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How to measure socio- cultural and economic impacts of PAN Parks sustainable tourism concept?

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How to measure socio- cultural and economic impacts of PAN Parks sustainable tourism concept? Powered By Docstoc
					           Thesis Report
           Christina Timmermann




   How to measure socio- cultural and economic impacts of PAN
                             Parks
                 sustainable tourism concept?


            - A case study at the Soomaa National Park-


Student name: Christina Timmermann
Student number: 060938
Commissioner: Soomaa National Park
Co-commissioner: PAN Parks
City and date:   Bremen, 28.June 2009
NHTV Supervisor: Niek Beunders




                                             ThesiThesis Report   1
                             Table of content

 Acknowledgements                                                             3

   Executive Summary                                                          4

   Chapter 1: Introduction                                                    7
         1. Background analysis
         1.2 Problem analysis                                                  8
                  1.2.1 Problem definition                                     8
         1.3 Research objective                                                9
         1.4 Research questions                                                10
         1.5 Methodology                                                       10
         1.6 Overview on thesis structure                                      11

 Chapter 2: Theoretical concepts                                              12
          2.1 Introduction                                                     12
          2.2 Sustainable development                                          12
                  2.2.1The prism of sustainability                             13
          2.3 Sustainable tourism                                              14
          2.4 Ecotourism                                                       15
          2.5 Socio-cultural and economic desirable impacts of                 15
          sustainable tourism/ ecotourism
                  2.5.1 Economic desirable impacts                             15
                  2.5.2 Socio-cultural desirable impacts                       16
          2.6 Indicators in sustainable tourism                                17
          2.7 Possible indicators in sustainable tourism                       18
             development relating .socio-cultural and economic impacts
          2.8 Defining local indicators in sustainable tourism                 19
                  2.8.1 Methodology: Participatory approach                    20
                  2.8.2 Indicator preparation phase                            20
                  2.8.3 Indicator development phase                            20
                  2.8.4 Methodological considerations                          21
                  2.8.5 Implementation of indicators                           21
                  2.8.6 Data collection and analysis                           22
                  2.8.7 Monitoring                                             22
          2.9 Conclusion                                                       22

 Chapter 3: The PAN Parks concept                                             25
          3.1 Introduction                                                     25
          3.2 PAN Parks Foundation: an introduction                            25
          3.3 PAN Park’s principles                                            26
          3.4 Verification System                                              27
          3.5 PAN Parks socio-cultural and economic desirable impacts          28
                  3.5.1 Economic desirable impacts                             28
                  3.5.2 Socio-cultural desirable impacts                       29
          3.6 Indicator development at PAN Parks level                         30
          3.7 Conclusion                                                       33

                                                      ThesiThesis Report   2
    Chapter 4: Indicator development at the Soomaa National Park                             34
              4.1 Introduction                                                           34
              4.2 Research methodology                                                   34
              4.3 Study setting: The Soomaa National Park                                35
                      4.3.1 Introduction                                                 35
                      4.3.2 Natural values                                               36
                      4.3.3 Cultural values                                              36
                      4.3.4 Management and administrative
                            boundaries
              4.4 Preparatory phase of the indicators                                    37
                      4.4.1 Political boundaries                                         37
                      4.4.2 Importance of tourism                                        39
                      4.4.3 Socio- cultural and economic issues connected               40
                             to tourism in the Soomaa National Park region
                      4.4.4 Objectives and expectations towards the PAN                  45
                            Parks membership relating socio- cultural and
                            economic aspects
              4.5 Development phase of the indicators                                    50
                      4.5.1 Prioritization and evaluation of field work findings         50
                      4.5.2 Indicators deriving from the field work                      54
                            findings
                      4.5.3 Indicators deriving from the PAN Parks Foundation            55
              4.4 Conclusion                                                             57

      Chapter 5: Indicator implementation                                               59
            5.1 Introduction                                                             59
            5.2 Implementation of the indicators                                         59
            5.3 Recommendation on indicators and their implementation                    60
            5.4 Conclusion                                                               68

    Chapter 6: Conclusion                                                               70


Appendices:

Appendix 1: Stakeholder interviews with the local government and Tourism Board
Appendix 2: Stakeholder interviews with local Non- Governmental Organizations
Appendix 3: Stakeholder interviews with National Park Management
Appendix 4: Stakeholder interviews with local entrepreneurs
Appendix 5: Indicator rating against 5 criteria




                                                               ThesiThesis Report   3
                              Acknowledgements

This thesis work would not have been possible without the supportive guidance of my
supervisor Niek Beunders. I would like to express my deepest thanks for valuable and
thoughtful advice, support and encouragement especially in difficult times, as well
as for endless patience in giving feedback on how to improve my writing.

I would like to express my gratitude to the employees at the Soomaa National Park
who supported my colleague Antje Toebbe and me in the preparation as well as
conduction of the field work. My particular thanks go to Rait Parts and Murel Marivee
for their severe support in providing information, organizing the different interview
appointments as well as for their numerous translations. Moreover, I would like to
thank all the different stakeholders at the Soomaa National Park who were consulted
about this topic for dedicating their time and effort.

Also I would like to thank Mylene van der Donk for her valuable advice and
comments on the subject as well as for providing contact details from the PAN Parks
Foundation. Furthermore I would like to thank Mrs. Mayer and Mr. Vancura for their
help in explaining the PAN Parks concept relating socio-cultural and economic
aspects to me.

My special thanks go to my good friend and colleague Antje Toebbe, who always
has been a precious aid during the whole process of writing. Moreover I would I like
to express my gratefulness to my family and close friends whose encouragement
and support facilitated writing this thesis.




                                                           ThesiThesis Report   4
                              Executive summary

To create a synergy between nature protection and sustainable tourism
development in favour of local communities in and around protected areas in
Europe the Protected Area Network, PAN Parks was established in 1997, funded by
the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and the Dutch Molecaten Company. The
PAN Parks Network is lacking means on how to demonstrate and monitor its
strategy’s effectiveness, especially in terms of community benefits.

Therefore this thesis assignment deals with the topic on how socio- cultural and
economic impacts of a PAN Parks membership can be measured and monitored.
This question is approached with a case study at the Soomaa National Park in
central Estonia. This park is the commissioner of the thesis assignment and a current
pending member of the Protected Area Network.

Based on this context and problem analysis the overall objective of the thesis
assignment is to suggest a methodology for the Soomaa National Park on how to
measure the socio-cultural and economic impacts associated with its PAN Parks
membership, once it is part of the network. The topic is investigated with the help of
the following research questions:



   1. How can socio-cultural and economic impacts in sustainable tourism be
       measured?
   2. How can socio-cultural and economic impacts in PAN Parks be measured?
   3. How can socio-cultural and economic impacts relating the PAN Parks
       membership at the Soomaa National Park be measured?
   4. How can the Soomaa National Park implement the process of measuring
       socio-cultural and economic impacts in relation to the PAN Parks network?
   5. Which conclusions can be deducted and which recommendations can be
       given for measuring socio- cultural and economic impacts of the PAN Parks
       membership at the Soomaa National Park?


Different research methods are used in order to answer the research questions
encompassing desk and field research. The desk research involves the consultation
on different sources of literature. A field work period at the Soomaa National Park
delivers the input for answering the question on how socio-cultural and economic
impacts relating the PAN Parks membership at the Soomaa National Park can be
measured. The field work involves the use of semi-structured interviews and therefore
can be classified as qualitative research. It consults different key stakeholders
involved in tourism development in the Soomaa National Park.

Wanting to take measurements in sustainable tourism brings along the difficulty that
the definitions vary. Common principles exists however are implemented differently.
Nevertheless, indicators in sustainable tourism can serve to undertake measurements.
However, first, criteria need to be specified. Therefore literature stresses to define
those criteria and related indicators at a local level: by consulting key stakeholders
                                                           ThesiThesis Report   5
on the most essential issues in tourism as well as on their specific local objectives.
Once the criteria are specified, indicators can be suggested and then implemented
based on the following steps: data collection, data analysis and reporting as well as
monitoring. With the help of defining indicators tourism planning aspects can be
improved.

In order to be able to measure these specific impacts in relation to a PAN Park, first
the specific approach how the PAN Parks concept implements sustainable tourism
development is being elaborated on and its specific criteria concerning socio-
cultural and economic aspects are portrayed. What is important to realize is that
every PAN Park sets up a sustainable tourism development strategy (STDS). This
strategy itself is being monitored, however the effect of the strategy on the PAN Parks
region not. Based on these findings indicators are being suggested, corresponding to
those impacts, which the STDS leaves on the PAN Parks area. They serve as the
foundation for defining indicators for the Soomaa National Park at a local level.

In the case of the Soomaa National Park, the consultation of different stakeholder
gave valuable input for narrowing down the criteria at a local level.
Overall, the stakeholders are rather consent about the most important socio-cultural
and economic issues connected to tourism, as well as carry relatively clear
objectives for tourism development in relation to the PAN Parks membership
concerning socio-cultural and economic aspects. It was apparent that almost all
issues were covered with an objective, despite two of them. This however clarified
that the process of the identification of the indicators is already beneficiary for the
National Park: it can encourage discussion about these issues and therefore can also
benefit tourism planning. Based on the findings of the field work, different indicators
are suggested. Afterwards these local indicators are added with those deriving from
the PAN Parks Foundation.

Based on that situation different recommendations can be given: First, the Soomaa
National Park should discuss about those objectives, which solely derive from the
PAN Parks Foundation, not being mentioned during the field work findings. Special
attention needs to be paid to those current issues mentioned by the stakeholders
during the field work, which lack an objective. Further, the Soomaa National Park is
advised to make use of two different categories of indicators: The first category
responds to those objectives mentioned during the field work. The second one
encompasses recommended indicators, corresponding to those objectives the PAN
Parks Foundation carries, which were not mentioned at a local level.

Regarding the implementation phase of the indicators, the following
recommendations can be given: First, it is advised to organize the process based on
a participatory approach; involving different stakeholders and assigning them
different task.

Concerning data collection it is recommended to group the different primary data
required into two different studies: the first involving a tourist questionnaire, the
second involving a resident’s survey.


                                                            ThesiThesis Report   6
Considering the time of conduction, it needs to be ensured that the indicators are
collected before the Soomaa National Park obtains its PAN Parks membership. That
way, adequate comparison of data can be made possible: first before the National
Park is a PAN Park as well as after the membership is given some time to take its fruits.

In order to ensure that the outcomes of the indicators are shared among the
stakeholders it is recommended to assign the reporting of every indicator to the local
PAN Parks group leader. Further it is recommended to deliver the outcomes to the
PAN Parks Foundation. This way they can draw conclusion for the effectiveness of
their strategy as well.

The process of data collection, analysis and reporting is recommended to be
repeated periodically to determine the changes over time and to make possible
management adjustments. The first one is recommended to take place after one
year, starting from the date the first data collection was realized. Additionally, the
indicators itself should be reviewed periodically to control whether they are indeed
delivering the desired results. If not, they need to be adjusted.

The Protected Area Network should promote the use of indicators at other future
PAN Parks. Future pending members of the network should be encouraged to define
their indicators as well as implement them the first time, before they obtain the
membership. This study can serve as a case study to learn from. Once the pending
members have obtained their membership, the indicators can be monitored over
time and realize possible improvement on the socio-economic situation within each
PAN Parks region. First, this could benefit tourism planning processes relating socio-
cultural and economic aspects at different pending PAN Parks members. At the
same time it could give those future members a feedback on the effectiveness of
the strategy relating socio-cultural and economic benefits for the wider region.
Likewise, once different parks report their outcomes of the indicators to the PAN
Parks Foundation it can help PAN Parks to deduct their conclusions on the
effectiveness of the network, relating these aspects from. This also enables to make
possible adjustments in the overall strategy, if necessary. Finally, once more parks
make use of common indicators the effectiveness of the strategy can be compared
among the different member parks.




                                                              ThesiThesis Report   7
                              Chapter 1: Introduction

1. Background analysis
Clean water, fresh air, abundant flora and fauna. Europe’s Natural parks have
tremendous value: they are full of pristine nature and wildlifei. Protected areas are an
essential source of energy and tranquillity for our industrialized society. This wilderness
does not only have a high social value but also greatly contributes to the protection
of biodiversity. However, Europeans lack pride and awareness of these natural
treasures. Consequently investment and public attention is missing. Wilderness areas
are under threat. Research by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) uncovered
that less than one per cent of Europe’s protected areas meet WWF’s criteria for well
managed parks. Most of them are stated to be in bad conditionii.

But it is not only nature that needs support and attention. Often, the management of
protected areas finds itself in an ambivalent position. A balance needs to be find
between the needs for nature protection as well as for local communities. Solely, the
designation of a rural or wilderness area into a protected area mainly implies rules
and regulations, which tremendously affect local people’s life’s, creating tension
and economic cutbacksiii. This might include for example, the prohibition of firewood
collection, berry picking, hunting and restricted agricultural activitiesiv. At the same
time, agricultural production is becoming less and less profitable. This leads people in
and around protected areas suffer socio- economic difficultiesv.

Tourism, if conducted in a sustainable way, can serve a two folded mission for these
protected areas: giving economic value to the nature and therefore supporting
conservation as well as creating new income opportunities for rural communities. It
can create positive socio-cultural and economic impacts for the region, including
increased quality of life, local pride and awareness on the natural and cultural
values. In best practice, tourism operates in harmony with the region, balancing the
needs of community development while preserving natural resources. Yet, especially
in rural areas knowledge is lacking on how to plan and manage tourism in such a
way that its negative impacts are minimized while the positive ones are being
maximizedvi.

To promote and facilitate sustainable tourism development in and around protected
areas, PAN Parks was founded in 1997 by the WWF and the Dutch Molecaten
company. PAN Parks, as a non- profit organization strives to preserve Europe’s
protected areas, utilizing tourism as a tool for nature conservation. By giving
economic value to natural areas via tourism, conservation goals are being
supportedvii. The network brings the management of the different pristine wilderness
areas together, aiming at finding a balance between the ecological, socio-cultural
as well as economic needs for each area and its people. Its logo represents a
“reliable and respectable trademark for conservation management and sustainable
developmentviii”. “High quality tourism products, well balanced with the needs of
community developmentix” are core values associated with this brand. Every park
that wants to join the network needs to fulfil five basic principles with several specific
criteria attached to them, being international importance of natural value, habitat
as well as visitor management, the creation of a sustainable tourism development
strategy and support of local tourism business partnersx. Currently the network is
                                                               ThesiThesis Report   8
working to expand its scope: several natural parks are applying to join the
organization within the following years. Among them, the commissioner of this thesis
assignment, the Soomaa National Park, located in central Estonia.


1.2 Problem analysis
In literature, there is no universally accepted standard and/ or definition on
sustainable development or its maternal concept sustainable tourism. According to
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) “there are more than 50 certification
programs worldwide that have created national and international standards for
sustainable tourism and ecotourism and more are being created every year”xi. As
there is no one and only defined standard, it is also very complex to measure the
effectiveness of sustainable tourism. However in the long run, every concept needs
to demonstrate that the investment is taking its fruit. Also the PAN Parks network
needs to show that it is delivering the desired results. That it is worth the effort
investing in it.

In PAN Parks, the ecological sustainability is the “starting point” which is given most
attentionxii. PAN Parks members conduct specific scientific research concerning
biodiversityxiii. In addition, the sustainable tourism strategy, which every member park
needs to set up, defines and monitors different environmental protection criteria.
However, ecological aspects are not the only ones which need to be considered
when seeking for tourism to develop in a sustainable way. The PAN Parks concept
also strives for generating socio- cultural and economic benefits for the local
communities living inside and around the protected area. However, up to this point,
these are less visible, particularly less examinedxiv.

In 2005, a research network was created which approaches this topic. One of its
members, Dr. Stuart Cottrell, Colorado State University, conducted a pilot study the
same year in one of the PAN Park members in Poland: Bieszczady National Park. His
research dealt with the question: “Does PAN Parks benefit socio-economic
development in PAN Parks locations?xv” The findings concentrated on the perceived
benefits of local people generated from the PAN Parks status. Further studies were
conducted in member parks in Bulgariaxvi, Finlandxvii, Sweden and Romaniaxviii, taking
local people’s perception on socio- economic benefits related to the PAN Park
network under the magnifying glassxix.


1.2.1 Problem definition
The interesting question, which however still seems to be unanswered is:
.
    How can socio-cultural and economic impacts at a specific PAN Parks be
    measured?


This is why the idea was born to suggest a method, capable of measuring socio-
cultural and economic impacts relating to the PAN Parks concept. It is being
approached with a case study at the Soomaa National Park.

                                                             ThesiThesis Report   9
For the establishment of this method, a park which is not yet a member and which
finds itself in an initial stage of tourism development is the perfect candidate. This
way, adequate comparison of data can be made possible: first data can be
obtained at the beginning of the membership and subsequently after the concept
has taken some time to function.

The assignment has been commissioned by the Soomaa National Park and co-
commissioned by the PAN Parks organisation. For the Soomaa National Park, to
possess such a methodology delivers the benefit to measure, monitor and evaluate
the effects of its PAN Parks membership, relating these socio-cultural as well as
economic aspects. As the concept of sustainable (tourism) development does not
encompass universally accepted guidelines and or indicators, the challenge of this
thesis is to determine the most adequate ones for the Soomaa National Park relating
its PAN Parks membership.


1.3 Research objective
The overall objective of this research is to set up and suggest a methodology on how
to measure socio- cultural and economic impacts in the Soomaa National Park
relating to its PAN Parks membership. Several sub- objectives are linked to this overall
objective: These are being explained in the following section.

First it needs to be uncovered how socio-cultural and economic impacts in
sustainable tourism can be measured. This implies gaining information on which are
the criteria relating socio-cultural and economic desirable impacts of sustainable
tourism. Furthermore, the objective is to uncover which possible existing indicators for
sustainable tourism development are. The intent of this research further is to gain
information on an existing method on how to identify indicators for sustainable
tourism development for a specific area. That further implies to find out on how to
implement such indicators.

In a second step, the research aims to reveal how these socio-cultural and
economic impacts at a PAN Park can be measured. This in turn, involves the need to
uncover which are the desired socio-cultural and economic aspects of the PAN
Parks Foundation. A further sub- objective is to identify possible indicators for
measuring socio- cultural and economic impacts at a PAN Park, on a centralized
level.

The third mayor objective involves uncovering how socio-cultural and economic
impacts relating the PAN Parks membership can be measured at a local level: being
the Soomaa National Park. However, therefore first an adequate research method
needs to be chosen. Certainly it also needs to be defined, which information is
needed in order to be able to define the indicators for the Soomaa National Park.

Moreover, the objective is to find out how the Soomaa National Park can implement
the process of measuring its socio-cultural and economic impacts in relation to the
Protected Area Network. The final objective is to present conclusions and
recommendation for measuring socio-cultural and economic impacts relating its
PAN Parks membership.
                                                             ThesiThesis Report   10
1.4 Research questions

    1. How can socio-cultural and economic impacts in sustainable tourism be
        measured?
    1.1 Which are socio-cultural and economic desirable impacts in sustainable
        tourism?
    1.2 What are possible indicators in sustainable tourism development relating
        socio cultural and economic aspects?
    1.3 How can indicators for sustainable tourism relating socio-cultural and
        economic impacts at a specific area be defined?
    1.4 How can defined indicators be implemented?

    2. How can socio-cultural and economic impacts at a PAN Park be
        measured?
    2.1 Which are socio-cultural and economic desirable impacts of PAN Parks?
    2.2 What are possible indicators for measuring socio- cultural and economic
        impacts at a PAN Park?

     3. How can socio-cultural and economic impacts relating the PAN Parks
        membership at the Soomaa National Park be measured?
    3. 1 What is an adequate research method to define indicators at a local
        level at the Soomaa National Park, considering the PAN Parks
        membership?
    3. 2 Which information is needed for the establishment of the local indicators?
    3. 3 What are possible indicators for measuring these impacts at the Soomaa
        National Park?

     4. How can the Soomaa National Park implemented the process of
        measuring socio-cultural and economic impacts in relation to the
        Protected Area Network Parks?

     5. Which conclusions can be deducted and which recommendations can be
        given for measuring socio- cultural and economic impacts of the PAN
        Parks membership at the Soomaa National Park?



1.5 Methodology
Different research methods are used in order to uncover the information needed,
encompassing desk research as well as field research. The first method involves the
use of secondary data and is based on different sources of literature concerning
sustainable development, sustainable tourism development and its desired impacts,
indicators in sustainable tourism as well as on how to identify and implement
indicators at a destination. Further it involves the consultation on different sources
concerning the PAN Parks Foundation. This information can be obtained from
different sources available on the homepage of the PAN Parks organization as well
as from consultations and explanations of employees from PAN Parks.



                                                           ThesiThesis Report   11
The use of this secondary data, determines the choice for an adequate research
method to be used during the field research at the Soomaa National Park. The field
work encompasses a period of five weeks from the end of February till end of March
2009 and involves the obtainment of primary data.

