Destination Wetlands: Supporting Sustainable Tourism
At Ramsar's COP11 in July 2012, in Bucharest, Ramsar's Secretary General, Anada Tiéga, the Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization, Taleb Rifai, and the Romanian Secretary of State for Regional Development and Tourism launched the publication "Destination Wetlands: Supporting Sustainable Tourism". This 80-page book, published jointly by Ramsar and the UNWTO, provides an overview of existing guidelines on sustainable tourism as well as many other useful materials on sustainable tourism management.
There is a clear need to manage wetland tourism wisely through sound policies, planning, and awareness-raising -- in other words, by putting the principles of sustainable tourism into action. The publication highlights the considerable value of wetlands for tourism and the economic benefits that tourism can bring for the management of wetland sites. Through case studies and other materials, it demonstrates the contributions that sustainable tourism practices in and around wetlands can make to conservation, poverty alleviation (through improvement of local livelihoods), regional and national economies, and support to local cultures. At the same time, it also identifies the associated risks and potential impacts when tourism is not well managed and is not sustainable.
For this publication, 14 case studies on tourism in wetlands (13 of which are Ramsar Sites) have been selected to cover different wetland types around the world and to illustrate the diversity in the scale of tourism, the management processes in place, the many challenges encountered and, wherever possible, the management solutions employed. The full texts of the case studies include considerable additional detail on the scale of tourism and how it is being managed. They can be viewed here.