Tourism and Recreation Management: Strategies for Public Lands
Clements, Christine J., Bloomquist, Patricia, Parks & Recreation
Public lands have played a long and important role in tourism and recreation in the United States. This role, especially on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands, is becoming even more significant due to dramatic changes over the last decade. While multiple land use has been a driving force for these organizations for years, the last decade has brought major policy shifts in the areas of agricultural, mining and forest uses.
These changes have led communities, in and adjacent to the forest, to explore economic diversification strategies to help stem the resulting economic declines in their natural resource-based economies.
Tourism is one development strategy that these communities often view as having great potential. Tourism offers an appealing option for two major reasons: 1) there has been a dramatic increase in recreation use on public lands and 2) communities must identify "non-extractive" methods of capitalizing on this vast natural resource. In many cases sustainable tourism--development strategies based on ecologically sound planning principles--has been the goal.
Unique Characteristics of Tourism and Recreation
As communities and public land management agencies pursue a strategy of sustainable tourism development, it is critical that they are aware of the unique characteristics of the tourism industry. This will provide insight into the marketing and management challenges of development.
--Public Sector/Private Sector Split in Tourism Roles. In most cases, the public sector owns and manages the attraction. It may be a museum, beach, hiking trails, wildlife, recreational lands, community festivals, or dramatic scenery that draw people to an area. The private sector creates the jobs and services necessary to meet visitors' needs. Once the private sector is established, it often takes the leadership role in bringing more visitors to the area. In the past, these two sectors have not established effective coordination tools that are necessary to develop a sustainable recreation and tourism industry.
--Recreation and Tourism are Not Products. "Experiencing" tourism and recreation is different than simply buying goods or services. For many people, it is an emotional experience often shared with family members or friends and is remembered for many years. In today's busy world, a visitor's time is often more important than the cost of the experience. Unfortunately, both the public land management agencies and community organizations are typically unaware of this "experience" concept or don't have the tools to help direct and manage the experience.
--Partial Control …
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Publication information: Article title: Tourism and Recreation Management: Strategies for Public Lands. Contributors: Clements, Christine J. - Author, Bloomquist, Patricia - Author. Magazine title: Parks & Recreation. Volume: 31. Issue: 9 Publication date: September 1996. Page number: 92+. © 2009 National Recreation and Park Association. COPYRIGHT 1996 Gale Group.
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