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Session5 01 Valentina_Dinica


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Presentation made at the Sustainable Tourism in Small Island Developing States conference, 23-24 November 2017, Seychelles. A partnership of the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation, IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group, University of Seychelles, Paris Tourism Sorbonne (IREST), and Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

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Session5 01 Valentina_Dinica

  1. 1. The prospects for environmentally sustainable tourism in New Zealand’s National Parks – testing a concessions theory of regulation Dr. Valentina Dinica Associate Professor School of Government, Victoria Business School Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  2. 2. presents a ‘theory development project’ focused on four regulatory dimensions 2
  4. 4. 4 Case studies in NZs Case studies so far, in NZ: - Tongariro NP (North I.) - Westland NP (South I.) - Mt. Cook NP (South I.) - Mt Aspiring NP (South I.) - Fiordland National Park (South I.)
  5. 5. Research methods (1) Manual text analysis: For the dimension of ‘PLAN PRESCRIPTIVENESS’ & METHODS OF CONCESSION ALLOCATION: • Legal instruments: the 1987 Conservation Act, the 1980 National Parks Act, the 1991 Resource Management Act, Conservation Management Strategies and National Park Management Plans. • policy documents published by the Department of Conservation • Transcribed audio recordings of online radio broadcasts For the dimensions of “CONCESSION CONTRACT DESIGN” and “MONITORING” (in addition to the above) a sample of 24 concession contracts (2) 32 Interviews (face-to-face and by phone) with DOC officials, concessionaires, recreation groups & and NGOs 5
  6. 6. 6 Main findings: The independent variables In all cases: low NP prescriptiveness, based on Recreation Opportunity Spectrum + more recently demand-based Destination Management Framework (with some ‘pockets’ of areas with moderate prescriptiveness, imposed after pressures are already obvious or unacceptable for stakeholders) MONITORING: not for tourism impacts; incomplete plans and inadequate implementation on monitoring environmental resources and biodiversity
  7. 7. 7 Main findings: Concession allocation methods and contract designs Only reactive types of concession allocation methods are used: • First-come first-served • Preferential rights to apply (for limited-supply & monopoly concessions) • Tendering the right to apply (seldom, in association with quotas) (no screening of applicants on environmental performances) Concession contracts: • ‘tailor-made’ because they differ across several activity types: aircraft-based sightseeing, guided walking, land lease for accommodation, bird watching, cave visitation; but rather standardised within each of these groups; • Static: no expectations for businesses to adopt innovations or enhance their environmental performances
  8. 8. 9 Hypothesis: the following regulatory features are more likely to reinforce each other negatively and nudge PA tourism towards unsustainability: - low PA plan prescriptiveness, - reactive allocation methods, - environmentally static concession designs, combined with an - over-reliance on monitoring the condition of environmental resources. Indicators for the dependent variable Empirical findings 1) growth in fossil fuel emissions and air pollution associated with concession that activities Confirmed through proxies (number and business volume of concessions for authorised activities + unauthorised helicopter flights) 2) Poor or no progress in biodiversity decline Confirmed 3) Infrastructural deterioration (e.g. track and soil erosion) with ecosystem integrity implications Fragmented evidence on hiking tracks, bridges; too few ranges available for monitoring 4) Declining condition of flora and/or fauna Impacts on birdlife and some marine species (penguins, seals) 5) deterioration environmental quality indicators for fresh waters and soil within and around PAs zones with tourism concessions Confirmed in some hotspots, especially in (human) waste & sewerage spill incidents 6) Contamination ( viruses, fungi, bacteria) of biodiversity through concessionaire equipment or visitor behaviour Dydimo issues in some areas (but recreationist and independent visitors contributing too)
  9. 9. 9 PhD opportunities Those interested in developing new hypotheses based on this theoretical framework, and testing them on terrestrial or marine Protected Areas are welcome to contact me to discuss PhD research opportunities. Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand offers PhD scholarships and contributions to living expenses for students from some developing countries, BUT - The approval process is a very competitive - Applicants needs to have a quality research proposal that aligns very well with the research agenda of a university academic For more information: