Another case study, this one by Cole (2011) examines the cultural and community impacts of tourism, both sustainable and unsustainable, on specific cultures in Indonesia. Cole concludes as well that in order to help keep the cultural and community influences and positive attitudes intact, it is important to consider the local community as a major stakeholder in the sustainability of a tourist destination. Cole states in her article, "Tourism has the potential to empower communities and the sustainable tourism agenda needs to focus on how to bring this about. As the case study illustrates, understanding tourists and tourism processes is the first stage to empowering the local community to make informed and appropriate decisions about their tourism development. Considerable investments are required in communication and trust building between the actors in tourism. This paper examines how action research, focus groups and the creation of a tourism forum can be concrete, first steps towards achieving sustainable tourism development in the 21st century" (Cole, 2011, pg.45). Communication is important and is often overlooked or left out when dealing with communities in remote or unique locations and environments.
Educating the tourists about the practices of sustainable tourism is just as important as the sustainable tourism aspect of the development and activities. Ballantyne et al., (2006) show that much of the tourism that takes place around endangered species, places, and sustainable tourism activities comes from a specific tourism. This goal is to help preserve the ecosystem and flora and fauna, and can be exploited by a sustainable tourism developer as long as the tourists understand their positive impact. The concepts of specific carrying capacity and policy implementation, relative to visitors impact on the environment, are often misunderstood by the general public.
One case study demonstrates that there is a relative disconnect between the general public's day-to-day behaviour and perceptions and the concept of sustainability, from an educational and behavioral perspective. The Miller et al., (2010) helps to break down this disconnect and offer solutions to help reeducate the general public on how to behave and perceive sustainable tourism and vulnerability destinations. This case study begins by stating that, "The research shows a lack of awareness of tourism's impact relative to day-to-day behaviour, feelings of disempowerment and an unwillingness to make significant changes to current tourism behaviour." (Miller et al., 2010, pg.627). These significant changes are many, but the idea that education is critical in helping as a force multiplier of sorts in the sustainability aspect is an important one to recognize. The sustainability becomes much easier and can even be prolonged and exacerbated through education programs that allow the general public to make the connections between carrying capacity, limits of acceptable change, and their personal role and responsibility as a unique stakeholder in the environmental health of a sustainable tourism destination.
Education is therefore a key in helping to highlight the importance of the sustainability aspect of a tourist location or developed site and must be incorporated into the sustainable tourism aspect in business or development. This has the effect of helping to guarantee future tourist patronage while maintaining a healthy respect for the sustainability and goal of preservation specifically. This report outlines the concepts of education and shared responsibility by stating, "The findings suggest that wildlife tourism management practices that enlist tourists as conservation partners, communicate the reasons behind any constraints imposed, and present a consistent message regarding interactions with wildlife, are likely to be most successful in meeting the needs of both tourists and wildlife." (Miller et al., 2010, pg.627). Tourists must feel as though they have a personal responsibility or stake in helping to maintain the sustainability aspect.
Limits to growth are an important consideration within the sustainable tourism domain. This is to say that tourism is limited in growth by many factors, each factor coming into play at a different time or within a different means. Luo and Deng have studied sustainable tourism and limits to growth relative to education and environmental sustainability attitudes in China. They have found, interestingly, that the attitudes of those within the sustainable tourism industry, specifically those who are more concerned about the sustainability factors relating to growth, tend to help direct the tourists' experience and lead to the possibility of future positive growth.
The same can be said for a correlation between negative experiences and attitudes. This is where positive education and limitations to growth that are reasonable and justifiable from the perspectives of both the local community and the tourists themselves become important. Commenting on these aspects, these authors' report finds, "The results indicate that tourists' environmental attitudes are various across all four tourism motivations. Specifically, those who are more supportive of limits to growth and who are more concerned about ecocrisis tend to have a higher desire to be close to nature, to learn about nature, and to escape from routine and issues associated with cities. In addition, those whose motivations are oriented to develop skills and abilities or seek to experience new things, environments, and social contact tend to be more supportive of the notion of human over nature. Thus, it can be concluded that environmental attitudes and nature-based tourism motivations are closely and positively related." (Luo and Deng, 2007, pg. 392).
Another important consideration in sustainable tourism is the fact that each environment has a specific carrying capacity, which can be calculated and must be carefully considered when developing a site. Also, the importance of stakeholder responsibilities and the differing levels of sustainable visitor capacity (SVC) depending on the site and the season must be carefully considered (Luo and Deng, 2007). One study that helps to redefine the framework for visitor carrying capacity within a sustainable tourism environment shows that the limits of the environment can be fluid depending on the level of sustainability and the tourism operation's plan for visitor and ecological carrying capacity.
A study conducted by Terry A. Brown (2011) helps to illustrate these concerns by exploring one such park in Australia. This study concludes that each tourism operation must take into consideration many factors when building a stakeholder and sustainability plan, stating, "The Sustainable Visitor Capacity (SVC) methodology is a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach to assessing visitor sites for landscape quality, values and impacts so that these may be linked to requirements for more effectively managing visitor engagement with the resource. A recent trial of the approach on Fraser Island was used to inform infrastructure and education needs, visitor use patterns, desired behaviors and appropriate visitor numbers." (Brown, 2011, pg. 962). This type of methodology can be used in many circumstances and is only beginning to be fully appreciated for the benefits it can yield within many different ecotourism and sustainable tourism operations.
Zoning considerations are an important factor in developing a sustainable tourism platform in nearly every part of the globe. Zoning is one of the barriers to sustainable tourism as well as the fact that governments and individuals have relatively little incentive to help implement this form of tourism due to that fact that as single shareholders, they have less to gain than a conglomeration of communities and partners. More specifically, a report by Dodds and Butler, (2010) states that, "The research found that although respondents were aware of sustainable tourism, the individual advantage from exploiting shared pooled or shared resources is often perceived as being greater than the potential long-term shared losses that result from the deterioration of such resources, which means that there is little motivation for individual actors (whether governments, elected officials, or individual operators), to invest or engage in protection or conservation for more sustainable tourism." (Dodds and Butle, 2010, pg. 35). This means that the development of a sustainable tourism platform must overcome the barriers of a lack of governmental motivation relative to zoning and other beaurocratic concerns.
More specifically, zoning presents a real challenge to sustainable tourism developers because it often represents a government's attempts at semi-permanent or permanent designation. This means that without specific incentives to the contrary (and they do not often present themselves to individual governments as stakeholders), governments are reluctant to designate an area as one that needs to be preserved and off limits to development that could generate permanent and meaningful revenue streams. (Dodds. And Butler, 2010, 37). In order to exact permanent positive results from zoning, a coupling relationship must be developed that encourages both economic development as well as sustainability. (Dodds, R. And Butler, R., 2010, 49).
Limits of acceptable change (LAC) are another set of factors that developers and managers need to consider within the sustainable tourism environment. More specifically, understanding that the changes to an environment that can occur from visitors and tourism can discourage future tourists and visitors from visiting specific locations. This is precisely where carrying capacity comes into play as a driver of visitor limitations and yearly tourist capacity. As previously mentioned, the framework for such a calculation depends greatly on the specificities of the…