Sustainable tourism in protected areas as a driver for environmental conservation and community development in Guatemala
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 10:22 by Cesar R Gonzalez
Developing sustainable tourism in protected areas is of interest because of their marketable settings for outdoor activities in natural environments and for their role in protecting cultural and natural assets. Managing and planning these areas for tourism poses challenges because of issues pertaining to income generation, community development, and visitor management. The region of Lake Izabal-Rio Dulce in Guatemala contains three protected areas – Cerro San Gil, Rio Dulce National Park, and Chocon Machacas – that are significant in protecting biodiversity but are not effectively managed for tourism. Through a case study and a multi-method approach to are not effectively managed for tourism. Through a case study and a multi-method approach to collect data, the perspectives of selected tourism planning and management organizations and tourists were investigated to gauge sustainable tourism initiatives and identify vulnerable zones in the protected areas. The findings show that community development has lagged, visitor management is required, and a greater extent of collaboration is needed to support sustainable management is required, and a greater extent of collaboration is needed to support sustainable tourism development.