1.6 Overview on thesis structure

 Relation of sustainable (tourism) development



              1   2   3




     1. Sustainable development                         Socio-cultural impacts
     2. Sustainable tourism development                Economic impacts
     3. Ecotourism (PAN Parks)                         Ecological impacts


          Socio-cultural and economic desirable impacts in sustainable tourism
        are being defined
       Possible indicators of sustainable tourism are being suggested
           A methodology is being suggested, showing how to identify and
        implement indicators at a destination



         PAN Parks socio-cultural and economic desirable impacts are being
          defined
         Possible indicators for the PAN Parks organization are being suggested



             The Soomaa National Park is being introduced
             The research findings are being presented
             Possible indicators for the Soomaa National Park are
              being suggested


                  Recommendation on how to obtain and
                  evaluate the data, concerning socio-
                  cultural and economic impacts of the
                  PAN Parks status of the Soomaa National
                  Park are given



                          Final conclusions and
                          recommendations are given
                                                            ThesiThesis Report   12
                           Chapter 2: Theoretical concepts

2.1 Introduction
This chapter serves as the theoretical framework for the report. It gives an overview
and establishes a link between the theoretical concepts to be applied during the
field research in the Soomaa National Park. It elaborates existing concepts, which
support in finding an approach on how to measure specific impacts in sustainable
tourism development. Therefore first, the concepts of sustainable development and
sustainable tourism development, more specifically of eco-tourism are being
elaborated on. Then, the information is narrowed down to the desirable impacts,
sustainable tourism aims to achieve concerning socio-cultural as well as economic
aspects. Further questions are investigated like: What are possible existing indicators
for sustainable tourism development relating socio- cultural and economic aspects?
And what are methods on how to identify and implement those at a specific
destination?


2.2 Sustainable development
To begin with there is no only one, universally accepted definition of “Sustainable
Development”. Many attempts have been made to define this concept. One widely
used definition, based on the Brundtland Report, 1987, is the following:

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needsxx




          Figure 1: Sustainable development (Source: http://www.gdrc.org/sustdev/definitions.html)


As depicted in figure one, sustainable development aims at establishing a balance
between improving lifestyles and human well-being and preserving the natural
resources, this generation as well as future generation depend on. More concrete,
this form of development should ensure:

   Self-sustaining improvements in productivity and quality of life of communities
    and societies (e.g. poverty alleviation, empowerment).
   Production processes that do not overexploit the carrying and productive
    capacities of the natural resource base (e.g. biodiversity, water).
   Basic human rights and freedom for people to participate in the political,
    economic, social, and environmental spheres of their communities and
    societies.xxi

                                                                            ThesiThesis Report       13
2.2.1 The prism of sustainabilityxxii
The prism of sustainability (see figure 2) clearly defines what sustainable development
intends to accomplish. The prism distinguishes between the different dimensions of
sustainability namely: environmental, social, economic, as well as institutional.

The environmental dimension is defined as the sum of all bio- geological processes
and their elements, comprised as the “environmental capital”. This dimension wants
to keep the stability of the resources, as an economic system can only be
sustainable as long as the amount of resources taken from the environment are
restricted in such a way that these are not overexploited.

The social dimension stresses that all people in a society are able to live a healthy
and dignified life, having access to all necessary resources and facilities. This entails a
social network free of discrimination, which is reinforced by lowering social exclusion
and ensuring a minimum standard of living and human rights. It is referred to as the
“human capital”, encompassing all human expertise, dedication, experience and
behaviour. These kinds of social interaction are regarded as prerequisites for
economic activities.

The economic level intends to satisfy the material needs of humans, implying a
macro- economy which supports employment while simultaneously being stable and
competitive.

Finally, the institutional dimension includes organisations which are governing and
influencing the interaction between people within a society. It underpins the need
for the participation in political decisions in a society, integrating people’s wishes and
ideas. This approach strengthens the identification with political issues and thereby
reinforces democracy.

According to Valentine and Spangenberg the four different dimensions can be
linked to local communities to establish sustainable development. In order to reach
this aim, the four aspects of sustainability have to be consideredxxiii.

Basically, the balance has to be maintained between all the elements within
sustainability. If one of the elements is taken more consideration than the others, a
misbalance is created; leading to unsustainable development. However, one has to
bear in mind that in reality, reaching 100% sustainability is hardly possible. It is more a
dream than a reality. Therefore, when talking about sustainability, the objective more
realistically is to find the most sustainable optionxxiv.




                                                               ThesiThesis Report   14
      Figure 2: Prism of sustainability, (Source: Spangenberg and Valentine, 1999)



2.3 Sustainable tourism
The concept of sustainable tourism is based on the concept of sustainable
development. Consequently, it brings along the same implication than its parental
concept of having no single, clear definition. One widely used definition is the one
from the United Nation World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO):

“Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host
regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. It is envisaged as
leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and
aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential
ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systemsxxv”


Basically, sustainable tourism aims to cover three basic dimensions:

 Ecological sustainability ensures that development is compatible with the
 maintenance of an essential ecological process, biological diversity and biological
 resources.

 Social and cultural sustainability ensures that development increases people's
 control over their lives, is compatible with the culture and values of people
 affected by it and maintains and strengthens community identity.

 Economic sustainability ensures that development is economically efficient and
 that resources are managed so that they can support future generations.xxvi


                                                                               ThesiThesis Report   15
2.4 Ecotourism
Based on the concept of sustainable tourism, different forms of “sustainable” or
“responsible“ tourism emerged: from community based, to pro-poor, fair- trade
tourism or ecotourism. This work will focus on the concept of ecotourism, as tourism
activities within PAN Parks fall in this category. According to the International
Ecotourism Society (TIES) ecotourism is defined as

“Responsible travel to nature areas which conserves the environment and improves
the welfare of local peoplexxvii”


2.5 Socio-cultural and economic desirable impacts of sustainable tourism/
ecotourism
As depicted in the previous section sustainable tourism encompasses three
dimensions being the ecological, the socio-cultural and the economic one. This
section now takes the last two ones under the magnifying glass. In order to be able
to find a way on how to measure certain socio-cultural and economic impacts in
sustainable tourism, first one essential question needs to be answered: what exactly
are those desirable impacts, within the socio-cultural and economic dimension
sustainable tourism wants to attain?

However, after the previous introduction on the concepts of sustainable
development as well as on sustainable tourism development it is not very surprising
that there is no universally excepted list on these socio-cultural as well as economic
desirable impacts of sustainable tourism development. Nevertheless, the following
section provides an idea on possible criteria for socio-cultural and economic
sustainability in tourism, more specifically on eco-tourism. These criteria are the
desirable impacts it wants to approach. One has to bear in mind that socio-cultural
as well as economic aspects are interconnected to each other. The criteria stem
from the paper: “Criteria for sustainable tourism”, produced by ETE, Ecological
Tourism in Europe, in 2009xxviii.


2.5.1 Economic desirable impacts

Increase local income
Income generated via tourism can support the standards of living. It intends to
encourage social security, self- sufficiency, evoking different opportunities for local
people.

Increase local employment
The previous criterion is very much connected to this one. Once income from tourism
is generated, it can also create employment, benefiting the region and its people.
Here, it is important to especially support the employment of local people. In best
case also people who have difficulties in entering the labour market are employed
as well. Education and training sessions therefore play an important role.




                                                            ThesiThesis Report   16
Strengthening of the local economy and of long-term economic viability
This criterion encompasses all activities, which contribute to strengthening the local
economy. This implies to maximize the income that stays in the area, preventing the
money to leak out of the country with e. g. outside investors. In order to strengthen
the local economy, tourism businesses are encouraged to make use of local
suppliers, needed for tourism products or services. Moreover, tourists need to be
encouraged and given the possibility to spend money in local shops, on local service
providers etc. Once the money can circulate in the region it can function as an
economic multiplier, benefiting the region.

Improvement of living conditions
Sustainable tourism can serve as a tool for development, particularly for rural areas,
having the potential to help increase the quality of life and inner rejuvenation of
communities.

Once the income generated by tourism mainly stays in the region, it can be re-
invested in enhancing the standards of living within the community, e. g. like the
improvement of the quality of the infrastructure system, recreational facilities etc.
(This is mainly also needed for attracting tourists). The facilities and services however
can not only be used by tourists, but by locals alike.


2.5.2 Socio-cultural desirable impacts

Participation and local control
Local satisfaction and support is an essential element for tourism to be sustained over
the long run. Therefore local participation and consultation in decision making
processes is highly important. Local people should have the right to decide in which
way their natural and cultural resources are being made use of. The involvement in
decision-making processes can also encourage local awareness and interests for
political decisions.

Satisfaction of the local population with tourism development
Local satisfaction with tourism is mainly connected to the previous criterion. Once
local people are integrated in decision-making processes, they are also mainly more
content with the tourism development in the region. This criterion, however, focuses
more on the attitudes of locals towards tourism: on feelings and perceptions towards
it. It is able to mirror the success of local integration in decision-making processes.
Local satisfaction levels with tourism also affect hospitality towards the tourist,
therefore contributing to the quality of the visitor experience. Often, the satisfaction
level of locals is influenced by the behaviour of tourists. If the tourists behaves in such
a way that he/ she respects the local rules and regulation as well as shows an interest
for the unique characteristics of the host region, it can positively influence the
satisfaction levels of locals.

Strengthening of social and cultural patterns
Sustainable tourism can positively influence feelings of local pride. Once the tourist
shows an interest and appreciation of what the host culture has to offer, self
awareness and pride about their local social and cultural values can be
                                                               ThesiThesis Report   17
encouraged. Certainly this is connected to one prerequisite: the tourist has to show
respect towards local cultural values, particularly cannot destroy or change these
social and cultural patterns.


2.6 Indicators in sustainable tourism
The last section provided an outline on what are basic criteria for sustainable tourism
concerning the socio-cultural and economic dimension. In order to be able to
measure and monitor if these criteria are being fulfilled, they need to be given at
least one, or even more indicators.

However, before dealing with the topic of indicators in sustainable tourism, their
definition needs to be clarified:

“Characteristics or figures that demonstrate the state or the change of the state of a
criterionxxix”

Indicators can serve different purposes. When the indicators are corresponding to
the destinations objectives, as well as address most important issues at a destination,
they can function as a signal for arising issues, but can also serve to measure
performance towards planned objective. That way indicators support to draw
conclusions whether a plan or strategy works effectively. Therefore decisions in
tourism planning can be improvedxxx.

They can be expressed in different ways; namely in quantitative as well as qualitative
measurements:

1. Possible Quantitative measurements are:
     Raw data: (e.g. the number of tourists visiting the destination a year/ month)
     Ratios ( e.g. the ratio of the number of tourists in relation to the number of
       locals)
     Percentages ( e.g. the % of change in tourist arrivals over the last 5 years)

2. Qualitative measurements are:
     Category indices (describe a state of attainment on a grading list: e.g. the
      level of protection of natural areas according to the IUCN Index)
     Normative indicators (relate to the existence of certain elements of tourism
      management, e. g. the existence of a tourism development plan)
     Nominal indicators (relate to the existence of labels e. g. the Blue Flag
      certification label)
     Opinion based indicators (e. g. level of satisfaction of local residents with
      tourism) xxxi




                                                            ThesiThesis Report   18
2.7 Possible indicators in sustainable tourism development relating socio-cultural and
economic impacts
In order to be able to find out about possible indicators in sustainable tourism at a
specific destination, first it is of help to answer the following question: What are
existing indicators for sustainable tourism development relating socio-cultural and
economic desirable impacts? The following section depicts such possible indicators.

Criteria             Possible indicators
(economic)
Income                     Percentage of community income coming from tourism
                           Percentage of local families who have income from tourists
                           Proportion of tourism in GDP
                           Figures that show the seasonality of tourism income
Employment                 Percentage of people employed in tourism or tourism related jobs
                           Percentage of fulltime and part time jobs in tourism
                           Local unemployment rate off-season
                           Percentage of seasonal and year round jobs in tourism
                           Percentage of locals in tourism jobs / Percentage of labour
                            imported
                           Possibilities of on-the-job-training, opportunities for qualification
Strengthening of           Number of local Small and Medium Enterprises related to tourism
local economy              Percentage of local population involved in tourism business
and long-term              Volume of goods coming from local sources
economic viability         Measures taken to cope with and diminish leakages and non-local
                            ownership
                           Measures taken to enable the local economy to obtain maximum
                            benefits from tourism, e. g. via capacity building, small business
                            incentives, credit programmes
                           Amount of additional revenues generated from tourism in other
                            businesses
                           Percentage of annual community expenditures on tourism with
                            regard to the total tourism revenue
                           Changes in costs of living
                           Economic multipliers ( from tourism satellite accounts)
                           Number of tourism businesses in the community, and % owned
                            locally
                           Tourist spending/ per tourist in local economy
Improvement of             Number and quality of infrastructure development stimulated by
living conditions           tourism
                           Percentage of locals who belief that tourism helped bring in new
                            services or infrastructure
                           Percentage of locals using tourism related infrastructure
                           Proportion of tourism revenues reinvested by local administration in
                            public responsibilities
                           Percentage of local who find new recreational activities
                            associated with tourism




                                                                  ThesiThesis Report   19
criteria              Possible indicators
(socio- cultural)
Participation and            Number of places where information on tourism development is
local control                 available
                             Number of people accessing this information
                             Percentage of people that have a clear understanding of the role
                              of sustainable tourism (planning)
                             Percentage of people that participated in discussions and
                              decision-making processes
                             Degree and quality of stakeholder participation in the planning
                              and implementation Processes of tourism development
                             Satisfaction of local inhabitants with participation possibilities
                             Frequency of community meetings and attendance rates
                             Percentage of key stakeholders who are satisfied with access to
                              appropriate information
Satisfaction of              Percentage of locals who believe that tourism helped to bring new
local population              services and infrastructure into the region
with tourism                 Percentage of locals who are satisfied with tourism development
development                  Attitudes of locals towards tourists
                             Percentage of tourists who self identified themselves as culturally
                              and environmentally aware
                             Number of complains by local residents
Strengthening of             Percentage of locals who are proud of their community and
social and cultural           culture
patterns                     General changes in local lifestyle
                             Increase/decrease in cultural activities or traditional events
                             Measures of working with communities on the sensitive
                              presentation and promotion of culture and traditions
                             Percentage of local community who agree that their local culture,
                              their traditions, its integrity and authenticity is being retained
                             Number of local business related to local culture ( food, music,
                              crafts etc)
       Figure 3: criteria and possible indicators for sustainable tourism (Source: Criteria for
       sustainable development, Ecological Tourism in Europe (ETE), Bonn, 2009/ WTO, Sustainable tourism
       development: a guide for local planners. Madrid, 2004


Figure 3 provides an idea on what possible indicators in sustainable tourism
concerning the socio-cultural as well as economic dimension are. It becomes
evident that the range of possible indicators for measuring these impacts is very
broad. Figure 3 should not be understood as a complete or mandatory list. It rather
depicts different possibilities for indicators. It is important to realize that the indicators
should be adjusted and selected according to the specific conditions and needs at
a certain area. Even though they can be defined at a global or national level,
nowadays political bodies like the United Nations realized that especially local
indicators are of great importance. Also the Agenda 21 of the United Nations on
sustainable development stresses the use of specified sustainable tourism indicators
at a local level.xxxii




2.8 Defining local indicators in sustainable tourism
                                                                        ThesiThesis Report    20
The essential question is: How can the most suitable indicators for sustainable tourism
at a specific area be identified? The following section gives an answer to that
question.

As the need for defining and making use of indicators at a local level in sustainable
tourism gained more and more recognition, UNWTO developed a methodology on
how to approach this issue and published a guidebook in 2004. (WTO, Sustainable
tourism development: a guide for local planners. Madrid, 2004)


2.8.1 Methodology: Participatory approach
The UTWTO guidebook suggest to make use of a participatory approach aiming to
uncover most desirable indicators, while integrating the knowledge from different
local tourism stakeholders. As tourism never is an isolated system, but mainly consists
of the interaction of different sub- sectors and stakeholders, it is very important to
consider opinions of all important parties involved. Essential information and input
possibly comes from local authorities, community members, the private tourism
sector and NGOS. In general the local stakeholders have the clearest picture about
which specific aspects are important to be monitoredxxxiii.

The process on the identification of the indicators already intends to be beneficiary
for the area in question. This process requires identifying different issues as well as
objectives regarding tourism development in the region. That in turn raises awareness
about certain issues in tourism and encourages discussions among the stakeholders
about these. Moreover it can help to identify major issues as well as it can help to
define objectives, which in turn can be used to improve management decisions in
tourism planning. The UNWTO suggests making use of workshops for this processxxxiv.

The method developed by the UNWTO provides suggestions on how to identify the
specific indicators for sustainable tourism development at a certain destination. It
encompasses two phases: the indicator preparation as well as the development
phasexxxv.


2.8.2 Indicator preparation phase
The first step serves as an important preparatory phase to uncover the specific
indicators. First, a geographic overview on the area needs to be gained. This is
important to know for which region the indicators should relate to. Moreover a first
understanding about the context of tourism needs to be acquired: Which economic
importance does it have? Most importantly, however, this step aims to identify those
issues as well as objectives local stakeholders consider most important in tourism
development in the region.




2.8.3 Indicator development phase
                                                            ThesiThesis Report   21
The overall aim of this step is to translate the issues and related objectives into
measurable terms: into specific indicators. To do so, the importance of each of the
mentioned issues and objectives needs to be defined. The aim is to reach a
consensus on the most important issues, relevant for the majority of people involved.
The outcome is a list of key issues and related objectives. For those, indicators can be
suggested. These however, first need to be tested, if they are feasible and valuable
to be obtained and monitored over time. Therefore before making final selections,
each of the candidate indicators is being evaluated against five criteria:

 1. Relevance
     Does the indicator respond to a relevant identified issue and or objective
     identified?
     Does it provide helpful information for management decisions?
 2. Feasibility
     Does the information already exist?
     It is worth the costs to obtain the benefit?
 3. Credibility
     Does the information stems from scientifically trustable source? (Only if
     existent)
 4. Clarity
     Can the information be understood clearly?
 5. Comparability
     Can the indicator depict changes over time and can it function as a
     benchmark?

Finally it might be of interest how many final indicators to choose. Actually, there are
no clearly defined limits to the number of indicators. Most important is that to all
significant issues and objectives effecting the destination, an indicator is defined. The
number of indicators depends on the size of the destination, different user groups
and their interests as well as available information. Realistically 10 – 20 indicators are
possible to be monitored. In some cases, it is advised to establish different categories
of indicators, according to their severityxxxvi.


2.8.4 Methodological considerations
Due to this multi- stakeholder approach, the indicator development process mainly
implies lots of negotiating between the tourism stakeholders. The complexity and
disparity of opinion between different local stakeholders should not be
underestimated. Also, often, there is a gap between what the different key
stakeholders consider important aspects to be obtained and what is feasible to be
obtained. Additionally, it is important to bear in mind that indicators are subject to
different interrelations on a destination.




2.8.5 Implementation of indicators
                                                              ThesiThesis Report   22
Once it is defined, which indicators are the most suitable ones for the specific
destination, they have to be implemented. This process first involves obtaining the
required information. Once that is done certainly the information needs to be
evaluated. However, in order to be able to gain benefits out of indicators, they have
to be monitored over the time. This section provides information on how to
implement the defined indicators.


2.8.6 Data collection and analysis
For each of the selected indicator it needs to be organized how the needed data is
being collected, analysed and communicated. Equally important is the
determination of who is in charge for the collection, analysis as well as for the
communication of the information. At those destinations with limited resources
available, a participatory stakeholder approach is suggested. This way, cooperation
among the tourism stakeholders is encouraged as well as the work load is being
shared.

The data collection can be done in two ways: either by consulting existing sources
(usage of secondary data like existing reports, statistics etc) or by obtaining new
data (e. g. primary data like residents or tourists surveys). If no sources are available
yet, it needs to be specified how the data is being extracted.

The stakeholder in charge for analysing the indicator needs to consider, on how to
portray and communicate the indicator to other relevant stakeholders involved.
Indicators can be portrayed in many ways. Mainly they are depicted with the help of
graphics, visuals or symbols. The main intend should be to communicate the
indicator in an understandable and clear way. However, the most essential aspect is
that the indicator is being communicated anyways. Only if the information is being
shared with the other stakeholders involved, it can evoke changes in tourism
planning and decision making. Therefore it needs to be ensured that time and
resources are made available to analyse and communicate the findings.


2.8.7 Monitoring
Generally speaking, the implementation of indicators requires commitment. It can
not be regarded as a one time procedure. In order to make effective use of the
indicators, they have to be reviewed periodically. Monitoring also fulfils the purpose
to evaluate the set of indicators, if they are indeed delivering useful results to the user
or not. If not, they need adjustment or even exclusion. The best solution is to integrate
the indicators in planning and management processxxxvii.




2.9 Conclusion
                                                               ThesiThesis Report   23
This chapter approached the subject on how to measure socio-cultural and
economic impacts in sustainable tourism. By depicting the related theories and
concepts it laid the foundation for finding an answer to that particular question.
Concluding, having learning about the concepts of sustainable development as well
as sustainable tourism development, it becomes evident that definitions on those
concepts vary, even though common grounds can be found.

The prism of sustainability depicted the four different dimensions the concept of
sustainable development encompasses being socio-cultural, economic, ecological
as well as institutional sustainability. Sustainable tourism takes three different
dimensions as its basic, ranging in the area of socio-cultural, economic as well as
ecological sustainability.

Uncovering socio-cultural as well as economic objectives of sustainable tourism laid
the foundation for being able to measure desirable impacts of it. Concluding they
encompass to:

      Increase local income
      Increase local employment
      Strengthen local economy and of long-term economic viability
      Improve living conditions
      Encourage participation and local control
      Ensure satisfaction of the local population with tourism development
      Strengthen social and cultural patterns

However these objectives, also referred to as criteria, are too broad to be put into
measurable terms. This is where indicators in sustainable tourism can serve their
purpose. These can function to measure whether the criteria are being fulfilled or
not, if not to which extend.

The fact that sustainable (tourism) development is not clearly and strictly defined
brings along the consequence that there also is no mandatory, one and only list of
indicators, designed to measure socio-cultural as well as economic impacts in
sustainable tourism. Depicting some of the possible indicators gave a first idea on the
range of possible indicators in sustainable tourism. This however also clarified the
need to define indicators at a local level: This way they can be tailored more
specifically to a certain area.

