is vital to be able to communicate the value of tourism, including economic, social and environmental value, and to gain community, government and industry support and commitment to tourism in a destination.

 

The Prosper model developed by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) uses an indicators approach to assessing economic, social and environmental value of tourism in a destination. The model developed a set of quantitative and qualitative indicators that was applied to a case study region in order to assess the value of tourism at a regional level and help raise community awareness of tourism. Aside from economic value, tourism can make contributions to a destination including:

Destination Management Tip

Communicating more than the economic value of tourism is central to gaining community support. The STCRC kit for ‘Promoting Awareness of the Value of Tourism is an important tool for communicating with stakeholders.

 

  • Industrial contribution – business investment;
  • Social contribution – community participation, civic pride;
  • Municipal contribution – infrastructure management, urban planning;
  • Cultural contribution – maintenance of regional image, heritage and cultural resources;
  • Capacity contribution – partnership establishment, data collection, cooperative ventures;
  • Environmental contribution – preservation of natural environments;
  • Tourist contribution – visitor numbers and satisfaction

Research undertaken by the STCRC in conjunction with the Centre for Regional Tourism Research, developed a Resource Kit for regional tourism destinations to actively promote and communicate the value of tourism to stakeholders. Promoting Awareness of the Value of Tourism: A Resource Kit, identifies key strategies for communicating the value of tourism:

 

  • An active public relations plan can promote understanding and positive opinion about tourism and its role in the community;
  • Publicity and media can be generated through industry and public events, newsletters, meetings, collateral, internet or email campaigns and media advertising;
  • Having access to relevant, specific and accurate data to underpin any communication with stakeholders;
  • Linking distinctive natural and appealing aspects of tourism in a destination and their value to the community is essential.
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