Protected Areas, Tourism and a Changing World
Nature and human well-being are inextricably linked – neither will be achieved without the other. Protected areas are a beacon of hope and support for mental and physical health for those with access, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. For those without access, it has made clear that more work needs to be done on accessibility, especially for marginalized communities. In some parts of the world, total closure of protected areas to visitation has led to the collapse of local economies and rapid job losses. With the loss of jobs and opportunity, protected areas have seen spikes in illegal extraction activities – dramatic shifts that are also happening in the context of global climate change, deteriorating global human health, economic uncertainty, and a global population increasingly living disconnected from nature.
Tourism Naturally 2022 will bring together researchers, practitioners, private sector partners, and interested local communities to discuss how we can shape protected areas and tourism for the improvement of nature and the human condition. Thoughtful, responsible tourism to protected areas provides us with a great opportunity to repair connections, build economic opportunity, and provide us with a buffer to the rapidly changing world. We invite your perspectives on this critical topic.