With the methodology from the UNWTO, a technique was elaborated on, which
enables to define indicators at a local level. Most important is to consult with
different stakeholders at the destination in order to define those indicators.
The aim is to find a common census on the most apparent issues and most important
objectives at a destination relating tourism. If no objective is set yet, the process of
the indicator development can help to define it. This process is stated being
beneficiary for the destination as it encourages communication and thinking about
these issues and objectives in the first place.

In relation to the implementation of indicators, concluding one can say that there
are several steps attached to that: The data for the indicator needs to be obtained,
                                                             ThesiThesis Report   24
then analysed and communicated. Further, indicators have to be monitored over
time in order to fulfil their function.

Altogether implementing indicators seems to be a rather work and time intensive
task, however, if collected, analysed as well as communicated to the relevant
stakeholders at a destination the indicators can play an important role in measuring
success and or failure towards planned objectives in sustainable tourism
development. That in turn has the capacity to trigger changes in decision making
and management, approaching the most sustainable option possible.




                    Chapter 3: The PAN Parks concept

                                                          ThesiThesis Report   25
3.1 Introduction
The PAN Parks concept derives from the concept of sustainable tourism and can be
classified as eco-tourism. As these concepts offer no mandatory standards first it
needs to be clarified: Which are socio- cultural and economic impacts the PAN Parks
concept aims to achieve? And which can be adequate indicators for measuring
those? To answer this question, first an understanding on how the PAN Parks
Foundation approaches the concept of sustainable tourism needs to be provided.
Then it can be narrowed down to the desired socio-cultural and economic impacts.
Taken that information as a basis, indicators are being suggested which are able to
monitor these defined socio-cultural as well as economic impact at a Pan Park. The
indicators suggested in chapter 2, serve as a basic structure, however have to be
specified based on what the exactly the Pan Parks concepts wants to achieve. The
output to be gained of this chapter, being the indicators defined at a PAN Parks
level, serve as input to be used, at the Soomaa National Park.


3.2 PAN Parks Foundation: an introduction

 “PAN Parks Foundation co- operates with protected area managements and
sustainable tourism businesses in order to make it possible to for people to support,
preserve, enjoy Europe’s wilderness!xxxviii”

Europe’s nature is rich of pristine landscapes and wildlife. It is the habitat of bears,
wolves, eagles and bison. Jet, Europeans seem to lack awareness and pride of these
natural jewels. National Parks in Europe miss investments and recognition to protect,
preserve and use these wilderness areas as a source for vital energy, desperately
needed within a more and more industrializing society. To promote and facilitate
sustainable tourism development in protected areas and to increase pride and
knowledge about these natural areas, the PAN Parks Network was founded in 1997
by the WWF and the Dutch Molecaten companyxxxix. “Our vision is no less than to
create the ‘Yellowstone’ and ‘Yosemite’ National Parks of Europe. Parks with
international status, which are known, loved and respected by all Europeans xl.”
presented Dr. Claude Martin, General Director of the WWF the concept more than a
decade ago.

PAN Parks, as a non- profit organisation works to preserve Europe’s protected areas,
utilizing tourism as a tool for nature conservation. By giving economic value to
natural areas via tourism, conservation goals are being supportedxli. The network
brings together the different pristine wilderness areas, aiming to create a synergy
between sustainable tourism development and nature protection trying to find a
balance between the ecological, socio-cultural as well as economical needs for
each area. Its logo represents a “reliable and respected trademark for conservation
management and sustainable development”xlii. High quality tourism products are
being offered, stimulating local community development in and around the
protected area. Every park wanting to join the network needs to apply and fulfil five
basic principles, being explained in the following sectionxliii.


3.3 PAN Park’s principles
                                                             ThesiThesis Report   26
How does PAN             Parks      operationalize         the    concept        of    sustainable   tourism
development?

PAN Parks is based on five principles: three of them mainly addressing the parks
management and two affecting different stakeholders in tourism. (See figure four)

Principle 1 – 3: Management Principle
 Principle 1: Outstanding natural value
 PAN Parks are large protected areas, representative of Europe's natural heritage and of
 international importance for wildlife and ecosystems.
 Principle 2: Habitat management
 Design and management of the PAN Park aims to maintain and, if necessary, restore the
 area's natural ecological processes and its biodiversity
 Principle 3: Visitor management
 Visitor management safeguards the natural values of the PAN Park and aims to provide
 visitors with a high-quality experience based on the appreciation of nature

Principle 4 and 5: Stakeholder Principle
 Principle 4: Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy ( STDS)
 The Protected Area Authority and its relevant partners in the PAN Parks region aim at
 achieving a synergy between nature conservation and sustainable tourism by developing
 and jointly implementing a Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy.
 Principle 5: Legal business partners
 PAN Parks’ tourism business partners as legal enterprises that are committed to the goals of
 certified PAN Parks and the PAN Parks Foundation, and actively cooperate with Local PAN
 Parks Group to implement the PAN Park region’s Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy
 effectively.
       Figure 4 : (Source:http://www.panparks.org/Introduction/Verification/Principles)/ 06.06.09)


The first three principles are a prerequisite for a protected area to apply for a
candidacy or not. These embrace possessing outstanding natural values and
operating with visitor and habitat management, which mainly pursue nature
conservation aims and ensure that tourism is not being introduced to naturally fragile
areas. Particular visitor management wants to ensure that the tourist is adequately
educated about natural values of the area and on sustainable behaviour in order to
decrease their negative impacts they might causexliv.

Principles four and five deal with the operationalization of the sustainable tourism
approach of PAN Parks. Principle four encompasses a sustainable tourism strategy,
which every member park needs to set up. It seeks to ensure sustainable tourism
development for the region: avoiding uncontrolled development of tourism and
benefiting the local communities. As a first step, the candidate park needs to set up
a local PAN Parks group (LPPG). It mainly consists of the protected area authority
and its important partners. That step is very essential as this group is responsible for
the establishment, implementation as well as monitoring of the STDSxlv.


The fifth principle is a supporting tool, for the sustainable tourism strategy. Principle
five works to support the STDS with the help of local and regional businesses. A
business that wants to be one of the PAN Parks partners has to actively contribute to
                                                                                ThesiThesis Report   27
the establishment of the STDS as well as has to fulfil specific criteria of sustainable
operations. These are being set by the local PAN Parks group. The LPPG also has to
verify as well as to monitor the local PAN Parks business partnersxlvi. Concluding, the
five principles have specific criteria and indicators attached to it and together they
aim to ensure to set the concept into practicexlvii.


3.4 Verification System
How does the organisation decide which park qualifies for receiving the PAN Park
status?

It developed a verification system, based on which a candidate park is being
evaluated on. That system encompasses three different steps, depicted in the
following figure:


        Step 1: focuses on the evaluation of principle 1- 3, mainly dealing with
        the park management and its natural resources. The step is being
        conducted with an independent verifier, having the expertise in the field
        of conservation.



        Step 2: encompasses the assessment of principle 4. The sustainable
        tourism strategy needs to be set up and will be checked by independent
        verifiers.




        Step 3: deals with principle 5 and the verification of the local business
        partners. An overall guideline is being provided, however the standards
        for the local business partners are being defined at a local level. The
        performance will be controlled randomly by international experts.



                         Verification of PAN Parks membership

                     Figure 5: (Source : http://www.panparks.org/Introduction/Verification/
                                    PAsandLocalPartners/ 13.05.2009/ (13 :30)


Within the PAN Parks concept there are some weak points, in need to be
considered. One of these areas of critique touches upon the centralized quality level
among all the member parks. As a European concept and “reliable quality
trademark”, one assumes to find equal standards within all the member parks.
However, as different standards are set within each local PAN Park (however based
on a common guideline) differences do exist. Research conducted in this field of
study, by Steward Cottrell in 2004, revealed that also due to socio- cultural,
economic, environmental and institutional differences within each area, there is a
difference on how each park fulfils the principles and criteria set by the PAN Parks
network. This is leading to a disparity of quality standards on a European levelxlviii.
                                                                          ThesiThesis Report   28
Consequently, PAN Parks is in ambivalence in ensuring a quality standard on a
European level, while simultaneously balancing the individual, local conditions to
implement the concept successfully. It seems inevitable, that certain elements have
to be set locally, in order to make the concept work for every individual park’s
condition. This ambivalence can also be related to the indicators, in need to be
adjusted to local conditions.

After having obtained an overview on the PAN Parks concept and how it is
organized, the interesting question is, which are the desired socio-cultural and
economic impacts it likes to achieve? Principle four and five leave socio-cultural as
well as economic impacts on the protected area and its local communitiesxlix.
Therefore they are taken as the basis for defining the more specific objectives PAN
Parks holds considering socio-cultural as well as economic impacts.

3.5 PAN Parks socio-cultural and economic desirable impacts

3.5.1 Economic desirable impactsl

Increase local income
Income from tourism leaves different benefits for the region. It can support the
standards of living within the communities in and around the protected area as it
enables investment. PAN Parks particularly works to increase the income level for the
local business partners, which in turn also increases those of the region. That is done
via marketing activities intended to increase tourism demand for the business
partners.


Increase local employment
Employment is highly connected with the previous criteria. As particularly for rural
areas, employment possibilities are limited, PAN Parks aims to create an economic
benefit for the local business partners, which in turn can generate new employment
for local people. However, one needs to consider that the local business partners are
mainly small or medium enterprises, which cannot generate significant numbers of
employment. Nevertheless they can, even though on a small scale. New
employment opportunities also leave a positive effect on socio-cultural aspects
within the community: improved standards of living but also new perspectives for
people living in rural areas. As mainly skills and know how are missing for various
people to enter the tourism labour market, PAN Parks also wants to encourages
education and training.

Strengthening of local economy and long-term economic viability
In order to strengthen the local economy and to ensure economic long term viability
of it, revenues from tourism need to circulate in the local economy, rather than
leaking out of it.

PAN Parks aims to increase the income of the local business partners. Activities
         related to supporting this income strengthens the local economy as the

                                                            ThesiThesis Report   29
           money benefits these local enterprises. The question is: What is PAN Parks’
           strategy to put that into practice?

The STDS contains an integrated communication and marketing plan. It is intended
          to facilitate marketing efforts, on different market segments. The aim is to
          attract a clientele that is looking for a high quality, nature based holiday
          experience. Moreover, with the help of the marketing plan, the business
          partners are encouraged to obtain a clearer profile on their customers:
          understand their expectations and needs.

Furthermore, PAN Parks aims to facilitate access to the international market by
including business partners in the tourism packages from the PAN Parks Tour
Operator. Moreover, the PAN Parks Foundation provides a communication channel
for the local business partners through the PAN Parks website, where also bookings
can be realized As the business partners also receive the PAN Parks logo for their
commitment, it also serves as a marketing tool for their businesses: representing a
quality trade mark, operating according to principles of sustainable tourism
developmentli.

As the National Park also receives the logo of the PAN Parks Foundation, the attempt
is to gain marketing benefits for the region.

To prevent the income to vanish out of the region by the import of products and
services, principle five encourages the business partners to make use of local
suppliers (for example for needed food, lodging, transportation of the tourists etc)
Moreover they are encouraged to give visitors the opportunity to buy local products
and souvenirs, strengthening the local economy.

Improvement of living conditions
This criterion is also very much connected with the income tourism derives and the
precondition that this income not only stays in the region, but also triggers further
investment, if possible. That could reflect itself for example in the construction and or
improvement of certain public facilities. In respect to the construction of buildings
etc PAN Parks particularly encourages to make use traditional building style.



3.5.2 Socio-cultural desirable impactslii

Increase local participation and control
Part of PAN Park’s philosophy is that local people should have control over the
tourism development process. In order to ensure this, people who are affected by
tourism in any way, need to be given the chance to participate in decision making
and planning processes.

The local PAN Parks group (LPPG) is made up of different local people involved and
or affected by tourism: tourism entrepreneurs, NGOs, government officials as well as
people living in the area. This group intends to inform different stakeholders as well as
residents in the area about sustainable tourism and PAN Parks as well as about
                                                              ThesiThesis Report   30
participation possibilities in tourism planning and decision making via the meetings
organized by the LPPG.

Networking and knowledge sharing is also aimed to be encouraged. The STDS needs
to be written from different stakeholders involved, which already establishes contacts
and cooperation. Additionally, networking among the PAN Parks tourism business
partners is facilitated as PAN Parks offers a business newsletter as well as an intranet


Ensure local satisfaction with tourism development
Satisfaction levels generally mirror the quality of the previous criterion, as well as the
tourist behaviour towards the local people.The tourist’s behavior also influences the
attitude of locals regarding tourism. Once the tourist behaves disrespectful, the
satisfaction level towards tourism probably decreases. Therefore, the STDS contains
an integrated communication and marketing plan, aiming to attract a clientele,
who is environmentally and culturally sensitive to the values of the area, who respect
local rules and regulations. That type of client might also leave a positive effect on
local satisfaction levels.

Strengthen social and cultural patterns
PAN Parks encourages local people to sustain their traditional social and cultural
          patterns. This includes the support of economic activities related to local
          culture, like the production/ selling of tradition crafts, music etc. Once
          tourists appreciate these social and cultural patterns, local pride and
          awareness about these values rises.


3.6 Indicator development at a PAN Parks level
For the definition of indicators, relating the PAN Parks concept, the STDS needs to be
taken under consideration as it monitors certain aspects which relate to socio-
cultural and economic benefits deriving from the Protected Area Network. However,
what is not monitor are those effects which the STDS leaves on the PAN Parks region.

The following graph depicts, from left to right, first the general criteria deriving from
the concept of sustainable tourism development, then the elements which are
specified for the PAN Parks network, as well as possible indicators corresponding to
the specified criteria. The indicators suggested in chapter two serve as input for those
suggested to the PAN Parks Foundation. The proposed indicators have been
checked according to their relevance, feasibility, credibility, clarity as well as
comparability. The process can be found in the appendices five of this report.




Criteria                   Specified criteria               Indicators
                                                              ThesiThesis Report   31
     (economic)
     1. Increase local Income    1.1 Increase tourism income in      1.1 – 1.2 Average spending per
                                      the PAN Park region               customer / per stay on
                                                                        tourism related products or
                                                                        services (accommodation,
                                                                        trips etc)
     2. Increase local           2.1 Increase employment             2.1 Total number of local
       employment                     opportunities for local           people employed by
                                      people in tourism in the          tourism in the PAN Parks
                                      PAN Park region                   region
                                 2.2 Support local education         2.2 Number of people trained
                                      and training                      in tourism related topics in
                                                                        the PAN Parks region
     3.Sustain local economy      3.2 Increase tourism demand        3.2 Total number of tourists
       and long-term                   for the PAN Park region          visiting the PAN Park
       economic viability         3.3 Increase income for the        3.3 Average spending per
                                       local economy via tourists       customer / per stay on local
                                       spending on local                economy (spending on
                                       economy, ( food,                 food, souvenirs, facilities etc)
                                       souvenirs, food etc)
     4.Improvement of living     4.1 Improvement of local services 4. 1 Percentage of local people
       conditions                    and infrastructure being            in the PAN Parks region who
4.                                   consistent with local building      believe that tourism helped
                                     style and atmosphere                to bring in new services or
                                                                         infrastructure
                                                                    4. 2 Percentage of local people
                                                                         in the PAN Parks region who
                                                                         belief that the tourism related
                                                                         infrastructure development is
                                                                         consistent with the local
                                                                         building style and
                                                                         atmosphere

     Criteria                    Specified criteria                  Indicators
     (socio- cultural)
     5.Encourage participation   5.1 Increase networking and         5.1 Percentage of tourism
       and local control              knowledge sharing                   stakeholder satisfied with
                                      among tourism                       the level of networking and
                                      stakeholders in the PAN             knowledge sharing at the
                                      Park region                         PAN Parks region
                                 5.2 Promotion of information        5.2 Number of local people in
                                      about sustainable tourism         the PAN Parks region
                                      and its participation             knowing about sustainable
                                      possibilities among local         tourism and the possibility to
                                      people                            participate in decision
                                                                        making processes
     6.Satisfaction of local     6.1 Sustain satisfaction of local   6.1 Percentage of locals who
       population with tourism       population with tourism              are satisfied with tourism
       development               6.2 Attract environmentally              development in relation in
                                    and culturally sensitive              the PAN Parks region
                                    clientele to the PAN Parks       6.2 Percentage of tourists who
                                    region                                consider themselves as
                                                                          environmentally and
                                                                        ThesiThesis Report    32
                                                                                  culturally interested/
                                                                                  aware, in relation to the
                                                                                  overall number of tourists
7.Strengthening of social        7.1 Increase local awareness               7.1 Percentage of locals who
  and cultural patterns              and pride                                  are proud of their
                                 7.2 Retain cultural traditions                 community and culture
                                     and patterns                           7.2 Percentage of local
                                 7.3 Retain traditional                         community who agree that
                                     economic activities                        their local culture, their
                                                                                traditions, its integrity and
                                                                                authenticity is being
                                                                                retained
                                                                             7.3 Number of local business
                                                                                related to local culture
                                                                                (handicrafts, music, food)
       Figure 6: Socio-cultural as well as economic indicators relating the PAN Parks network


The indicators depicted in figure 6 can serve a two folded mission. First of all, they
provide an input to be used for the indicator identification at the Soomaa National
Park. Still, the local stakeholders at the Soomaa National Park have to be consulted
about the current socio-cultural as well as economic issues and their objectives
relating tourism development at the local level. If these are not corresponding to
those depicted in figure 6, they have to be adjusted to local more specific issues and
or objectives.

As a second purpose these indicators could also be made use of at other pending
PAN Parks, despite the Soomaa National Park. Still, the indicators need to be
adjusted to local conditions and priorities, with the help of the preparatory phase of
determining the indicators. However, this case study at the Soomaa National Park
could teach other parks on how to define and approach as well as implement them.

By the time more parks would make use of these indicators, first it would benefit
tourism planning processes at a local level of the pending member parks.
Second it could also help in monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the PAN
Parks Foundation, relating its socio-cultural as well as economic dimension. That
would bring along the benefit to make possible adjustments in the strategy, once
weak points are identified. That in turn would require, that every park who is
implementing indicators, needs to communicate their outcomes periodically to the
PAN Parks Foundation. The PAN Parks Foundation then could define indicators, which
are being used by all the parks in order to be able to make adequate comparison
and draw their conclusions.




3.7 Conclusion

                                                                                ThesiThesis Report   33
This chapter approached the question on how to possibly measure socio-cultural
and economic impacts in sustainable tourism, however more specifically in PAN
Parks.

PAN Parks is based on the concept of sustainable tourism. As discovered earlier, the
concept of sustainable tourism can be operationalized in different ways. Therefore,
first an understanding needed to be established on how PAN Parks sets sustainable
tourism into practice.

The starting point of PAN Parks was uncovered of being that of nature conservation.
It makes use of sustainable tourism, in order to reach nature conservation aims while
simultaneously supporting local community development.

Applicant parks have to fulfil certain principles: being high natural values, visitor as
well as habitat management, the establishment of a sustainable tourism strategy as
well as the cooperation and support of local business partners, which support the
ideals of the Foundation. Among these principles, especially four and five deal with
approaching socio-cultural as well as economic sustainability.

The more general criteria of sustainable tourism introduced in chapter two were
narrowed down to what the PAN Parks Foundation wants achieve. However,
principles four and five also measure certain aspects, which are included in these
findings. Mainly these measurements involve the performance of the principles itself.
They are not being included in the suggested indictors which follow as they are
already covered. However, those socio-cultural as well as economic aspects, which
relate to the PAN Parks region, can be found in the suggestion of indicators,
corresponding to the PAN Parks Foundation. The indicators suggested for sustainable
tourism served as a pattern, to deduce those for PAN Parks. As learned from chapter
two, indicators have to fulfil basic criterion being relevance, feasibility, credibility,
clarity as well as comparability, against which every indicator was evaluated.

The final conclusions to be drawn out of the chapter are two folded. First the
indicators, defined for the PAN Parks Networks, can be used for the definition of the
indicators at the Soomaa National Park. Local stakeholders have to be asked about
the specific socio-cultural as well as economic issues, as well as about their
objectives towards the PAN Parks membership, in order to possibly adjust the
indicators to local conditions.

Moreover, this set of indicators could function to encourage other future PAN Parks
to make use of indicators, which in turn profits local tourism planning processes.
Certainly these would need to be adjusted to local conditions. The results of the
indicators could be communicated to the PAN Parks Foundation, which could be
used for monitoring and or evaluating purposes of the networks strategies in relation
to the socio-cultural as well as economic dimension of sustainability.




                                                              ThesiThesis Report   34
                                       Chapter 4

4.1 Introduction
This chapter wants to define adequate indicators for the Soomaa National Park,
capable to measure specific socio-cultural as well as economic impacts connected
to the PAN Parks network.

The first section of the chapter introduces the research methodology, as well as the
study setting: The Soomaa National Park. As a first preparatory phase in defining the
adequate indicators an introduction is given on the parks political boundaries: at a
county as well as municipality level. Moreover the importance of tourism in the
surrounding areas is elaborated on.

The section that follows narrows the information down to the socio-cultural and
economic issues in tourism, presenting the first part of the field work findings. Its
second part depicts the objectives which the different key stakeholders have
towards the PAN Parks membership relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects.
The findings are based on the consultation of different stakeholders involved being:
the local government with the Tourism Board, the NGO sector, the National Park
Management as well as the local entrepreneurs.

A conclusion on mentioned socio-cultural as well as economic issues in tourism,
considered of importance by the majority of the tourism stakeholders in the region of
the Soomaa National Park on the one, and about the desired objectives regarding
the PAN Parks membership concerning socio-cultural and economic aspects, on the
other side follows.

That information serves as the input of possible indicators, intended to correspond to
the locally defined mayor issues as well as mentioned objectives. The suggested
indicators are based on those from the PAN Parks Foundation. They are followed by
a set of indicators, corresponding to those objectives the PAN Parks networks hold,
which were not identified during the field work.

