Tourism planning Tourism is one of the largest global industries, much of it focusing on the attractions of relatively pristine natural environments. A visit to an MPA is increasingly part of coastal holidays for foreign visitors, as well as an outing for local residents. Investors often want to construct tourism facilities near to an MPA, as this gives them additional marketing value. Visitors and tourism operators are thus key stakeholders in the MPA, bringing benefits through revenue and employment. Tourism can however have negative impacts through: increased resource use (for both food and souvenirs); habitat destruction and pollution from construction; social and cultural impacts; physical damage to sensitive habitats such as coral reefs and mangroves, and disturbance of wildlife. Many MPAs in the WIO have the promotion of tourism and recreation as an objective and thus need a clear policy on the type of tourism (e.g. high value, low impact) and number of visitors to be encouraged. A plan for preventing and mitigating adverse impacts, whether these originate inside or outside the boundaries, is also required. There is much literature providing guidance on sustainable tourism, as well as international schemes that give recognition to initiatives adopting high environmental standards. An MPA may be able to link with one of these, or learn from the approach (see case study).
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