Sustainable Tourism Planning and Management by Local Authorities: An Investigation of the London Boroughs
To develop the current knowledge and understanding of how local authorities in London have embraced and implemented strategies and measures to promote sustainable development of tourism.
Tourism is a key driver for the economy of London (contributes with 8% to the GDP and provides about 10% of all jobs)*
Tourism also has negative effects, which are generally considered to exceed its positive influences unless it is planned and managed ** (e.g. traffic congestion, pollution, a rise in prices of land, property and food, with negative consequences for the local people)
Sustainable development - a possible framework for tourism development, so that negative consequences would be minimised, while the positive ones are maximised
* LDA (2009), Long (2000)
** Connell et. al .(2009); Mason (2008); WTO (1998)
Urban tourism - a complex phenomenon, is a new area of study with a lack of knowledge and understanding*
tourism is less visible in cities, where it represents only one activity among many others
the almost complete absence of global data on urban tourism – every country tends to define and interpret this phenomenon in a different way
in large cities, it is difficult to distinguish between tourism and other activities
tourists share and/or compete with the locals for the spaces, facilities and the services they use
Urban areas have now been recognised as one of the most important tourist destinations
The public sector plays an essential role in the development and management of a tourist destination**
* Pearce (2001); Law (1996)
** HM Government (2007); UNEP/ WTO (2005); Mowforth and Munt (2009)
What is the role of the Government and the public sector in achieving sustainable development of tourism?
2. What are the policies and strategies pursued by the UK Government and the London boroughs in order to achieve sustainable development of tourism?
3. What are the drivers of success in developing and implementing sustainable tourism policies and strategies?
4. What are the constraints and limitations that affect the implementation of sustainable tourism strategies at local level?
As tourism public policy is a complex phenomenon, a multi-method approach will be adopted
Secondary data analysis
Qualitative approach - will be used to provide a better understanding of the phenomenon.
The research will be divided into two stages
First stage - will identify the role of the public sector in achieving sustainable development of tourism
an extensive literature review of the relevant topics
a qualitative analysis of secondary data (e.g. tourism policies, strategies and plans)
Second stage - will deal with the remaining research questions
will contribute to the gathering of data from policy-makers
will facilitate the gathering of additional information and clarification
London will be used as an exploratory case study
will contribute to the understanding of how public policies influence sustainable tourism development at the local level
a world tourism city
its population - 7.56 million in 2007 - is projected to rise to 8.1 million by 2016*
It is an important gateway for the UK as 75% of all tourists coming to the country arrive through one of London’s airports**
In 2007, London attracted over 26 million overnight visitors , comprising 16 million from overseas and 10 million from the UK***.
In order to accommodate in a sustainable way the growth of population, cumulated with the increase in the number of tourists, the local authorities need to carefully plan and manage the development of tourism
* Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2004)
** London Development Agency (2009)
*** GLA (2009)
What I have done so far
Literature review (second draft)
- The first chapter, ‘ Sustainable development and Sustainable tourism ’, discusses the relationship between sustainable development and sustainable tourism.
- The second chapter, ‘ Urban tourism and Sustainable tourism planning ’ , provides a context for the research and highlights the importance of urban areas as tourist destinations. It also discusses the importance of planning for the sustainable development of tourism.
Secondary data analysis
I have collected the Unitary Development Plans, the Core Strategies and, where available, the tourism strategies for all 33 London boroughs
The next step will be to produce a framework and structure to analyse this data
Local Area Tourism Impact (LATI) Model
In an attempt to measure tourism value and volume data at borough level, the London Development Agency (LDA) produced borough level estimates of tourism , which were generated using the Local Area Tourism Impact (LATI) model.
According to LDA (2009), the LATI model ‘uses the most robust available information to share London level tourism data out across the boroughs’, using data from national tourism surveys.
Estimates of shares of day visits per London boroughs in 2007 25.75%
Estimates of shares of overnight visits per London boroughs in 2007 35.29%
Estimates of shares of tourism expenditure per London boroughs in 2007
The proportion of tourism related jobs of the total employment per London boroughs
Once the data has been gathered, synthesised and analysed, this information could prove useful for local authorities in the planning and management of sustainable tourism by highlighting examples of best practice.
Connell, J., Page, S.J. and Bentley, T. (2009) ‘Towards Sustainable Tourism Planning in New Zealand: Monitoring Local Government Planning Under the Resource Management Act’, Tourism Management , Volume 30, Issue 6, pp. 867-877
GLA (2009) The London Plan: Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London , London: GLA
HM Government (2007) Planning for a Sustainable Future , White Paper, London
Law, C.M. (Ed.) (1996) Tourism in Major Cities , London: International Thomson Business Press
LDA (2009) Local Area Tourism Impact (LATI) model: Methodology, London: LDA
London Development Agency (2009) London Tourism Action Plan 2009-13 , London: LDA
Long, P. (2000) ‘Tourism Development Regimes in the Inner City Fringe: The Case of Discover Islington, London’, Journal of Sustainable Tourism , Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 190 – 206
Mason, P. (2008) Tourism Impacts, Planning and Management , Second Edition, Oxford: Elsevier
Mowforth, M. and Munt, I. (2009) Tourism and Sustainability: Development, Globalisation and New Tourism in the Third World , Third Edition, New York: Routledge
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2004) Creating Sustainable Communities in London: Making it Happen , London: ODPM
Pearce, D.G. (2001) ‘An Integrative Framework for Urban Tourism Research’, Annals of Tourism Research , Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 926–946
UNEP/ WTO (2005) Making Tourism More Sustainable: A Guide for Policy Makers , Paris: UNEP/WTO
WTO (1998), Guide for Local Authorities on Developing Sustainable Tourism , Madrid: WTO