The essence to be gained out of this chapter is a suggestion of indictors presented in
two categories: One, which is directly corresponding to locally set objectives, and
the second stemming from the PAN Parks Foundation, which were not being
mentioned during the field work. This is done in order to set priorities for the indicators
implementation.


4.2 Research methodology
As learned from desk research, in order to uncover the information required to define
indicators at a local level, a participatory method is suggested, involving different
local stakeholders. The recommended method by the UNWTO, suggest making use
of workshops in order to uncover the information. As due to limited resources and
time, it is not possible to organize an indicator workshop at the Soomaa National
Park, the different stakeholders are being consulted separately. The stakeholders can
be grouped into:

                                                               ThesiThesis Report   35
      Government representatives and the Tourism Board
      Different NGOs
      The National Park Management
      Local tourism entrepreneurs

At the beginning of the field research, a stakeholder meeting is initiated in order to
introduce the researcher and the assignment. During the rest of the time, altogether
25 semi- structured interviews with the different most important stakeholders are
being conducted. The interviews are being translated by one of the National Park
Management employees.

The semi-structured interview is chosen out of different reasons. First, it enables the
interviewees to express their opinion, concerns and feelings. Moreover, due to its
semi-structured nature, it allows the conservation to flow. This gives the freedom to
explore specific views in more detail. This form of interview does possess a general
outline of standardized questions, which make comparison of the information
possibleliii.


4.3 Study setting: The Soomaa National Park

4.3.1 Introduction
The Soomaa National Park is located in the Republic of Estonia which lies at the
northeast peak of the Baltic countries (see figure 10). With its 1.5 million inhabitants,
on 45 227 km2, the country is quite sparely populatedliv




                                                              ThesiThesis Report   36
       Figure 7: The Soomaa NP related to Northern Europe (Source: Soomaa National Park
As               management 09)

depicted in figure seven, in the land locked intermediary area of Estonia, one finds
the Soomaa National Park also known as “the Estonian natural treasure”. “Soomaa”
being the Estonian name for swampland clearly lives up to its name as it is a large
complex of wide-ranging swamps. In 1993, the National Park was established in order
to protect the 39 638, 9 ha area of outstanding nature: showing swamps, rivers and
rich forest in their natural conditionlv. Based on these outstanding natural values,
Soomaa is part of the most important nature protection areas within Europe and
became a CORINE biotope area in 1997. Also, the area is acknowledged as an
internationally important bird area. In 2004, Soomaa was on the tentative list of
UNESCO World Heritage Siteslvi.


4.3.2 Natural values
Soomaa National Park offers outstanding natural values as a wilderness destination.
The third largest protected area within Estonia shows a high abundance of plant,
animal and fungus species typical for the country. In Soomaa, five different swamps
can be found which are divided by wide flood plains. The swamps have a high
ecological value as they are an essential breeding site for several rare bird species,
like the golden eagle, black stork and black grouse. Altogether 127 different bird
species as well as several fish and amphibians can be found. In total 46 different
mammals are home to the protected area like beavers, otters, elks, roe deer, wild
boar, lynx, wolfs and brown bears. Moreover the bog landscape is very rich of rare
plants and especially vascular plant species, accounting for 554 different typeslvii.


4.3.3 Cultural values
Within Europe swamp landscapes nearly disappeared, which adds a particular
unique ethnographic and historical value to the area. The formation of the swamps
and the river network goes back to history as they were formed 100 000 years ago.
During the spring time, melting water from the nearby Sakala upland as well as
heavy rains lead to an elevation of the water level of the rivers. This leads to the so
called “fifth season”: the flooding. Normally, this involves hundred square kilometres
of flooding caused by a risen water level of six metres. This natural process is rooted in
the history and way of life of the people from the area, as it is a yearly process:
lasting about 2-3 weeks. It has its effect on local culture and traditions. One of them is
the log boat, which used to be the only mean of transportation during times of
floodinglviii. Also, farm architecture threshing barn houses from the 19th century can
be found in the park. Typical handicraft and local foods are being produced from
local people. Moreover many years of soviet occupation of Estonia left traces on
local culture within the Soomaa National Park, which can be seen todaylix.


4.3.4 Management and administrative boundaries
The protected area is managed and financed by the Estonian ministry of
environment. The Soomaa National Park is consequently obligated to cohere with
the laws, regulations and orders of the government of the Republic of Estonia.

                                                                            ThesiThesis Report   37
Management has divided the area according to different nature conservation aims
into three different zones. 0, 4% of the SNP is designated as strict nature protection
area, in which any form of economic activity is prohibited in order to ensure the
natural development of the ecosystem. 22 different special management zones
cover 77, 3% of the Protected Area which aim at preserving natural and semi natural
landscape and bio diversity. The rest of the area is divided into the limited
management zone, making up 22, 2% of the national park. Within this zone,
economic activity, while complying with the rules and regulations of the protected
area is legitimatedlx.


4.4 Preparatory phase of the indicators
As learned from literature the identification of indicators requires two steps: one
preparatory phase, which collects necessary information involving different
stakeholders and one which prioritizes and defines the indicators. This section deals
with the first one.

As a starting point, an overview of the National Park and its surrounding communities
needs to be gained. In order to know for which area the indicators are supposed to
function for, the geo-political boundaries of the National Parks need to be defined.
Moreover questions are being uncovered like: Which is the economic importance of
tourism? What are the main sources of income in the defined area? Afterwards the
findings of the field work are being presented. Those involve the socio-cultural and
economic issues associated to tourism at the one, as well as objectives relating
socio-cultural as well as economic aspects towards the PAN Parks membership on
the other hand.


4.4.1 Political boundaries
From a political point of view, the Soomaa National Park lies within the boundaries of
two different counties: Pärnu as well as Viljandi (See figure eight). Consequently, the
Soomaa National Park is influenced by both of the counties decisions.

             Figure 8: Country administration of Soomaa National Park (Source; Soomaa National
                       Park Management 09




                                                                         ThesiThesis Report      38
Moreover, the National Park is embedding from different municipalities, namely Tori and
Suure- Jaani municipality in the north, and Paikuse and Kopu municipality in the south of the
National Park (See figure 9)




              Figure 9: Local Municipalities of Soomaa NP (Source: Soomaa National Park Management
                          2009)


To get an idea about the size of the area, Suure-Jaani municipality is the biggest with
1250 inhabitants and 46 villages. Its neighbour on the left, Tori municipality is the
smallest of the four. In the south, Paikuse municipality consist of 3900 inhabitants with
21 villageslxi. Its bordering municipality of Kopu accounts for 800 inhabitants in 9
different villageslxii. The people living inside the National Park belong to different
municipalities, out of these four and in 1999 made up only 99 peoplelxiii.


4.4.2 Importance of tourism
The interesting question is: for which of the rural areas does tourism play an
economic role? And how important is it? Tourism development in the Soomaa
National Park currently is at an early development stage. Inside the park, the tourism
supply facilities are rather limitedlxiv. Therefore, the surrounding villages -located within
these four municipalities- play an important supporting role. The majority of the tourist
(90%) travels to the Soomaa National Park from the city of Pärnu, which is located on
the Baltic coast, 40 kilometres west of the parklxv. Therefore, the villages which are
located on the way from Pärnu to the National Park like Sindi, Tori and Joesuu
receive most of the touristslxvi (See figure ten)




                                                                         ThesiThesis Report     39
      Figure 10: Settlements of the Soomaa region (Source: Soomaa National Park
                  Management 2009)


The importance of tourism varies between the different areas involved: however only
plays a rather small economic importance.

For the municipality of Paikuse, at this point of time tourism plays a rather small
economic role. Altogether about 40 out of 3900 inhabitants are involved and the
sector accounts for about 5 % of the total incomelxvii. Within the municipality of Kopu,
about 10 people are fully employed in tourism out of a total of 800 inhabitants. For
the majority of the people, tourism only generates an extra income. It is rather seen
as a hobby than a stable source of income. Especially, the small scale tourism does
not provide people with a full incomelxviii.

In the municipality of Suure-Jaani, the importance of tourism is quite low. Some single
entrepreneurs offer accommodation facilities. However in general, within the area
very few job opportunities can be found. Therefore people work for the municipality
as well as practice small scale agriculturelxix. The municipality of Tori regards tourism
as an important source of income for the future. However, tourism is limited to
seasonal income opportunities. With the municipality of Tori, small scale agriculture
and the building industry are important sources of incomelxx.

However, the importance of tourism for these rural areas is growing. More and more
tourists are interested in nature based holidays. Based on information of the Tourism
Board in Pärnu, people spend less time in the cities but prefer to spend time in the
rural areaslxxi. All four municipalities see tourism as an opportunity for the future.



4.4.3 Socio- cultural and economic issues connected to tourism in the Soomaa
National Park region
                                                                           ThesiThesis Report   40
As stated before, the findings are based on the consultation of different stakeholders
involved. In order to group their opinion, they are classified in four different
stakeholder groups, being: local government and tourism board, local NGOS, the
park management as well as the local entrepreneurs:


             I. Local government and tourism board
      The following results are based on interviews with government officials of the
      four local municipalities of Paikuse (Mr. Erkmann), Kopu (Mr. Kiviloo), Suure-
      Jaani (Mrs. Kuusk), and Tori (Mrs. Link). As well as from the two county
      governments of Pärnu and Viljandi (Mr. Metsoja and Mr. Kase) Additionally,
      Mrs. Kesküll from the Tourism Board in Pärnu was questioned.


      I.I Economic issues in tourism

      Insufficient income
      Earning a stable income in these rural geographic setting is very difficult,
      stated Mrs. Kuusk, representative of the Suure- Jaani municipality.lxxii. This
      situation also leaves further traces behind, besides others, on the
      demographic situation. Due to the overall lack of income opportunities many
      people move into the cities, explained, among others Kuno Erkmann, Paikue
      municipalitylxxiii. Also, tourism in the Soomaa National Park is a very seasonal
      activity, consequently does not generate sufficient income for people to earn
      their living from. It is nothing on which the people fully depend onlxxiv.

      Insufficient employment
      According to Kuno Erkmann, head of the Paikuse municipality the main
      struggle for the villages is that the employment possibilities are very
      limitedlxxv.Tourism does not include enough local people as it could, admitted
      Mrs. Kuusk, representative of the Suure-Jaani municipality. This is also
      connected to the local mentality being of a rather passive and inactive
      nature.

      Lack of education: Lack of entrepreneurial thinking/ know how
      According to Mr. Kiviloo, people lack entrepreneurial spirit to integrate
      themselves in the tourism industrylxxvi. History leaves its traces on people’s way
      of thinking. For a long time inhabitants of this area were employed by the
      state. On the state- farms people followed orders without spending much
      effort on thinking for themselves. This way of thinking is deeply rooted in
      people’s minds. It leads to difficulties for people today to be innovative,
      create their own business ideas and to take the own initiative, elaborated Mr.
      Kiviloo. “Especially today, with this lack of entrepreneurial thinking, during a
      worldwide crisis, it is extremely difficult for small scale enterprises in this region
      to sustain themselveslxxvii”.As a possible example for locals to be involved in
      tourism, Mrs. Kuusk mentioned the fact that many people have high quality
      home made products, which they could sell, to tourists. They however lack this
      entrepreneurial thinking and knowledge to sell these.

                                                               ThesiThesis Report   41
Threat of local economic viability: Lack of tourism demand
The municipality representatives agree on the fact that tourism to the Soomaa
National Park only makes up an extra income as it does not attract enough
guests, especially during the whole year to serve as a full source of income.
According to Mrs. Kesküll there is a lack of marketing activities for the Soomaa
National Park, particularly for winter activities. This also accounts for a lack of
marketing activities on the international markets.

Deficient in living conditions: Lack of infrastructure
The infrastructure is regarded as a big issue among the local government
officials. The road to the National Park is stated to be very difficult to
accesslxxviii.Additionally, the lack of phone connection in the Park is seen as
being a threat, also in relation to first aidlxxix.


I.II Socio-cultural issues in tourism

Local participation and control: Lack of stakeholder cooperation and
networking
A lack of cooperation between the different stakeholders in tourism was
mentioned at many different levels. Within this group of stakeholders, it was
admitted that they realized a lack of planning and cooperation within the
National Park Management. The main problem, so Mr. Kiviloo, is the fact that
there is a high uncertainty of who is responsible for which tasks. This is reducing
the ability to think and plan for the wider perspective and makes cooperation
e. g. with the government officials difficult. Furthermore the issue of lacking
cooperation between the local entrepreneurs was brought up. “They do not
see themselves in the wider picture meaning that they are not aware that a
tourist needs different elements out of different sectors, in order to have a
satisfactory holiday experience”, explained Mr. Kiviloo.lxxx Also, the rural
municipalities as well as the county governments admitted that they are not
sufficiently cooperating with the tourism stakeholders at different levels. Mr.
Kesküll added that overall, the importance of cooperation has not jet been
understood between all the stakeholderslxxxi.

Threat: Local dissatisfaction with tourism
On a general level, the attitude of local people towards tourism is described
as being rather positive, till neutral. However, the government officials
mentioned that they see a threat in a specific target group, visiting the
national park. Some businesses attract the so called “event tourists”. Those are
people who come to the National Park to celebrate business events. They are
quite a profitable market segment, however are causing negative impacts on
the local community as they are very loud and lack a sense of awareness for
the arealxxxii.


       II. NGOs


                                                       ThesiThesis Report   42
  Altogether 3 local NGOs were consulted: Green Riverland, Friends of Soomaa
  as well as the Tipu Nature School. First a short introduction about their work is
  given, subsequently the results of the interviews are being presented.

 Green Riverland
  Green Riverland is a NGO with 78 members, working to create and improve
  cooperation between local authorities, entrepreneurs as well as NGOs. They
  concentrate on the improvement of the quality of life of the local, rural
  communities, sustainable tourism being one of their tools to implement this.
  The interview was conducted with Mrs. Adams who is the managing director
  of the organisation.

 Friends of Soomaa
  This NGO is actively supporting the Soomaa National Park with its two folded
  mission: Preserving Soomaa’s natural values as well supporting local people.
  This interview focuses on the community work they are doing. Mainly it involves
  the support of traditional skills and work of local people. The person being
  interviewed was Tiina Korts managing director of the organisation.

 Tipu Nature School: Community development project
  The project aims to build up a nature interpretation school in the Tipu village.
  The interview was conducted with Dagmar Hoder, chairman of the nature
  school. She plays an important role within community development in the
  village of Kopu.

  The following concerns relating tourism are the outcomes of the different
  interviews within this group of stakeholders.


  II.I Economic

  Insufficient income
  Among this stakeholder group, the issue of tourism generating insufficient
  income, due to its seasonal nature was also mentionedlxxxiii.

  Lack of employment
  Mrs. Korts brought up the issue of insufficient employment opportunities in
  tourismlxxxiv.

  Lack of entrepreneurial thinking/ Know how
  Within the NGOs, the lack of entrepreneurial spirit among local people,
  leading many of them uninvolved in tourism was brought up as well. Mrs.
  Hoder further elaborated that she regards this mentality as a burden of the
  soviet times, which in her opinion is difficult to combine with tourism. Mrs.
  Adams talked about the issue of the local products, which are not being sold
  due to the lack of knowledge on how to sell them. She further addressed her
  concern that many local people have a low level of English, which is
  particularly difficult when it comes to dealing with international touristslxxxv.

                                                        ThesiThesis Report   43
Threat to local economic viability: Lack of tourism demand
According to Mrs. Adams, it needs to be invested in marketing activities, in
order to generate a stable number of customerslxxxvi.


II.II Social-cultural

Local participation and control: Lack of stakeholder cooperation and
networking
The problem of cooperation among different stakeholders was also
mentioned by the NGOs. According to Mrs. Adams a current problem exists
between the cooperation of the single tourism service providers as they do
not see themselves as a holistic system in need to work together. “The
cooperation among the different sectors like government officials, NGOs as
well as local entrepreneurs is in a state of infancy”, elaborated Mr. Adamslxxxvii.

Threat: Local dissatisfaction with tourism
The business tourists, coming to the park were also mentioned within this
stakeholder group as being a threat for the area. They evoke negative local
perception on tourismlxxxviii.


       III. National Park management
Three people from the National Park Management were interviewed. Among
them Mr. Parts who is Visitor Management Specialist, working for the State
Forest Management Board. Mrs. Marivee, Conservation Planning Specialist
and Mr. Suurkask, Conservation Planner, both work for the Environmental
Board in Pärnu. The following, is the collection of the issues which were raised
within this group of stakeholders.


III.I Economic
Insufficient income
Mr. Parts mentioned the issue, that tourism does not generate a complete
source of income for local people. It is a very seasonal and also unstable
incomelxxxix.

Lack of employment opportunities
Mr. Parts as well as Mr. Suurkask mentioned the fact, that the area itself is
lacking employment opportunities, which is leading to the social issue that
many people are moving into the cities. Therefore the area is losing its human
touch.

Lack of education: Lack of entrepreneurial thinking/ know how
The conservationist too addressed the concern that tourism does not involve
enough local people. According to Mr. Suurkask, the problem founds its
ground in complicated bureaucracy, which people have to go through when
wanting to participate economically in tourism. “Not many locals are literate

                                                       ThesiThesis Report   44
enough to go through all these papers and understand them”, further
explained Mr. Suurkask.


III.II Socio-cultural

Local participation and control: Lack of stakeholder cooperation and
networking
According to Mrs. Merivee, there is a lack of cooperation especially between
the two political boards, which are responsible for the National Park. This issue
is being supported by Mr. Suurkask saying that there is no only managing body
for the Soomaa National Park, leaving many planning issues behind.
Additionally, the cooperation among the different tourism stakeholders
(government bodies, NGOs and local entrepreneurs) was stated to be in issue
of concern.

Threat: Local dissatisfaction with tourism
Mr. Parts mentioned that he regards tourists, who have no interests and
knowledge about Soomaa’s natural values as a threat. Once people do not
know how to behave, they also disturb the local people living in the area. This
might cause negative perception from locals towards touristsxc.


       IV. Local entrepreneurs
Different local entrepreneurs were questioned about these issues. Among
them accommodation providers Mr. Sosi, Mr. Kruill, Mrs. Ruumet, as well as Mr.
and Mrs. Olesk and Tour operators like Mr. Ruukel and Mr. Sams. Here are the
issues being raised during the interviews:


IV.I Economic

Insufficient income
One of the main issues, the entrepreneurs mentioned, was the fact that
tourism only is a rather seasonal activity. This leads it to be a business which
makes it difficult to earn a sufficient income fromxci.

Lack of employment
The issue was raised that the area is lacking employment opportunities
therefore many local people are unemployedxcii.

Lack of education: Lack of entrepreneurial thinking/ know how
Also the issue that many local home made products are not being sold was
stated as an example of the lack of local economic involvement and
knowledge “There are many interesting local produce, like high quality hand
crafts, typical food, but there is no system, no knowledge on how to sell
them”xciii. Mr. Ruukel further mentioned the fact that there is a lack of skilled
personal. In the area of guided tours there are only three or four good guides
available, who are able to speak English.
                                                      ThesiThesis Report   45
       Threat of the local economic viability: Lack of tourism demand
       Mr. Ruukel pointed the fact out, that tourism to the Soomaa National Park is
       lacking marketing activities. People are not aware of Estonia as a holiday
       destination and are even less aware about “Soomaa National Park”xciv.

       Deficit in living conditions: Lack of infrastructure
       The road leading to the National Park is stated to be in very bad condition.
       Especially, if it rains or snows a bit, it is almost not accessible. In addition to that
       also the public connection to the National Park is in very bad state. Currently
       there is almost no public bus connection to the parkxcv.


       IV.II Socio-cultural

       Local participation and control: Lack of stakeholder cooperation and
       networking
       The issue of insufficient cooperation among the entrepreneurs as well as with
       government officials was also mentioned among this stakeholder groupxcvi.


4.4.4 Objectives and expectations towards the PAN Parks membership relating socio-
cultural and economic aspects
After having identified the locally defined issues in tourism in the field of socio-cultural
and economic aspects, now the focal point is directed towards the objectives and
expectations the local stakeholders hold towards the PAN Parks membership. This
information makes up the second input for defining the indicators. The following
section presents the outcomes of the different stakeholder interviews.

             I. Local government and Tourism Board
       Before beginning with the objectives the local government officials carry
       towards the PAN Parks membership, a few words on the overall attitude
       towards the PAN: This group of stakeholders is supportive towards it, however
       they do belief that it will not create any wonders. The following statement of
       Mr. Kase, Pärnu county government, elucidates this position quite well: “The
       PAN Parks network is no magical system. We have to define, plan and
       implement what we want to archive ourselves”xcvii.

       The overall political objectives of this stakeholder group, determines those
       they hold regarding the PAN Parks membership. Generally speaking, their
       overall motive is to increase local well- being with the help of tourism income
       opportunities. Also the single government officials want to increase the
       attractiveness of their area for people to live in, preventing them from moving
       into the bigger cities. This all, however is intended to take place within the
       boundaries of keeping and preserving the natural and cultural treasures of the
       areaxcviii. As Mrs. Kesküll from the Tourism Board proudly put in plain words “Our
       main objective is to keep Soomaa and its surrounding area as our Jewel”. The
       interesting question now is which the specific soucio-cultural and economic
       objectives are the governmental bodies hold towards PAN.
                                                                  ThesiThesis Report   46
I.I Economic

Increase local income opportunities
Among this stakeholder group, it was mentioned that they hope to increase
the number of international tourists, as well as hope to increase the time, in
which the tourists are coming during the year. This income will directly benefit
local people involved in tourism and the local economy as tourists also make
some indirect spendingxcix.

Increase local employment
Increasing employment opportunities for locals in tourism is one of the major
objectives, on a general level and in relation to PAN Parks, explained Mr.
Kiviloo, head of the Kopu municipalityc. Mr. Erkmann, head of the Paikuse
municipality further stated: “I think PAN Parks will have a positive effect on the
local labour market. Tourism creates new jobs and also the tourists leave
money in the local economy”ci.

Strengthen economic viability: Increase tourism demand
Particularly this group of stakeholders hopes that the PAN Parks membership
will improve the marketing possibilities for the Soomaa National Park. First of all,
the PAN Parks logo is expected to be a helpful marketing tool, increasing the
brand awareness of the park which will attract more international visitors cii. ”I
think the PAN Parks membership will help to fight against the decreasing
numbers of arrivals. The brand will create a reason why people want to visit
our areaciii”, elaborated Mrs. Kesküll.


I.II Socio- cultural

Local participation and control: Increased stakeholder cooperation and
networking
With the help of the PAN Parks membership the local governments aim to
increase the cooperation and the awareness about the importance of it
between the different stakeholders in tourism. The improvement in
cooperation is intended to take place on different levels. First of all, the aim is
to increase the cooperation between the local governments involved:
especially the county governments with the municipalities as well as these
among each otherciv. Further the Tourism Board stated of wanting to increase
not only the exchange between the governments but also with the NGOscv.

Ensure local satisfaction with tourism
Access to a sophisticated market is aimed for: “I expect the Soomaa National
Park to gain a more sophisticated image, attracting a market that is looking
for qualitative nature experience and is interested in and aware of our local
values” explained Mr. Metsoja, Union of Viljandi municipalitiescvi. Tourists, who
behave more aware towards the area, will also leave a more positive image
of the local people.


                                                        ThesiThesis Report   47
       II. NGOs
Generally speaking, the NGOs aim to involve the local people in tourism as
well as to sustain the cultural and natural values. The attitude towards the PAN
parks concept is quite well depicted by the statement of Mr. Korts: “The
concept is appealing to me. It’s full of good ideas however I do not expect
any wonders”. Socio- cultural and or economic benefits related to the
network are seen to be possible, however the remark was made that it also
depends on a variety of external factors.


II.I Economic

Increase local income
The Green Riverland foundation seeks to increase the local income in tourism.
They aim to increase the number of international visitors and their spendingcvii.

Increase local employment
Green Riverland aims also wants to encourage local employment
opportunities. The PAN Parks concept, as Mrs. Adams stated, works into the
same direction, which gives great support concerning this issue. In addition to
the economic benefits, Mrs. Adams also pointed the socio-cultural one out;
especially for these local, rural people it is highly important that they get
active againcviii.

Strengthen economic viability: Increase tourism demand
According to Mrs. Adams, the aim is to increase the number of international
visitors, benefiting the local economycix.


II.II Socio- cultural

Local participation and control: Increased stakeholder cooperation and
networking
The Green Riverland Foundation particularly seeks to encourage networking
among local people, the governmental sector and NGOs. Again for this
aspect, the PAN Parks network is stated to be a good supporting tool. “I hope
that not only the cooperation among the entrepreneurs will increase, but also
between the other sectors like local government, NGOs as well as Park
management”, stated Mrs. Adamscx.

Ensure local satisfaction with tourism
With the support of the PAN Parks network the NGO sector hopes to attract
more international visitors with specific characteristics. “We hope to attract
tourists which are looking for a qualitative nature based holiday experience,
people who know why they are coming and value our place and its
uniquenesscxi”, explain Mrs. Adams.




                                                      ThesiThesis Report   48
Strengthen social and cultural patterns: Increase local awareness and pride
Mrs. Adams stated of the wish to to enhance awareness and pride of local
people. This is evoked due to the fact that the tourists pay an interest and
appreciation towards their area as well as by integrating with personal stories
etc in tourism productscxii.


III. National Park Management
For the nature conservations, as the name already indicates, their highest
priority lies within the protection of the natural values of the Soomaa National
Park. However, still they hold some tourism related socio- cultural and
economic community objectives.


III.I Economic

Increase local income
The Park management aims to have an active community, who is involved in
tourism. Therefore, according to Mrs. Marivee, they would like to have the
quality tourism business partners, to generate a sufficient income from
tourismcxiii.

Increase local employment
As many local people are economically inactive, the aim is to support,
especially more local people to benefit from tourism via new job
opportunitiescxiv.


III.II Socio- cultural

Local participation and control: Increased stakeholder cooperation and
networking
“One of our aims with the PAN Parks concept is to increase local cooperation
between the tourism stakeholders” stated Rait Parts on behalf of its team. In
particular, the cooperation between the government and nature
conservation boards is aimed to be improved.

Ensure satisfaction of local population with tourism development
 “The park management has come to realize how important the support of
the local community is: not only in terms of management of the natural zones,
but also for tourism we depend on people’s support”, stated Mrs. Murel
Marivee, Conservation Planning Specialist of the Environmental Board in
Pärnucxv. She also mentioned the fact, that for the long run she aims that the
local communities are satisfied about the tourism development in the area,
also because it brings them benefits and they are integratedcxvi.




                                                     ThesiThesis Report   49
       IV. Entrepreneurs
For the entrepreneurs tourism is their source of living. The ones interviewed
were all well aware of the need to keep the area as a unique territory as it is
today. “Handling his fragile eco system with care is not only our responsibility
we have towards our grand children, but also towards ourselves and the
people living in the area today. If the park is losing its unique values we are
losing our product, our source of income”, stated Mrs. Ruumetcxvii. Besides
economical short term aims the entrepreneurs have realized the need to plan
and cooperate among each other in order to sustain the area as it is in the
long run. Therefore they support the PAN Parks project and have the following
objectives.


IV.I Economic

Increase local income
The entrepreneurs aim to extend the tourism season; therefore being able to
generate more income via tourism during the year. This especially accounts
for the number of tourists in the low season, which is aimed to be raisedcxviii.

Increase local employment
If the tourism entrepreneurs receive more tourists, they can create local
employment. As currently many people are economically inactive, the
entrepreneurs mentioned that they hope to increase the employment
opportunities for local people within the area.cxix

Strengthen economic viability: Increase tourism demand
Especially the tourism entrepreneurs hope to receive marketing benefits via
the PAN Parks network. First of all, the brand awareness is hoped to be
improved: “our aim is to make Soomaa National Park more known, as a
unique wilderness destination on the map of Europe”, said Mr. Ruukelcxx. The
overall objective among the entrepreneurs is to increase the number of
international tourists. “Currently only 10 or 20 % of the visitors are from abroad,
which we aim to change for the future”, stated Mr. Ruukel, local service
provider.


IV.II Socio- cultural

Local participation and control: Increased stakeholder cooperation and
networking
The entrepreneurs set the objective to increase the cooperation especially
among each other but also with the other stakeholders involved in tourism.
“Due to the PAN Parks network, the different people having a say in tourism
are more encouraged to work and cooperate together”, stated Mr. Ruukel.
Mrs. Ruumet further elaborated: “At the moment cooperation is already
growing, but the aim is to further increase it”cxxi.

Ensure local satisfaction with tourism
                                                       ThesiThesis Report   50
      The entrepreneurs want to increase the guests, “who know why they are
      coming to Soomaa, who value our area and who have a sense for nature”
      stated Mrs. Ruumetcxxii. With the help of the network they aim to attract these
      types of clients.

      Strengthen social and cultural patterns: Increase local awareness and pride
      As tourists, are coming to Soomaa, who show an interest and appreciation on
      the natural and cultural values of the area, a by-product is that it can
      increase local awareness and pride on these valuescxxiii.

4.5 Development phase of the indicators
Both elements required as an input for defining the indicators, are uncovered.
The objective of this phase is to identify adequate indicators, responding to the issues
stated and objectives set. However first, theory suggests determining which aspects
are considered to be of importance by the majority of the stakeholders. Therefore
the results of the field work are being prioritised and evaluated on. As a preceding
step indicators are being defined.

Finally, those objectives which the PAN Parks Foundation holds, and which have not
been mentioned during the field work findings are being presented, with suggestions
of indicators attached to them. In the end both of these sets of indicators make up
the final proposition of indicators to implement at the Soomaa National Park.
However, it is advised to make use of different categories of priority: those indicators
deriving from the input of the field work findings receive a first category, those ones
the PAN Parks Foundation holds in addition, receive second category. The different
categories are used in order to make prioritization, when implementing them.


4.5.1 Prioritization and evaluation of field work findings
Figure eleven elucidates the different economic as well as socio- cultural issues in
tourism at the Soomaa National Park, which were investigated during the interviews.
It depicts each of the stakeholders and their corresponding issues they considered
being of relevance for them. On the right side a resume of how much support each
of the issues received can be found.




                                                             ThesiThesis Report   51
 Issues/ stakeholder                     1.               2. NGOs          3.             4.         Total
                                         Local                             SNP            Local
 (Socio-cultural)                        govern-                           Manage-        entre-
                                         ment                              ment           preneurs
 5.local participation and
   control
 5.1lack of stakeholder                  X                X                X              X          4
     cooperation
 6.Threat: local dissatisfaction
   with tourism
 6.1Cause: “unaware” clients             X                X                X              --         3

       Figure 11: Socio- cultural and economic issues related to tourism per stakeholder at
                  the Soomaa National Park)


As can be seen in figure eleven, all four different stakeholder groups mentioned the
insufficiency of local income from tourism, which is mainly attributed to tourisms
seasonal nature in the park as well as its unpredictability. For local people involved,
tourism is just a small side income but it is nothing they can rely on.


                                                                                ThesiThesis Report   52
The lack of income is connected to missing employment opportunities for local
people in tourism, which was mentioned by all of the stakeholders as well. This
shortage of employment in turn is a general problem in the region. Due to the
deficient of job possibilities many people leave the rural municipalities, in order to
look for better perspectives in the cities. However, that is why these rural communities
are severely suffering to lose their population and with the population income from
taxes etc. On top of that, the community is aging, and currently there are not
enough young people who stay in the area. Therefore, the area also faces the threat
of losing its human touch. Furthermore, a lack of knowledge and education among
local people impedes many of them to integrate them in the labour market/ tourism
industry. This issue was also mentioned by all the stakeholders involved, reflecting its
severity. But, education is a rather broad term: in this condition it involves a lack of
entrepreneurial thinking and knowledge among many local people. Moreover, it
encompasses missing language skills for dealing with international tourists.

For local tourism businesses to sustain in the long run, sufficient numbers of customers
are needed. However currently, tourism demand is limited, particularly during the off-
season. In relation to this issue, the three stakeholders groups who regard this lack of
demand an issue for the region stated a lack of marketing activities to be the cause
of these low numbers of customers.

The local government officials together with the tourism board and the
entrepreneurs regard the infrastructure to reach the park as being in an
unacceptable condition. This particularly involves the bad state of the road leading
to the park as well as public access in terms of a bus or train connection.

In relation to the aspect of local participation and control, all the stakeholders were
at once that cooperation and networking in the region are in need to be improved.

The local government and tourism board, the NGOs’ as well as the park
management raised their concern about a type of target group, currently present in
the National Park, which behaves in an undesirable way. Mainly, it involves
customers, which are rather unaware about Soomaa’s values, coming for
celebrating business events and therefore cause negative impacts on the local
people and on the area. The concern is that these types of customers leave a
negative perception on the local people as they are quite loud and disturbing. The
local entrepreneurs did not mention these target groups of being a threat, as they
are probably interested to keep their existing customer base.

Concluding, various consultation of different stakeholders uncovered that, even
though the stakeholders all have their different interests about tourism development
at the Soomaa National Parks and its surrounding region, they are rather conform
about different socio-cultural as well as economic issues related tourism. Every issue
mentioned during the research, is considered important by the majority of the
stakeholder groups. As a consequence that implies that each of the issues depicted
in figure eleven should be covered with an indicator. The following figure depicts the
resume of the objectives and expectations the different stakeholders hold towards
the PAN Parks membership, relating socio- cultural and economic aspects.

                                                             ThesiThesis Report   53
resume of the objectives and expectations the different stakeholders hold towards
the PAN Parks membership, relating socio- cultural and economic aspects.

 Issues/ stakeholder                    1. Local        2. NGOs         3. SNP        4. Local    Total
 (economic)                             govern-                         Manage        entre-
                                        ment                            ment          preneurs
 1. Increase local income               X               X               X             X           4

 2. Increase local                      X               X               X             X           4
 employment
 3. Economic viability
 3.1 Increase tourism demand            X               X                             X           3



 Issues/ stakeholder                    1. Local        2. NGOs         3. SNP        4. Local    Total
 ( socio-cultural)                      govern-                         Manage-       entre-
                                        ment                            ment          preneurs
 4. local participation and
 control
 4. 1. Increase stakeholder             X               X               X             X           4
 cooperation and networking
 5. Increase local satisfaction                         X               X                         2
 with tourism
 5. 1. attract “aware” clients          X               X                             X           3
 6. Strengthening of social and
 cultural pattern
 6. 1. Increase local awareness                         X                             X           2
 and pride
       Figure 12: Summary: Socio- cultural and economic objectives and expectations relating
                  to the PAN Parks membership



As figure 12 depicts, all four stakeholder groups mentioned the wish to receiving a
more stable income from tourism, particularly throughout the year for the region. This
income should bring a positive effect on the local labour market, helping to
decrease the high number of local people being unemployed. That In turn, could
also bring support the demographic problem. If people have a new perspective to
stay in the area, it protects it from losing its human touch.

Three out of the four stakeholder groups addressed their hope to increase the
customer demand with the help of marketing benefits, which the PAN Parks
membership brings along. The intent is to increase the awareness of the Soomaa
National Park, particularly on the European market.

The need and desire to improve cooperation and networking among the different
stakeholders involved was mentioned by the local government, the NGOS, the park
management and the tourism entrepreneurs alike. PAN Parks is regarded as being a
good tool to encourage this cooperation.



                                                                             ThesiThesis Report   54
Different target groups can either enhance or diminish the level of local satisfaction
with tourism. The overall aim mentioned is to attract a type of customer, who is
environmentally and culturally interested in the region, therefore behaves respectful
and shows appreciation towards the local values. Once the local population feels
the appreciation of the tourists regarding their local values it can also lead to an
increased level of local pride. Increasing this local pride with the help of sustainable
tourism is an objective, mentioned by two of the stakeholder groups; the NGOS as
well as the entrepreneurs.

Concluding, also considering the economic and socio-cultural objectives the
different stakeholders have towards the PAN Parks membership, an overall consensus
can be found. Again, all the objectives mentioned, have at least be stated by two of
the stakeholder groups involved, therefore all justified to receive indicators.

One aspect, which is apparent, is that almost every mentioned issue is reflected in
the objectives, despite two of them. First, it involves the lack of knowhow, which
hinders many local people to integrate themselves in the tourism industry. The issue
was raised by all the stakeholder groups involved, giving an idea on its severity.
Second, the lack of infrastructure, referring to the condition of the road to the
National Park as well as to the lack of public transport possibilities for tourists and
locals alike did also not appear in the stated objectives.




4.5.2 Indicators deriving from the field work findings
Finally, indicators can be suggested which relate to the different aspects considered
to be of importance by the majority of the stakeholders at the Soomaa National
Park. With the help of the indicators, the different objectives can be monitored. In this
category there are no indicators included, which correspond to the mentioned
issues of the lack of education as well as infrastructure, as there are no objectives set
to them yet. Those objectives first would need to be set, in order to be able to
monitor them.

 Criteria (economic)   Specified criteria       Indicators
 1.Increase local       1.1 Increase tourism   1.1 Average spending per tourists at the
   income                    income in the         Soomaa National Park per stay on
                             PAN Park region       tourism related products or services
                                                   (accommodation, trips etc)
                       1.2 Decrease            1.2 Average spending per tourists at the
                           seasonality of          Soomaa National Park per stay on
                           tourism income          tourism related products or services
                                                   (accommodation, trips etc) during low
                                                   season




                                                              ThesiThesis Report   55
 2.Increase local          2.1 Increase                    2.1 Total number of local people employed
   employment                   employment                      by tourism in the PAN Parks region
                                opportunities for
                                local people in
                                tourism in the PAN
                                Park region

 3.Sustain local           3.2 Increase tourism            3.2 Total number of tourists visiting the PAN
   economy                      demand for the                  Park
   and long-term                PAN Park region
   economic
   viability

 Criteria                  Specified criteria             Indicators
 (socio- cultural)
 4.Encourage              4.1 Increase                     4.1 Percentage of tourism stakeholder
   participation and          networking and                   satisfied with the level of networking
   local control              knowledge sharing                and knowledge sharing at the SNP
                              among tourism                    region
                              stakeholders in the
                              PAN Park region
 5.Satisfaction of        5.1 Sustain satisfaction         5.1 Percentage of locals who are satisfied
   local population           of local population              with tourism development in relation in
   with tourism               with tourism                     the PAN Parks region
   development            5.2 Attract                      5.2 Percentage of tourists who consider
                              environmentally                  themselves as environmentally and
                              and culturally                   culturally interested/ aware, in relation
                              sensitive clientele              to the overall number of tourists
                                                               attracted by the PAN Parks logo
 6.Strengthening of       6.1 Increase local               6.1 Percentage of locals who are proud of
   social and                 awareness and                    their community and culture
   cultural patterns          pride
       Figure 13: Indicators deriving from the field work at the Soomaa National park


All the indicators in figure 13 have been evaluated based on five criteria according
to their relevance, feasibility, credibility, clarity and comparability. The process can
be find in appendix five. Concluding, this implies that all the indicators depicted in
figure 13 are feasible to be implemented.

Now, those criteria which the PAN Parks Foundation holds which were not mentioned
during the field work at the National Park are being presented in the following
section. They hold the suitable indicator attached on the right side of the figure.


4.5.3 Indicators deriving from the PAN Parks Foundation

 Criteria                 Specified criteria                Indicators
 (economic)
 1. Increase local         1.2 Support local               1.2.1 Number of local people trained in
   employment                  education and                     English skills
                               training                    1. 2.2Number of people trained in relation to
                                                                 entrepreneurial skills
                                                                                ThesiThesis Report   56
                                     training                  1. 2.2Number of people trained in relation to
                                                                      entrepreneurial skills
      2. Sustain local          2.1 Increase income            2.1.1 Average spending per customer / per
      economy                        for the local                  stay on local economy (spending on
        and long-term                economy via                    food, souvenirs, facilities etc)
        economic                     tourists spending
        viability                    on local
                                     economy, ( food,
                                     souvenirs, food
                                     etc)
      3.Improvement of         3. Improvement of local 3.1 Percentage of local people in the PAN Parks
        living conditions          services and             region who believe that tourism helped to
5.                                 infrastructure being     bring in new services or infrastructure
                                   consistent with local 3.2 Percentage of local people in the PAN Parks
                                   building style and       region who belief that the tourism related
                                   atmosphere               infrastructure development is consistent with
                                                            the local building style and atmosphere

      Criteria                  Specified criteria             Indicators
      (socio- cultural)
      4.Encourage               4.2. Promotion of
        participation and            information about               4.2. Number of local people in the PAN
        local control                sustainable                     Parks region knowing about sustainable
                                     tourism and its                 tourism and the possibility to
                                     participation                   participate in decision making
                                     possibilities                   processes
                                     among local
                                     people
      5.Satisfaction of        5.1 Sustain satisfaction        5.1 Percentage of locals who are satisfied
        local population             of local                       with tourism development in relation in
        with tourism                 population with                the PAN Parks region
        development                  tourism                   5.2 Percentage of tourists who consider
                               5.2 Attract                          themselves as environmentally and
                                     environmentally                culturally interested/ aware, in relation
                                     and culturally                 to the overall number of tourists
                                     sensitive clientele
                                     to the PAN Parks
                                     region
      6.Strengthening of       6.1 Retain cultural            6.1 Percentage of local community who
        social and                   traditions and                agree that their local culture, their
        cultural patterns            patterns                      traditions, its integrity and authenticity
                               6.2 Retain traditional              is being retained
                                     economic                  6.2 Number of local business related to
                                     activities                local culture (handicrafts, music, food)
            Figure 14: indicators deriving from the PAN Parks Foundation


     Figure 14 depicts those indicators, which correspond to the criteria set from the PAN
     Parks Foundation, which were not mentioned during the field work. Certainly, first of
     all, it gives an indication on which the most important objectives are, the
     stakeholders at the Soomaa National Park intend to achieve with the PAN Parks
     membership: apparently being those they mentioned during the field research.


                                                                                ThesiThesis Report    57
As the implementation of indicators is time and resource consuming, the UNWTO’S
guidebook on indicator development for sustainable tourism suggests making use of
different categories, to set priorities for the implementation of the indicators. In the
case for the Soomaa National Park relating its PAN Parks membership, those
indicators depicted in figure 13 are suggested to be defined first category. They
reflect those aspects, considered of importance by the majority of the stakeholders
at the National Park. Those illustrated in figure 14 are suggested of being treated as
second category. They are the ones, which up to this point, carry a second priority.
However they have to be discussed about among the different stakeholders: One
by-product of identifying indicators at a destination, as stated in the UNWTO guide
on indicator development, is to encourage discussion and increase awareness
about different issues and objectives among the tourism stakeholders cxxiv. This intends
to make adjustment in tourism planning possible.

For the Soomaa National Park this implies that awareness can be raised about the
possible objectives the PAN Parks Foundation holds, which were not mentioned
locally. Based on the outcomes depicted in figure 14, the local PAN Parks group can
discuss about and dedicate some more attention towards specific issues and related
objectives, which have not been mentioned at a local level. This new awareness
among different stakeholder involved, can lead to adjustments and or
improvements in tourism planning. Certainly it can also lead to a re-adjustment of
indicators and their category.

This can be exemplified with the named issue of the lack of local know how, which is
hindering many local people to be able to integrate themselves in tourism. It was
stated as an issue by all four stakeholder groups, however no objective has been
defined yet, which could be measured with an indicator. One of the possible
objectives, for example could be to encourage local trainings with the help of the
PAN Parks network. These trainings could involve language skills, as well they could
concentrate on improving the entrepreneurial spirit and know how among local
people. Particularly interesting certainly, would be a training for those local people
producing their handmade hand crafts and foods ect, on how to be able to sell
those to the tourist. The same accounts for the named issue of the lack of
infrastructure, which also does not hold an objective attached to it. Discussion about
those aspects could also help to define possible solutions.


4.4 Conclusion
By approaching the question on how to measure socio-cultural as well as economic
impacts at the Soomaa National Park, aiming to define adequate indicators, several
conclusions can be deducted.

Consulting with key stakeholders involved in tourism served as valuable input for
tailoring different indicators for the National Park. Several findings were revealed:
Even though different stakeholders carry different interests in tourism development
for the region, still they are more or less consent when it comes to the definition of the
major socio-cultural as well as economic issues regarding tourism in the area. The
same accounts for the objectives relating these aspects concerning the PAN Parks
membership. The most apparent issues, which the findings revealed can be
                                                              ThesiThesis Report   58
concluded of being the following: Insufficient income and employment from tourism
particularly during the low season, the main reason being a lack of tourism demand
for a local business to sustain themselves in the long run as well as missing
entrepreneurial spirit and knowhow of many local people hindering them to find
income opportunities in tourism. Moreover the infrastructure is stated of being in a
bad condition, especially concerning the access to the park and the stakeholder
cooperation is stated of being insufficient at different levels. Furthermore, some of
the current tourists visiting the National Park are considered being a threat for the
area, disturbing local people and therefore local satisfaction levels towards tourism.

Questioning the different stakeholder about their objectives towards the PAN Parks
membership, first of all gave an indication on the awareness levels about the PAN
Parks membership. In general, they are well informed and hold their vision on what
would be good to achieve with its help. Moreover, the attitude towards it is rather
realistic: people are aware that just the membership itself will not create any
changes, but what the local stakeholder has to put effort in it in order to evoke
changes.

The main objectives mentioned can be concluded of being the following: to
increase tourism income, particularly decreasing the seasonality of it, increase
employment opportunities in tourism as well as to increase the number
environmentally aware tourists. Moreover the cooperation among the different
stakeholders is aimed to be improved as well as local pride is hoped to be improved
due to sustainable tourism. Concluding, almost all the objectives mentioned,
responded to one of the issues stated before, despite two of them, being the lack of
infrastructure as well as the deficit in education of many local people in the region.

Those suggested indicators deriving from the field work findings should hold the
support of the majority of the stakeholders as they relate to the mentioned
objectives. Having evaluated them against different criteria ensures their feasibility
for implementing them.

The suggested indicators which derive from the PAN Parks Foundation, and which
objectives did not occur during the field work findings should be discussed about as
a first step.
It needs to be discussed if those indicators also might carry an importance to be
implemented at the Soomaa National Park. Here particular attention should be paid
to those indicators, which correspond to the mentioned issues of the lacking
infrastructure as well as education. Three possible indicators for these issues are being
suggested. Objectives towards these issues should be defined and more important to
discuss about possible solutions to reach the objective.

In order to distinguish between those different types of indicators as well as to set
priorities in implementation, the Soomaa National Park is advices to make use of two
different categories: first and second. The first one encompasses those indicators
which derive from the field work findings with objectives set to them. They are
considered first priority when it comes to their implementation. The second one
encompasses recommended indicators, corresponding to those objectives the PAN
Parks Foundation carries, which were not mentioned on a local level. Currently those
                                                              ThesiThesis Report   59
considered first priority when it comes to their implementation. The second one
encompasses recommended indicators, corresponding to those objectives the PAN
Parks Foundation carries, which were not mentioned on a local level. Currently those
can be regarded second priority. However, these are the ones, the local
stakeholders are highly recommended to discuss about. Indicators from the second
category can be shifted into the first category. The prerequisite being that an
objective needs to be defined first.

Concluding it becomes apparent that not only the outcomes, being the suggested
indicators, but also the process of the identification of the indictors delivers a benefit
for the Soomaa National Park. The procedure itself encouraged discussion and
increased awareness about issues and objectives among the tourism stakeholders,
which in turn benefits tourism planning.




                                                              ThesiThesis Report   60
                     Chapter 5: Indicator Implementation

5.1 Introduction
At this point of time, the development phase of the indicators is finalized. This chapter
gives recommendations on how to implement the indicators at the Soomaa National
Park. For that purpose first the steps to implement the indicators are being
elaborated on and some basic advice is given. Subsequently, each of the indicators
under the magnifying glass: providing specific advice on its implementation.

5.2 Implementation of the indicators
As stated in chapter two, implementation of indicators involves three steps, being
data collecting, analysis and reporting as well as monitoring.

Organisation
Before being able to begin with the implementation, the process itself needs to be
organized: it needs to be determined who is responsible for which task. Chapter two
depicted the participatory process for implementing indicators by involving different
stakeholders in the process. As this process brings the benefit that it is cost saving,
encourages cooperation, as well as it allows sharing the work load among the
stakeholders, it is recommended to be applied at the Soomaa National Park’s
indicator implementation process.

The stakeholders who are being suggested to participate in the implementation
involve those which were already consulted during the field work findings. This
creates the benefit that they might be more inclined to support the implementation
of the indicators, as they carry awareness about the need and benefit to obtain the
indicators.

Data collection
As stated in literature, there are two possible ways on where to obtain the data for
the indicators: consulting existing sources or obtaining new datacxxv. In case no
sources exist, a method on how to obtain the information is being suggested in the
following section. Regarding the time frame, it needs to be ensured, that the
indicators are collected before the Soomaa National Park obtained its PAN Parks
membership. Only that way, adequate comparison of data can be made possible,
with subsequent collection.

Data analysis and reporting
Each of the indicators has to be analysed in order to be used. The effort needed for
analysing an indicator can vary tremendously between each indicator: from simple
to quite complex. When analysing the data, the responsible stakeholder is
recommended to decide on the clearest and simplest way in portraying and
communicating the information. (e. g. with the aid of visuals, diagrams etc).
Delivering the information to other people clearly is an essential aspect in
implementing an indicator successfully. As mentioned in chapter two often indicators
are not communicated well enough to the other tourism stakeholders. However, only
if that is ensured, indicators can fulfil their purpose. Once an indicator reveals that
the criterion is not being fulfilled, it needs to be communicated to others in order to
be able to translate the outcomes into useful management information, evoking
                                                              ThesiThesis Report   61
changes. If it is not reported, the indicators cannot evoke any changes. Therefore it is
suggested that every indicator is reported to the local PAN Parks Group leader. He is
the one responsible for communicating the indicators. As the PAN Parks group holds
regular meetings, the reporting on the indicators can be shared with the other
stakeholders. The PAN Parks group leader however is encouraged to gain support in
his task out of the local PAN Parks group. In addition to communicating the
outcomes of the indicators to the local stakeholders, they also should be presented
to the PAN Parks Foundation. This way, they can also analyse their strategy’s
effectiveness over time.

Monitoring
Monitoring is an essential task in order to gain adequate benefits out of the
indicators: they have to be reviewed periodically. While monitoring the indicators it
also needs to be evaluated if they are indeed delivering useful information, if they
fulfilling their purpose. If not they need to be adjustedcxxvi.
Constant monitoring accounts for every of the following indicators alike. Those
stakeholders involved in the first data implementation phase are automatically
involved in monitoring their indicator.

Literature does not provide mandatory information on when to monitor the
indicators, besides stating to review it “periodically”cxxvii. This could mean once a
month, a semester or a year. However, as the process of collecting the data is quite
time consuming, it is recommended to obtain the indicators once a year.

The following section provides supporting advice for the stakeholders at the Soomaa
National Park on how to implement the indicators. First, each of the indicators is
defined, its category is depicted, and its benefit for obtaining is portrayed. Further it is
suggested on who could be responsible for data collection and analysing.

The indicators are being grouped according to criteria and not according to the two
suggested different categories as it makes it easier to follow the information.
However, the category is always indicated. One star represents a first category
indicator. Those having two stars are the ones from the second category. Before
implementing those in the second category, first it needs to be discussed about the
related objective. The objective needs to be defined first, and actions attributed to it
in order to reach the objective. With the indicator then it can be seen whether the
objective is reached or not.

5.3 Recommendation on indicators and their implementation

     I. Indicators regarding tourism income

                 I.I Average spending per tourists per stay on tourism related
                     products or services(accommodation, trips etc) at the
                     Soomaa National Park region

     Reasons to use
     The indicator intends to deliver an estimation how much income is generated
     at tourism service providers in the PAN Parks region, due to tourists visiting the
                                                                ThesiThesis Report   62
National Park. As the objective of the stakeholders, with the aid of the PAN
Parks membership is to increase the income from tourism in the region, this
indicator can keep track of it. The STDS aims to increase the income of local
business partners due to marketing activities, however these benefits are also
aimed to affect the PAN Parks region. This is what the indictor wants to
measure.

Data collection
This data does not exist yet, but can be derived with the help of a visitor survey.
It is suggested to be obtained with the help of a questionnaire, at the visitor
centre. This location is suggested as the majority of the tourists go there to
obtain information about the National Park in the first placecxxviii. The collection
of the data will require the support of the staff at the visitor centre. The
employees at the visitor centre therefore are also suggested to be responsible
for the design of the questionnaire.

Data analysis and reporting
The data analysis is also suggested to be assigned to the protected area
management. Once it is analysed, the information needs to be delivered to the
local PAN Parks group leader, who is suggested of being responsible for the
communication.

Comments and limitations
As uncovered in chapter two, indicators can be subject to different
interrelations at a destination. Concerning this indicator in the context of the
Soomaa National Park region, it implies that there might be other factors,
despite the PAN Parks membership, which are influencing the data. A change
in tourism income can also be attributes to external changes like economic
down turn, boom, changes in customer behaviour etc.
Moreover not every tourists coming to the visitor centre might fill out the
questionnaire, and also not every tourists visits the centre at first place. Also, for
a tourist it might be difficult to recall exact number of money spent. It will most
probably be a estimation.

              I.II Average spending per tourists at the Soomaa National
              Park per stay on tourism related products or services
              (accommodation, trips, etc) during low season

This indicator is suggested to be implemented, as it related to the current
severe issue of tourism, having a very seasonal nature at the Soomaa National
Park. For many local entrepreneurs, this implies that it is impossible to earn a
stable income from tourism.
This indicator intends to measure, if as a cause of the PAN Parks membership
the seasonality of tourism income decreases or not.

Data collection
See I.I. however this data should focus on the time of the low season.

Data analysis and reporting
                                                          ThesiThesis Report   63
See I.I.
Comments and limitations
The same problematic with the interrelation accounts for this indicator alike:
changes in seasonality of the tourism income in the Soomaa National Park
region can also be connected to external factors.

II. Indicators regarding employment

              II.I Total number of local people employed in.tourism in the
              SNP region


Reasons to use
This indicator reveals the number of employment possibilities in tourism for local
people in the SNP region. Uncovering, and later on monitoring this number
creates the benefit that it can detect whether tourism, with the help of the PAN
Parks network activities, is able to positively influence the local employment
situation in the region or not.

Data collection
The four municipalities are suggested to be involved to collect the information
on how many people are economically involved in tourism in the Soomaa
National Park region.

Data analysis and reporting
The local municipalities are intended to deliver their analysis to the local PAN
Parks Group leader, who is then able to communicate it.

Comments and limitations
This indicator is again subject to possible external factors. The total number of
people employed in tourism could also change due to other factors despite
the PAN Parks membership


                   II.II Number of trainings for local peoples relating
                   English skills in tourism

             Number of trainings for local people relating
        .                .........entrepreneurial skills in tourism


Reasons to use
Education contributes to local participation and control. Particular the lack of
lack of English skills as well as the one of entrepreneurial spirit was stated to be a
key issue in the Soomaa National park region, preventing many local people to
integrate them in economic activities in tourism. Keeping track of the number
of these trainings delivers the possibility to check whether these numbers are
increasing as a cause of the PAN Parks membership or not.
                                                          ThesiThesis Report   64
            Data collection
            The data collection is suggested to be assigned to the Green Riverland NGO,
            as they deal with trainings of local people.

            Data analysis and reporting
            The analysed data should be delivered to the local PAN Parks group leader.

            Comments and limitations
            The number of training sessions does not prove that those people who were
            trained achieved to integrate them in tourism in the region.


            III. Indicators regarding sustaining local economy and long term economic
            viability


                   III.I Total number of tourists visiting SNP




            Reasons to use
            One of the objectives of the stakeholders at the Soomaa National Park is to
            increase the tourism demand in the region, in order to stabilize the local
            economy. The assumption is that tourists (especially from the international
            market) are attracted by the PAN Parks logo and therefore visit the National
            Park. Obtaining information, on the number of these tourists gives an indication
            on whether that objective is approached or not.

            Data collection
            See I.I

            Data analysis and reporting
            See I.I

            Comments and limitations
            Not every tourist will visit the centre and fill out the questionnaire.

II.II Average spending per tourists at the Soomaa National Park per stay on local economy
                   on non-tourism .related products or services (spending on food,
                   souvenirs, facilities etc)




                                                                       ThesiThesis Report   65
Reasons to use
The STDS attempts to increase the number of tourists coming to the Soomaa
National Park. These tourists spend certain money in the local economy, which
amount therefore should also increase. Those encompass tourists’ spending on
local food stores, souvenir shops or leisure activities. These spending have a
positive effect on the local economy. With the help of this indicator this amount
can be estimated and therefore seen whether this figure increases in
connection with the PAN Parks membership.

Data collection
The data can be obtained with the tourist questionnaire, located in the visitor
centre in the National Park, suggested in I.I. A sub-question asking for the
average spending per tourist on non-tourism related products and services

Data analysis and reporting
See I.I
Comments and limitations
Not every tourist might fill out the questionnaire which is limiting the credibility of
the data. Moreover the tourists might not be able to recall their exact spending:
therefore giving estimations.


IV. Indicators regarding living conditions

                    IV.I Percentage of local people in the PAN Parks region
                    who believe that tourism helped to bring in new
                    services or infrastructure

                  IV.II Percentage of local people in the PAN Parks
                  region who belief that the tourism related infrastructure
      development is consistent with the local building style ...........and
      atmosphere.

Reasons to use
As seen chapter three, PAN Parks aims to improve the living conditions of the
local people in the region with the use of tourism. Mainly that involves the
improvement of different services as well as infrastructure, which is made
possible due to tourisms income. Very important, however also is that those
developments are in line with the local atmosphere: that the development fits
in and is consistent with the local colour of the area. In order to monitor if that
objective is being approached the indicator should be implemented. The
indicator also takes the situation of the infrastructure in terms of the bad road
condition etc into account.

Data collection

                                                          ThesiThesis Report   66
The data is nonexistent at this point of time. It needs to be obtained with a
resident survey of the areas affected by tourism. This is suggested to be
conducted in cooperation with the four surrounding municipalities. As
particularly Green Riverland works for the well being of the local people it is
suggested that the NGO supports in the conduction.

Analysis and reporting
Due to its complexity of a resident survey (more content for the study will follow
as a cause of other indicators, explained in the following sections) it should be
analysed by those stakeholders who also established it. Still, the results need to
be delivered to the local PAN Parks leader who can further communicate these
two indictors.

Comments and limitations
For the residents it might be difficult to determine, which developments were
evoked by tourism. Moreover the difficulty of this indicator is to completely
relate it to the PAN Parks membership.


V. Indicators regarding local participation and control

             V.I Percentage of tourism stakeholders satisfied with
            networking and knowledge sharing among the different
           .stakeholders at the SNP .region.

Reasons to use
Once of the effects of the STDS is to increase the cooperation among the
different tourism stakeholders involved. The fieldwork findings revealed that the
cooperation among the tourism stakeholders is a severe issue for the Soomaa
National Park aimed to be improved. With the help of this indicator it can be
determined whether the satisfaction of the stakeholders with this cooperation is
increasing or not.

Data collection
Currently this data does not exist. It can be obtained with a questionnaire at
the local PAN Parks Group meetings. Out of the PAN Parks group, a volunteer
can be selected to do the collection.

Analysis and reporting
The data need to be delivered to the local PAN Parks group leader who is in
charge of analysing and reporting the outcomes.

             V.II Number of local people in the PAN Parks region
            .knowing about sustainable tourism and the possibility to
            participate in .decision making processes

Reasons to use
PAN Parks wants to increase the level of participation and control of local
people in the area. However, as a prerequisite for that first, the people have to
                                                          ThesiThesis Report   67
be aware that these possibilities exist: therefore the objective is to inform local
people about participation possibilities and the concept of sustainable tourism/
PAN Parks.

Data collection
The data can be collected as suggested in V. I. A question needs to be
included referring to the knowledge levels on participation possibilities in PAN
Parks.

Analysis and reporting: See V. I.

VI. Indicators relating satisfaction of local population with tourism development

             VI.I Percentage of locals who are satisfied with tourism
             development in the PAN Parks region


Reasons to use
Tourism development at the Soomaa National Park intends to develop in
harmony with the local population. Therefore it is essential to monitor whether
local people are actually satisfied with the tourism development or not. If not,
the indicator can encourage planning and discussion on why the local people
are not satisfied, and what can possible be done to change the situation.
Satisfaction levels are mainly the mirror for the local participation possibilities in
tourism. They also are important sign for the levels of hospitality of locals towards
the touristcxxix.

Data collection
The data can be collected with the same means of the resident survey,
explained in section V. I. The stakeholders in charge have to add a question
concerning the satisfaction level of local people towards tourism development
in the Soomaa National Park area.

Analysis and reporting
See V. I .

              VI.II Percentage of tourists who consider themselves as
              environmentally and culturally interested/ aware, in relation
             to .the .overall number of .tourists

Reasons to use
The objective relating the PAN Parks membership at the Soomaa National Park
partly is to attract a clientele which is environmentally and culturally sensitive,
implying that they show an interest for the local values and respect them. In
theory, a tourist who behaves more respectful towards cultural and natural
values does not cause that many negative impacts like other market segments,
who for example distract the local peoplecxxx. Therefore the type of target
group can also give an indication on the satisfaction levels of local people.

                                                          ThesiThesis Report   68
With the help of the indicator one can determine whether due to the PAN Parks
membership, the number of these types of tourists increases.

Data collection
The data needed for this indicator can be obtained with the same method
suggested in I. I. The only difference is to include a sub-question for the tourist
needing to state if they consider themselves as “environmentally and or
culturally aware”.


Data analysis and reporting
I. I.

Comments and limitations
The indicator underlies the theoretic assumption, that the behaviour of the
clients has a direct effect on the satisfaction of the locals. Moreover, if a tourist
considers itself as environmentally aware it cannot be guaranteed that his
behaviour is reflected by that attitude.


VII. Indicators relating strengthening of social and cultural patterns

             VII.I Percentage of locals, stating to be proud of their
             community and culture


Reasons to use
 As explained in chapter two, one by-product of sustainable tourism is the
possible increase of local pride and awareness. This indicator is able to
determine whether these values are simultaneously increasing with tourism
development at the surrounding communities in the Soomaa National Park or
not.

Data collection
The data is non-existent at this point of time. However it can be obtained with
the same method, as suggested for indicator V. I. Despite, a question needs to
be included about the residents feeling of pride towards their region.

Analysis and reporting
See V. I.

Comments and limitations
There is no 100% evidence that a possible change is connected to tourism in
support of PAN Parks, as the values might also be influenced by other outside
factors.




                                                         ThesiThesis Report   69
      VII.II Percentage of local community who agree that their .local culture,
      their traditions, its integrity and authenticity.is being .retained




Reasons to use
PAN Parks sustainable tourism concept wants to retain cultural traditions and
patterns. It needs to be prevented that tourism is negatively influencing local
cultural values and lifestyles. This indictor has the capability of measuring
whether that objective is approached on or not.



Data collection
The data collection can be obtained with the same method, as suggested for
indicator V. I. Despite, a question needs to be included about resident’s
feelings about tourisms impact on their local culture: If their traditions, the
cultural integrity and authenticity is being retained or not.

Data analysis and reporting
See V. I.

Assumptions/ Limitations: There is no 100% evidence that a possible change
comes is connected to tourism as the values might also be influenced by other
outside factors.

                  VII.III Number of local business related to local culture
                  (handicrafts, music, food) in the region


Reasons to use
As seen in chapter three, the sustainable tourism concept of PAN Parks wants to
retain economic activities connected to local culture and traditions. Obtaining
the number, of these local businesses, can monitor this aspect.

Data collection
The four local municipalities are suggested of being in charge in the
obtainment of the data, as they possess the information about it.

Analysis and reporting
The information needs to be given to the local PAN Parks group leader for
analysing as well as communicating the indicator.


                                                      ThesiThesis Report   70
     Comments/ Limitations
     A change in the number of these shops can also be attributed to external
     factors as well.


5.4 Conclusion
Concluding there is a range of recommendations and suggestion on how to
implement the indicators at the Soomaa National Park. Before wanting to implement
any indicator, the process as such needs to be organized. With the participatory
method a method is suggested to be applied, delivering different benefits: it enables
to share the workload among different stakeholders, encourages cooperation
among them as well as it makes the study feasible.

Relating the time of the implementation, it is highly important to obtain the data
before the Soomaa National Park obtained its membership. Only this way, adequate
comparison of data can be made use of. Considering data collection different
stakeholders are being suggested of being assigned for a specific indicator.

In terms of reporting of the outcomes of the indicators it can be concluded that if an
indicator is not communicated to the other stakeholders it is losing its value and
particularly the effort to obtain the data for it. Only based on discussion on the
outcomes of the indicators, adjustment in tourism planning can be realized.
As reporting of data is uncovered of being essential as well as it is stated of being a
common issue in setting the indicators into practice on a general level, the following
recommendation is formulated: The PAN Parks Group leader is suggested of being in
charge of reporting each indicator to the other stakeholders, also facilitating the
coordination of the process.

Concluding it became clear that if wanting to set indicators into practice
successfully, it cannot be regarded as a one- time exercise but requires commitment
over time. Continuous monitoring each period is an essential part of the indicator
implementation. Those stakeholders responsible for a specific indicator in the first
place were recommended to be in charge for monitoring the same one. Moreover
an important recommendation is to pay attention to the indicators itself. They should
be subject to constant monitoring, if they are fulfilling their desired outcomes or not. If
not they should be adjusted or eliminated.

Taking each of the indicators under the magnifying glass, different aspects become
apparent. First, each of the indicators has its unique characteristics. Some of the
data required is already existent others not. For several of the indicators the data
collection does not require much time nor effort, for others it implies obtaining
primary data. However those indicators requiring new data are suggested of being
acquired together with two different studies.

The first one involves information from tourists, visiting the National Park. It is
recommended to obtain the data with a questionnaire, to be located at the visitor
centre. This location brings along the benefit that the majority of the tourists go to the
visitor centre to inform themselves, eventually. As the park management partly works
in the visitor centre, they are suggested of being responsible for the study and its
                                                               ThesiThesis Report   71
analysis. However they are being advised to receive support from the NGO “Friends
of Soomaa” being their supporting partner in many other task as well.

The second set of primary information deals with the opinion of the local residents of
the area. This information requires establishing a resident survey of those areas
affected by tourism. The stakeholders suggested of being in charge are the local
municipality officials, who are advices of receiving support from the NGO Green
Riverland, working for the well-being of the local people.

Certainly each of the indicators brings along the problematic of having different
limitations, which are influencing the significance of the outcomes of the indicators.
That however cannot be prevented. The most sever limitation are the cause and
effect linkages of the study. The indicators are subject to other external factors,
which cannot be taken out of the calculation.

Concluding implementing the indicators requires the commitment of the different
stakeholders involved. However through this exercise, cooperation among them is
being encouraged, given an answer to one of the current issues in the area.




                                                           ThesiThesis Report   72
                              Chapter 6: Conclusion

The following conclusions can be deducted after research on the topic on how to
measure socio-cultural as well as economic impacts, for a PAN Park, namely the
Soomaa National Park.

Braking down the concepts of sustainable tourism or more specifically of ecotourism
into its specific objectives, which later on could be measured, brings along different
complications. First, the impacts which sustainable tourism and or ecotourism want to
evoke vary. Even though common principles and criteria can be found, the major
issue is that they are interpreted and operationalized differently. Therefore it cannot
be expected to reveal a universally accepted list of what exactly sustainable tourism
and or ecotourism want to achieve. This also leads to the consequence that it is
complex to approach the topic on how to measure the impacts of sustainable
tourism and or ecotourism.

Nevertheless, in order to be able to measure impacts of sustainable tourism,
indicators can be used. They serve to put the criteria of any form of sustainable
tourism into measurable terms. This is done in order to be able to measure, evaluate
as well as monitor if the criteria set are reached or not. If not, they serve to stimulate
changes in tourism planning.

However, solely wanting to measure the desirable impacts of sustainable tourism,
with the help of indicators is a rather broad and difficult task. The range of indicators
for those criteria set in sustainable tourism is rather extensive. This problematic
however clarifies the need to tailor the criteria for a specific destination, by
consulting different stakeholders in order to choose the most adequate indicator.
Hereby the importance is that the indicators, which derive from the consultation with
local stakeholders, should respond to the most severe issues at as well as objectives
set at a destination.

When wanting to measure these specific impacts in relation to a PAN Park, the
organisations approach on sustainable tourism needs to be clarified and their
specific criteria specified. What is highly important to consider, that due to the
Sustainable Tourism Strategy some impacts, which relate to socio-cultural as well as
economic aspects are already being measured and monitored. These, however,
concentrate on those aspects which directly relate to the performance of the
strategy itself, and not on the impacts the STDS leaves on the wider region. Based on
the criteria set of the PAN Parks Foundation, indicators were able to be suggested on
a centralized level.

In the case of the Soomaa National Park the consultation of different stakeholders
involved revealed several findings serving as input for the definition of adequate
indicators. First of all, the stakeholders are rather consent about what they consider
the most important socio-cultural and economic issues connected to tourism, as well
as carry rather clear objectives in tourism development, in relation to the PAN Parks
membership with reference to these aspects. The most apparent issues, which the
field work findings revealed can be concluded of being the following: Insufficient

                                                              ThesiThesis Report   73
income and employment from tourism particularly during the low season, the main
reason being a lack of tourism demand for a local business to sustain themselves in
the long run. In addition, missing entrepreneurial spirit and knowhow of many local
people hindering them to find income opportunities in tourism. Furthermore lacking
infrastructure, especially concerning the access to the park and insufficient
stakeholder cooperation are stated of being insufficient at different levels.
Furthermore, some of the current tourists visiting the National Park are considered
being a threat for the area, disturbing local people and therefore local satisfaction
levels towards tourism.

When asked about which objectives the stakeholders carry towards the PAN Parks
membership, almost all issues were covered, despite two of them involving the lack
of infrastructure as well as the deficit in entrepreneurial thinking and knowhow of
many local people living in the area.

Concluding, the by- product of the identification process of indicators at a local
level can be seen clearly: it can help to increase discussion and make adjustments in
tourism planning.

Recommendations to the Soomaa National Park
Based on these findings the first recommendation for Soomaa National Park can be
deducted: The Soomaa National Park is advices to discuss about those two issues
mentioned and define objectives for them.

Moreover, those objectives mentioned during the field work, currently carry most
importance and or awareness from the local stakeholders. However, still there are
objectives, the PAN Parks Foundation holds on a centralized level, which were not
mentioned during the field work. Therefore, the Soomaa National Park is
recommended to discuss about those objectives, which solely derive from the PAN
Parks Foundation. Important questions to be answered could be: Are the
stakeholders at the Soomaa National Park aware of these objectives? Which
importance do they carry? Might they be able to respond to those issues, which are
missing objectives anyhow? Should they be defined for the Soomaa National Park
and be integrated into constant monitoring with the help of specific indicators?

In order to be able to determine these different sets of indicators, the Soomaa
National Park is advised to make use of two different categories. The individual
indicators recommended to be implemented are depicted chapter five. The first
category responds to those objectives deriving from the field work findings. They are
the suggested priority indicators. The second one encompasses recommended
indicators, corresponding to those objectives the PAN Parks Foundation carries,
which were not mentioned on a local level. Currently those can be regarded as
second priority. However, those indicators from the second category can be shifted
into the first category. The prerequisite being that an objective needs to be defined
first. Once the discussion about the different sets of indicators is finalized, they can be
implemented.

Concerning the implementation phase of the indicators, several recommendations
can be given. First, it is advised to organize the process based on a participatory
                                                               ThesiThesis Report   74
approach of different stakeholders. This method delivers different benefits being: its
cost-saving nature, its ability to share the work load among different people as well
as it encourages cooperation among the different stakeholders.

Based on this approach different stakeholders are suggested of being assigned for
different task to implement the indicators. Details about suggested assignments of
tasks for each indicator can be find in chapter five.

The following recommendation can be given for the different steps required when
wanting to implement the indicators.

Data collection
The different indicators, which require the collection of primary data can be
grouped in two different studies: The first one involving tourists, the second one
dealing with residents. For the first set of data it is recommended to establish a tourist
questionnaire and locate it in the visitor centre at the National Park. Considering the
second set of data, it is recommended to implement a resident study of those areas
affected by tourism development of the National Park.

Considering the time, it needs to be ensured that the indicators are collected before
the Soomaa National Park obtained its PAN Parks membership. Only that way,
adequate comparison of data can be made possible: first before the National Park is
a PAN Park as well as after the membership is given some time to take its fruits.

Data analysis and reporting
For the analysis of every indicator, being simple or complex nature, it is
recommended to try to keep the analysis as clear and simple as possible. Making
use of different visual material can be helpful.

As adequate communication of the indicator often is a step, which is
underestimated and therefore diminishes the possibility to evoke possible changes in
tourism planning, the following recommendation is given: Every indicator should be
reported to the local PAN Parks group leader. He is responsible for communicating
the indicator to the other stakeholders. This activity can be included in the local PAN
Parks group meetings. In addition, the local PAN Parks group leader should deliver
the outcomes of the indicators to the PAN Parks Foundation. This way, they can draw
conclusions on the effectiveness of the PAN Parks strategy relating socio-cultural as
well as economic benefits for the region.

Monitoring
The process of data collection, analysis and reporting is recommended to be
repeated periodically to determine the changes over time and to make possible
management adjustments. It is recommended to monitor the indicators once a year.
Additionally, the indicators itself should be reviewed periodically, to control whether
they are indeed delivering the desired results. If not, they need to be adjusted.

Concluding one can say that implementing the indicators is not a onetime activity; it
should become part of a routine activity and requires the commitment of all
stakeholders involved.
                                                              ThesiThesis Report   75
However, once they are implemented, the indicators can give valuable input for
effective sustainable tourism planning and development at the Soomaa National
Park. At the same time, the indicators can monitor the effectiveness of their PAN
Parks membership relating socio-cultural as well as economic impacts for the region.

Recommendations to PAN Parks
Based on the findings of this research, the Protected Area Network is encouraged to
promote the use of indicators at other future PAN Parks as well. Future pending
members of the network should be encouraged to define their indicators as well as
implement them, before they obtained the membership. This study can serve as a
case study to learn from. Once they have obtained the membership, the indicators
can be monitored over time and realize possible improvement on the socio-
economic situation within each PAN Parks region.

First, this could benefit tourism planning processes relating socio-cultural and
economic aspects at different pending PAN Parks members. At the same time it
could give those future members feedback on the effectiveness of the strategy
relating socio-cultural and economic benefits for the PAN Parks region.

Once, different parks report on their outcomes of the indicators to the PAN Parks
Foundation, it can help PAN Parks to deduct their conclusions on the effectiveness of
the network, concerning these aspects from. This also enables to make possible
adjustments in the overall strategy, if necessary.

Third, once more parks make use of common indicators the effectiveness of the
strategy can be compared among the different member parks.

Limitations
After finalizing this research, different limitations became apparent. The first limitation
relates to the results of the field work findings. One aspect which affects the quality
of the results is that the interviews were not conducted in the mother language of
the interviewees. The information was portrayed to the researcher, through the
interpretation of the translator, which might have had an effect on the content of
the information. Connected to language barriers is the fact that the researcher and
the interviewees do not have a common cultural background, which might have left
an effect on the validity of the research: containing misunderstandings due to
cultural differences.

Moreover, literature on identifying indicators on a local level, suggests deciding and
prioritizing about the different indicators together with the relevant stakeholders.
However, due to limited time capacities, it was not possible to undertake this process
together with the stakeholders involved. Therefore also the stakeholders are advices
to further discuss about the indicators before implementing them.

Another limitation relates to the indicators itself and its problematic, that different
cause and effect linkages are difficult to determine. That means that it is not possible
to completely relate a change in the indicator back to the PAN Parks network. One
has to bear in mind that the Soomaa National Park with its adjacent communities is

                                                               ThesiThesis Report   76
influenced by many external factors which can always have an effect on different
socio-cultural as well as economic aspects. Those however cannot be traces back.

A further limitation is the fact, that due to limited resources, not all indicators which
might be of interest to the Soomaa National Park are feasible to be obtained.

Moreover, the limited amount of time available for this thesis was reinforced by a
change in the initial thesis assignment on the side of the commissioner. That certainly
brought along limitations of the research itself.




                                                              ThesiThesis Report   77
Appendix 1




             ThesiThesis Report   78
                              Interview with Kuno Erkmann/24. 03. 2009

       Head of the Paikuse Municipality

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I am the head of the municipality of Paikus. The area consists of 21 villages and has about 3900
inhabitants. I am responsible for socio-humanitarian issues, sports and culture as well as city
planning and development issues.

2. Which role does tourism play for the Paikuse municipality?
Up to this point tourism plays a minor role in relation to the incomes for the communities. Round
about 40 people are involved in it. It involves around 5 % of the income for the area. There are
some farmers involved in offering accommodation facilities for tourists.

3. What are important sources of income for the area?
The main important sources of income are in the wood industry, service industry, furniture
production as well as metal industry. Also many people produce very good local products, like
food or small handcrafts. At the moment however they are lacking the knowledge to sell them. Of
course, also people are employed by the municipality of Paikuse.

4. What are current socio- economic problems within your region?
Due to socio economic situation in general, work for everybody is difficult to find. We have quite a
high unemployment rate as employment possibilities are rather limited. Also due to the lack of
income opportunities many people move into the cities. This leaves us with a demographic
problem. We have an aging community and not enough young people living in the area.

Also we have a problem with the infrastructure within our region. It is in pretty bad condition. This
also counts for the roads to and within the National Park. Here, everything it quite difficult to
access, which makes it more difficult to encourage people to live and invest in the area.

5. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
Generally, among our community I feel that they value the tourism industry, as it generates
income opportunities. I actually see a great potential for the future, as more and more people are
interested in spending their holidays in natural areas.
However I think that the quality standards among the different service providers vary a lot. There
are many tourism products and services which do not have a very good quality.

6. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Well, first of all I will tell you what my objectives are regarding tourism. We want to increase the
attractiveness of our villages to improve the tourism infrastructure. At the moment we are building
a National Museum as well as a Spa Centre in the city of Paikuse. Also, we want to develop tours
to the Soomaa National Park. Our aim is to be able to enter the area, based on a strict code of
conduct. We want to have these accesses only with guided walks form local people. This way,
also the local people can generate an income.

Relating the PAN Parks network I think it is a great idea. Behind the concept, there is a lot of expert
knowledge and opportunities for us. I believe the network will generate new ideas and stimulate
innovate thinking. I think it will greatly benefit the cooperation between the entrepreneurs and
altogether, tourism stakeholders. In relation to socio-economic improvements I think it will have a
positive effect on the local labour market. Tourism creates new jobs and also the tourists leave


                                                                       ThesiThesis Report    79
money in the local economy. I also think, that the number of tourists will increase, so the income
received by tourism increases.




                                                                    ThesiThesis Report   80
                                 Interview with Mr. Kase/ 16. 03. 2009

       Pärnu County Government – Development and Planning Department

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I work in the development and planning department for the Pärnu county government. We try to
support economic development but also concentrate on nature protection.

2. Which role does tourism play for the city of Pärnu?
The importance of tourism is growing, especially in terms of the future. It also gains importance for
the rural communities, especially on the way from Pärnu to the Soomaa National Park. For villages
like Sindi, Jooesu and Toir, tourism is gaining more importance also in terms of income.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
It is very important for us, to keep the Soomaa National Park as it is and to remember that it is
vulnerable, and that it therefore needs to be managed with care.

Selling can not be the only aim. It will harm our image and leave its negative traces behind in the
future. I see a threat in uncontrolled development, in which low quality tourism products and
services are offered. This way, the area is loosing its image, its uniqueness.

Tourism should not be seen as a simple economy with the aim to maximize profit. It needs to be
done in a sense that it is also contributing to the quality of life of the local communities. It needs to
be planned in a way that certain standards can be set. We need to keep Soomaa as a high
quality trademark. This also accounts for the tourism products and services. They have to be
offered in a high qualitative way. Additionally, it should include educative elements, so the tourists
can learn about the local values of Soomaa. At the moment, I really think that that is missing.

In addition to that, I regard the lack of infrastructure as a problem. There is for example no phone
connection within the park, which also effect aspects of security/ first aid.

Moreover I think that there is a problem in cooperation especially with the rural municipalities and
the county governments, but also among the local municipalities involved in tourism.

4. PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature conservation aims. However it also aims to generate
community benefits. What would be your expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio-
cultural and or economic aspects?
The Network is no magical system. We have to define, plan and implement what we want to
archive ourselves. Nevertheless I think it can be a really good tool for us in working on certain
issues.

One aspect which I hope to increase is the level of quality within the tourism products. I think a
good attempt to approach this issue, also is to include more aspects in the tourism products in
which the tourists can learn something about the area. This way the tourists can gain knowledge
about the area, which helps that the tourist behaves in a responsible way.

Moreover, I belief that the PAN Parks status will increase the brand awareness of the National Park.
It will also help to increase the number of international visitors. The visitors which are attracted by
the PAN Parks brand are also responsible, desirable customers.

In relation to employment opportunities, if the number of tourists grows, it will also create more
employment for local people. Not only direct but also indirect for local shops for example. Most
importantly, also tourism has given locals more opportunities, which lets them be more active and
also provides more income.

                                                                         ThesiThesis Report    81
ThesiThesis Report   82
                                Interview with Tonu Kiviloo/ 18. 03. 2009

       Head of Kopu Municipality

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and about the area?
The Municipality of Kopu has 9 villages with 800 inhabitants. The municipality aims to support
building the infrastructure as much as possible. Moreover we support the local economy, where
we can. We also promote the area to get clients for enterprises.
Moreover we support the local school and the nature conservation centre.

2. Which role does tourism play for the Paikuse municipality?
From about 800 people altogether, 10 are full time employed by tourism. For many however it
rather serves to gain a side income, its rather a hobby than a reliable source of income.
Particularly the small scale tourism does not provide the people with sufficient income.
I think, in 2 years from now, the situation will change. I regard tourism to have a lot of opportunities
for our municipality. Also, currently there are not sufficient tourism supply facilities inside the
national park.

3. What are important sources of income for the area?
Many people earn their income near the cities or are going abroad. The local municipality gives
work in the school, the pension homes as well as the Kindergarten. Moreover the pharmacy, the
doctor as well as the post office is supported by the municipality.

4. What are current socio- economic problems within your region?
The main problem is that many people cannot find enough work in the villages. Many people earn
their income in the surrounding cities like Viljandi. Some even go abroad to get better job
perspectives and loans. This situation also leads to the next socio- economic problem all these rural
municipalities face: the aging population. There are not enough young people moving to our
areas or staying here.

This is also connected to a mentality which is quite problematic for the creation of a flourishing
business environment. It is a burned of the Soviet time people carry along. For a long time they
have been employed by the state farms. This means that they waited for someone telling them
what to do. They were used to function without needing to develop their own ideas. Today, many
people they lack a sense of entrepreneurial spirit. Especially today, with this lack in entrepreneurial
thinking, during a world wide crisis, it is extremely difficult for small scale enterprises in this region to
sustain them selves. This issue is also attached to the problem that many people lack education as
well as continue to think in the past.

5. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
Currently, tourism is perceived as not a very simple task. People acknowledge it but they also
know that they have to work very hard for it in order to gain something out of it. It normally takes
years to become economically stable. For many the seasonal nature of tourism is a big problem.

Moreover I see a problem in cooperation among different people involved in tourism. In my
opinion the National Park Management lacks planning and cooperation. The main problem is the
fact that there is a high insecurity of the areas of responsibilities between the 2 different bodies in
charge of the Parks management. This is reducing the ability to think and plan in the wider
perspective and makes cooperation e. g. with the government officials difficult.

Also I see a difficulty in the level of cooperation among the individual entrepreneurs in tourism.
They do not see themselves in the wider picture; meaning that they are not aware that a tourist
needs different elements out of different sectors, in order to have a satisfactory holiday
experience. Especially in these region with these weather conditions, and the harsh economic
situation the most important aspect seems to be to earn the own income. The people have a hard
                                                                           ThesiThesis Report      83
time understanding the importance of cooperation as well as creating a synergy of different
service providers, which is essential in creating a good tourism experience.

In addition to that I more and more see a threat in the event tourism business. Actually it is quite
lucrative, as it serves bigger amount of people at a time. However, these people are not coming
to the see the natural beauty of this place. They are coming for pure enjoyment and parties. This is
distractive for the other people living in the area. They are quite loud and leave a rather negative
picture on how the local people think towards tourism.

6. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Yes, I am familiar with the concept and I do belief in it. Otherwise we would not have met today. I
do hope that the network will help to create more income opportunities. However, I have to admit
that I do not expect too much from it. The creation of income always depends on so many
external factors, therefore I cannot state any exact expectations, which also would be a bit
idealistic thinking. We want to support local tourism enterprises to sustain themselves. Moreover we
want to support locals in selling their home made products to the tourists. Besides that I think that
the network will increase the cooperation among the different stakeholders in tourism. As aims at
attracting qualitative customers, I think the number of these will increase and that will benefit our
local communities.

Well, but we also have our specific tourisms objectives for our municipality. We brought the old
dairy factory in the city centre. Our aim is to transform it into a visitor information centre. It is also
supposed to function as a small seminar centre. The visitor centre will be a combination: creating
services for local people but on the other hand attracting tourists. The village of Kopu should
become an attractive place, for its people and the tourists to have a look in the city, the visitor
centre and have a coffee break.




                                                                         ThesiThesis Report     84
                               Interview with Leili Kuusk / 24. 03. 2009

       Representative of Suure- Jaani Municipality

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I work for the Suure- Jaani municipality which has 250 inhabitants and 46 villages
My areas of responsibility include all kinds of governmental tasks.

2. Which role does tourism play for the Paikuse municipality?
For the municipality tourism is an economic side activity. It has a very seasonal nature and also it is
very unpredictable. It is nothing people can depend on at the moment. At the moment a few
single entrepreneurs are involved in tourism.

3. What are important sources of income for the area?
Many people are employed via the municipality of Suure- Janni itself. Others practice small sale
agriculture.

4. What are current socio- economic problems within your region?
Our main struggle is the lack of job opportunities. Agricultural production is getting less and less
attractive. Earning a stable income in our rural geographic setting is very difficult.
That is why many people move into the cities to gain income or even go abroad, for short or even
long time work. This also leaves us the problem that the number of people who live here is
decreasing. Additionally many old people live here.

5. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
I feel that not enough local people benefit out of tourism. This situation however is connected to a
rather passive and inactive mentality of many local people. They do not see the need to get
active and try to become part of the industry. Many people for example produce great home
made products which could be sold to tourists. However they do not sell those products to them,
as they do not know how. Also of course, this problem is linked with the fact that not so many
people have sufficient educational background.

6. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
I do not have any expectations about the Network: I heard about it but I am not familiar with the
entire concept. I need to gain more information to be able to make up my mind and or set
specific objectives.




                                                                           ThesiThesis Report   85
                                Interview with Enda Link / 24. 03. 2009

       Head of Tori Municipality

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I am responsible for the municipality of Tori. We are very small, rural municipality.

2. Which role does tourism play for the Tori municipality?
We are the gate of Soomaa. Quite many are involved. As an source of income it plays an
important role for the inhabitants. However I cannot provide any specific data.

3. What are important sources of income for the area?
Agriculture, building industry, as well as the municipality gives jobs. In addition there is a horse farm
in the village of Tori, which also has a great symbolic character for our municipality. The horse farm
also earns income via tourism.

4. What are current socio- economic problems within your region?
I think that the infrastructure is in a quite bad situation, which makes life more difficult. Also we do
have a problem in terms of unemployment. Further we have a rather aging, almost dying out local
community, which is quite frightening for an area.

5. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
I think that the people involved in tourism should be working together more closely. I also think that
the local municipalities for example should increase the cooperation among each other, also in
relation to tourism. At the moment I do not see any other threats or issues concerning tourism for
our inhabitants.

6. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
It will benefit the region as more people will come to the SNP. Also more people from different
countries. This will also generate more jobs.




                                                                          ThesiThesis Report   86
                                Interview with Mr. Metsoja / 16. 03. 2009

        Pärnu County Government – Chairman of the Board

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I am the chairman of the Pärnu county government one of the 15 county governments in Estonia.
The Board is financed via the Minister of Internal Affairs. We work to reach certain development
aims while at the same time having an eye on nature conservation.

2. Which role does tourism play for the city of Pärnu?
For Pärnu tourism is very important as it is the second most visited city within Estonia.
However at the moment, the trend goes towards nature tourism. That has its negative impacts on
city tourism. On the other hand it profits the rural municipalities. More people are interested to visit
the Soomaa National Park. Not so many tourists, spend much time in our city, they prefer the
nature tourism activities. Actually, for the National Park the tourists arriving in Pärnu are important
customers. 90 % of the visitors to Soomaa come form Pärnu. The access through Pärnu is easier
and the most used one. This is also because it is an attractive city and people combine it with a
natural experience in the Soomaa National park.
The villages on the route, like Tori and Sindi profit from these tourist flows. Also of course, the villages
located on the border and or inside the boundaries of the National Park.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
I think that there is missing awareness to ensure a level of quality within the tourism products.
Making money seems to be the one and only aim. Also I think there is a lack of communication
and cooperation among the different people involved in tourism.

4. PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature conservation aims. However it also aims to generate
community benefits. What would be your expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio-
cultural and or economic aspects?
I hope that the brand awareness of the Park will increase, also on a European perspective.
I think it is a good marketing tool, as it also attracts desirable target groups. I expect the Soomaa
National Park to gain a more sophisticated image, attracting a market that is looking for
qualitative nature experience and is interested in and aware of our local values.
In addition to that I hope that the overall quality of the tourism products is increasing also in order
to keep the natural environment at it is. One last point: I do think and hope that the cooperation
among the different stakeholders will improve. This also accounts also the cooperation with the
Viljandi county government.




                                                                           ThesiThesis Report     87
                               Interview with Mrs. Kesküll 16. 03. 2009

       Head of the Tourism Board

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position?
I am the head of the Tourism Board in Pärnu. We serve as a tourism information point and aim to
increase the number of tourists, to generate economic development.

2. Which role does tourism to Soomaa play for you?
Soomaa NP has place an important role for tourism industry in Pärnu. The Soomaa National Park is
one of the main natural destinations for the county of Pärnu. We are proud of sending our clients
to the SNP; as it is our “Jewel” of this area. Therfore also, we are very much interested in preserving
the area as it is. We value the sustainable tourism and support the PAN Parks network a lot.

Especially people that live in cities like to visit Soomaa in order to go canoeing or bog shoeing.
Approximately 50% of the tourists coming to the visitor centre are Finish. In general, the importance
of tourism for the rural areas is increasing as the number of tourist who are looking for nature based
holidays is growing. People spend less time in the city and more time in the natural regions.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
We have some problems with the public transport. There is no public system, which connects the
different villages and attractions, in an comfortable and convenient way for the tourists.

Also there is a current problem we face: the numbers of visitors is decreasing. There is a lack of
marketing activities for the Soomaa National Park, particularly for winter activities. This also
accounts for a lack of press coverage about the area especially on the international markets.

Moreover the overall service quality is not sufficient enough, particularly the differences among
quality.

One more aspect to be mentioned is that the importance of cooperation has not jet been
understood between all the stakeholders.

4. PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature conservation aims. However it also aims to generate
community benefits. What would be your expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio-
cultural and or economic aspects?
I think it will help to fight against the decreasing tourist arrival numbers. The PAN parks brand will
create a reason, why people are coming to the area.

I do think that the membership will increase the awareness of people for our region on a European
level. We already have the island, close to here, which is part of the UNESCO list. This is also a very
good brand name. As we are now getting the trademark of PAN Parks, which is associated with
the World Wide Nature Fund, that will also stimulate more people to come.

I think that it will also attract more environmentally aware tourists those who know why they are
coming and are interested in the values of the area.

In any way, I think that it will leave a positive impact on local entrepreneurs, as its a good
marketing channel. I think it will benefit rural community development, via an increased direct
and or indirect income of tourism. I also hope it will help to increase the number of people
coming, also in the low season.

Furthermore it is a good tool in order to start controlling the quality within the tourism products and
services. And last to add, I also aim to increase the cooperation among the tourism stakeholders
and the network is a good starting point for that. Especially, I want to improve the cooperation
                                                                          ThesiThesis Report   88
with the NGOs but also with the county and municipality governments. The awareness about the
need for cooperation and its importance, I hope will increase.




                                                                ThesiThesis Report   89
                            Interview with Reevo Maidla/ 24. 03. 2009

      Union of Viljandi local municipalities

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I’m the managing director of an association of 15 local municipalities in Viljandi.
We carry out all sorts of development processes, such as constructing tourism routes, organizing
county-size events and conducting educational projects.

2. Which role does tourism play for you?
The Soomaa National Park only plays a small role for us. The majority of the tourists rather travel
from Pärnu county to the Soomaa National Park. Therefore for the Viljandi county tourism to the
Soomaa National Park is not that important for us.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
At the moment people primarily see the good side of tourism. They have more business
opportunities and therefore a possible increasing income through tourism.
Though, I recon the problem is that tourism is often solely seen from an economic point of view;
people think of making money. In this sense, many forget the importance of nature protection and
sustaining certain quality standards.

One current issue I see within the road system which is in very bad condition. This factor might
keep tourists from visiting the national park in the first place.

4. PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature conservation aims. However it also aims to generate
community benefits. What would be your expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio-
cultural and or economic aspects?
First of all I hope that the quality of the tourism products is gaining with the help of PAN Parks.
Secondly, I hope that by being in the network, more tourists come to the area.
I think this will also benefit the local people as job opportunities might increase.
Further I expect that the PAN Parks network initiates new ideas and processes in the Soomaa
National Park.




                                                                     ThesiThesis Report   90
Appendix 2




             ThesiThesis Report   91
                                Interview with Mrs. Adams/ 17. 03. 2009

       Managing director Green Riverland

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I am the manager of the Green Riverland LAG. Altogether we have 78 members from three
different sectors. (Local authorities, entrepreneurs and NGO’s) Soomaa is part of my area of
responsibility. We aim to improve the quality of life of the local rural communities. We aim to
encourage cooperation between people form 3 different sectors. They are sitting together at one
table, discussing on the same problems, and finding solutions/ compromises for different people.
We established a booklet of all the tourism entrepreneurs within the region. The Green Riverland
tries to encourage these partnerships, by being able also to help financing projects. One of our
projects right now is the establishment of an adult training programme.
We aim at the better use of natural and cultural heritage of the area and want to create a better
value for the environment. Other aspects we want to archive are; development, sustainability of
the villages, information sharing, media, cooperation, sustainable tourism, social infrastructure,
community services and communication services.

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
Tourism is one of our important aspects. It involves many people, therefore it is important or us. It
does not only involve entrepreneurs but also local producers, farmers, accommodation providers.
Our aim is to further integrate the local people in tourism, which also means that the locals could
gain opportunities in selling their home made products to tourists.
For the region, from an income point of view, there is some local income, but it is rather small. It
does not generate that many jobs however people have a supportive attitude towards it as they
see income opportunities.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
I still see a threat in communication and cooperation between the different sectors.
I feel like that the people involved in tourism who for example have a business only see
themselves. They do not have yet understood the need to cooperate with others. The cooperation
among the different sectors like government officials, NGOs as well as local entrepreneurs is in a
state of infancy.

I think that the local people need to be stronger involved still. This is a constant process and we
have definitely not reached the end. Also those people involved in tourism, need some support
e.g. in terms of marketing. The tourists numbers are in many cases not stable enough to gain an
income of which people can earn their living from.

Local people lack knowledge on how to gain a benefit out of tourism. For incident, many locals
make very good products, but there is no knowledge on how to sell those.
People coming to Soomaa to party and drink with their companies, are a threat to the area.

4. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
The PAN parks network and our organisation are going into the same direction. It is just going more
in-depth in the area of tourism. That is why I support the system: I think it’s a good opportunity also
for local entrepreneurs to develop good services. This is also benefiting the locals. Also I think it will
benefit our region on the European Market, meaning that it will attract more international visitors.
Those increased number of visitors, in turn will increase the income of local people, if the tourism
                                                                         ThesiThesis Report     92
products are being offered locally. Certainly this will also increase the employment opportunities,
which also adds a social value, as the local people are becoming more active again.

This might also generate more employment. That however can never be predicted. We hope to
attract tourists which are looking for a qualitative nature based holiday experience, people who
know why they are coming and value our place and its uniqueness. We have to get ready and
prepare to provide high quality products. The Green Riverland, SNP and PP are a good line of
cooperation: it’s a good possibility for the integration of business partners. Green Riverland can
support in financial issues.

I think there should be more tourism package products, which have been designed from
partnerships out of the 3 sectors. Our aim is to build partnerships and initiatives within 3 sectors:
local authorities, entrepreneurs and NGOs.

People, particular the tourism entrepreneurs need to become aware, that they need to see the
area as an entire system and not only see their single product. In particular for tourism, we can
only offer a very attractive tourism product if all the sectors work together and we have a system
of good products. I hope that not only the cooperation among the entrepreneurs will increase,
but also between the other sectors like local government, NGOs as well as Park management. We
aim of the creation of integrated development strategies.

More important to have the possibility for people to experience and learn about the area. With
this I mean the integration of local stories. Also, very important is to integrate local people in these
services, to integrate them in the tourism development within the Soomaa National Park. Tourism
can also bring the social benefit for these people, that they are gaining a feeling of pride towards
their local values.

My aim/ whish is that the village people become active and involved; can earn some more
income out of tourism. Now, it is quite an unstable and limited source of income.




                                                                        ThesiThesis Report    93
                                Interview with Mrs. Hoder /06. 03. 2009

       Social community worker/ Chairman of the Tipu Nature School

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
At the moment I am working at a community development project. We are aiming to build a
nature school in the Tipu village. I am the chairman of the project.

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
Well, my work rather focuses on the community development project. I am not directly involved in
tourism.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
The socio- cultural issue I see in tourism is to integrate the activity of tourism with the local culture
and attitudes towards tourism. Many of the local community members do not want to be involved
in tourism. They are not interested in it, as they are culturally not open- minded towards it. Their
mentality is a rather closed one. They are not the people to proudly present the rest of the world,
what they have. They are pretty shy and very reserved. In relation to international tourist arrivals,
also there is a language barrier problem as not many people of the local community actually do
speak sufficient English. Also I see an issue in the integration of the local people in tourism, that
they lack a kind of entrepreneurial sense.

In addition I see a problem in relation to the tourism products. At the moment they are not
sufficiently designed for a qualitative, rounded up holiday experience. What is missing is content
for the tourists programme, meaning that there is a lack of planned activities which tourist can do
within the area. Moreover the tourism product lacks an educative and interpretative information
about the area: on the culture, on the nature. This way the tourist lacks the possibility to learn
about the area.

I see a threat that too many people are coming to the area, as it is a natural fragile place, already
few people can cause severe damage. This is particularly true, if the nature education does not
function properly, people do know enough of their impacts and the damage they cause, as well
as the consequences that has on the wildlife. In general I think that these low quality tourism
products and services, which aim at earning money fast, without considering and or teaching
about the values of the area, will soon have a negative impact on the local people: their values
are not being preserved, and also the image of the place changes.

Also I see a threat of the choices of the right target groups. This for example accounts for the
business tourists coming to the area to party. If environmentally unaware target groups enter the
area, on top of that, without sufficient educational and interpretative material, the area soon will
be facing huge pressures, being a threat for the natural condition of the area.

Moreover I see the threat, that due to the mentality of the local people, they are not well
integrated in the tourism development process.

4. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?

5. PAN Parks membership
I expect an increased quality level within the tourism product. Other than that I think that the PAN
parks membership will help for the people to realize, that they should cooperate with each other
and they should change something. I hope it can do something in order to increase
communication between the people. Now, communication between the people within the
village does not sufficiently take place. I also hope that some jobs are being created via tourism,
                                                                          ThesiThesis Report   94
involving local people. I am not sure if that falls outside the boundaries of PAN Parks, but I hope
that the products have more educational elements inside.




                                                                     ThesiThesis Report   95
                             Interview with Mrs. Tiina Korts/ 17. 03. 2009

       Managing director of Friends of Soomaa

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
We are a non profit organisation and aim at nature conservation of the SNP and at supporting
local people. This also includes the support of traditional skills and works like making honey, hay
production and bread making.
Moreover we are responsible for the establishment as well as reparations for visitor information,
trails. However the financial means are limited as we fully depend on European Fund money. In
addition, we also support the employees of the National Park with different activities like e. g. bird
counting etc. we work very closely together with the team of the National park.

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
For us it is very important. We encourage tourism which gives a lot of information on Soomaas
nature. I am a guide my self.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community
I feel like many older local people actually do not like to be involved in tourism. This is also
attached to their historical background and age. They just want to be left in peace, calm. Also
since the area has become a National Park locals had to suffer restriction for fire wood collection
etc. The different zoning systems prohibits them all kind of different activities. In some areas, they
are not allowed to make fire, others prohibit to pick berries etc.
I am actually afraid, that the area is loosing its human touch, as more and more people are
moving into the cities, due to a lack of employment possibilities.

However also at this point of time, the communities are not bothered with the tourists, if we are
talking about the regular, respectful tourists. However, I see a problem with the random tourists,
travellers who do not have knowledge on how to behave in this area. Also the number of people
who are just coming to celebrate a business event in the area is growing, and is a threat for the
area, in my opinion. Then there have been incidents, that these people steal wood from the
locals for example. This leaves negative a negative picture of tourism behind.

I think one main issue of tourism in this area is the fact that it is very seasonal. Therefore people
cannot depend on it as their main income. Also there is not so much other jobs available in it. That
problem, than often leads to the next social problem: that the people are moving out of these
rural regions into the cities. I feel that the area is kind of losing its human imprints.

4. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
The concept is appealing to me, it’s full of good ideas however I do not expect any wonders.
At least my aim is that the tourism is not being carried out on the costs of the local culture and
natural values of the park. I hope that the local people living in the area, will also in future be
content with tourism development in the region. I hope that there will be enough of active
people and entrepreneurs who understand the concept in the end. And that these people,
indeed will have an eye on the cultural as well as natural assets of the area I hope that the
number of people is not increasing that much.
In relation to community benefits, I do think it has the possibility to increase local income, however
as I said it will not be a miracle. This also depends on so many factors, which cannot be foreseen. I
hope that the network will help to improve the quality of the tourism products.




                                                                        ThesiThesis Report   96
Appendix 3




             ThesiThesis Report   97
                              Interview with Mr. Suurkask 17. 03. 2009

        Conservation Planner, Environmental Board Pärnu

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I work for the environmental Board in Pärnu as a conservation planner. The Soomaa National Park
is one of the areas I am working for.

2. Which role does tourism play for you?
Tourism is important for us to consider, therefore we made it part of our management plan.
I especially see tourism planning as very important. Outside the National Park, there are many
strong entrepreneurs, who have a strong interest in the development of tourism within the National
Park.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
I see a threat in the coordination of tourism, which is very vague. There is a body missing which is
managing the tourism development. There is no specific team for tourism within Soomaa. This
certainly also has its effects on community development issues. At the moment, a new reform has
changed different responsibilities again and it is very unclear who is dealing with which aspects. I
think this is also a question of coordination. If the coordination of tourism is good, there are less
negative impacts of tourism. For example, there used to be conflicts within the Tipu village with
canoe tours, in the end rules were established which eliminated those problems.

Another problem I see lies in local involvement in tourism as it is connected to a lot of complicated
burocracy. For many rural people it is too complicated to understand. The documents, regulations
for example to get a licence to sell local products/ offer all kind of services can be extremely
complicated. This is a barrier for locals to participate in economic activities, as they lack
understanding of it. Not many locals are literate enough to go through all these papers and
understand them, especially as they are not logical, in my opinion.

Also, I belief that the visitor centre should play a more important role in informing and educating
the tourists.

4. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
I hope that the network helps to integrate and led more local people benefit from tourism: creates
more local income and employment. However as mentioned earlier I see the problem of too
much burocracy.
Moreover it is important that standards are being set in order secure a certain level of quality.
Also it is extremely important that these standards are being understood. Quality standards within
the tourism products do not only benefit the environment but also benefit the region, but also
keep Soomaa’ s image of a highly valuable place for its local people and tourists.




                                                                      ThesiThesis Report   98
                              Interview with Mrs. Merivee/ 06. 03. 2009

       Environmental Board, Pärnu

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I work for the Environmental Board, responsible for the Tarto and Viljandi region.”
I am writing the Management Plan and work on legislation improvements: about certain rules and
regulations. The Soomaa National park is part of my area of responsibility.

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
I think it gains importance. That is why we want to join the PAN Parks network in order to ensure
tourism not causing much harm to the nature.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
one weaknesses I see is connected to the organizational structure of the National Park as it is
administered by two different parties. This implies that the people do not know whom to approach
with their problems or questions- general ones as well as about tourism. This has the consequence
that there is always confusion on who is responsible for which issue. It further brings along the
problem that the Park itself lacks a “face”, representing the park, as a person to talk to. We as a
national Park management have understood the importance of an supporting and integrated
local community, supporting the policies of the national park. Without them, its impossible to
manage the area, successfully. However, for this aspect one big weakness is, that there is no
representative for the Park; people know and trust, can talk to.

Another issue I see is that there is a lack of qualitative products, containing an educative element.

 I think a threat for us could be that we are “sleeping”, while the pressure caused by tourism
activity is growing. I mean, that we are lacking early warning and controlling systems: otherwise
we might not be able to control and monitor the impacts.

One last issue I see is that the local people, in general lack employment opportunities and
sufficient income from tourism, therefore are leaving the area. The area is in danger to lose its
human touch, its human face.

4. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
We as the Soomaa National Park want to be part of the growing network of well managed parks
over Europe. Having the chance to see some well working management solution is profiting our
area. My aim would be to invest in the visitor centre for nature education for the tourists. Also, I
expect, to have some benefits for the local business partners using tourism as a tool for nature
conservation as well as community development. In that context I also hope that the local
business partners can receive some more customers during the year, so they can earn a more
stable income.
I would like to archive a situation in which we have an active community, which is supporting the
aims of the PAN Parks network; who is satisfied with the tourism development of the area. The park
management has come to realize how important the support of the local community is: not only in
terms of management of the natural zones, but also for to tourism we depend on people’s
support. They should become part of tourism in the area.




                                                                      ThesiThesis Report    99
                                Interview with Mr. Parts/ 17. 03. 2009

       Visitor Management Specialist/ State Forest Management Board

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I am one of the members of the local community, inside the Park. Also I am employed by the State
Forrest Management Board. I am an specialists in visitor management.
My role relates to organising the visitor management in the national park and the wider areas
which are protected by the Nature Conservation Act. I want its natural values to stay how they are
now. That also includes that the natural habitants of our species can be restored and will not be
destroyed.

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
For the National Park, the role of tourism is increasing. For the local community it actually plays a
minor role as two thirds of the population are over the age of 50 and economically inactive. The
role for the communities living outside the boundaries of the National park is bigger.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
At the moment among the local people, tourism is regarded as something positive.
I however see a threat, also for the communities, in uncontrolled mass tourism as well as in low
quality tourism products. Those people that are coming here without any interests or knowledge
about Soomaa’s natural values are a threat to the area. They do not know how to behave and
leave negative impacts on our nature but also they disturb the local people. Once local people
are annoyed by tourists, they also can get a negative point of view from tourism.

Moreover a lack of cooperation among the stakeholders particularly between the management
of the National park and the entrepreneurs could create problems.
Also I see a threat, that the area might loose its human touch, as many people are moving into
the cities. This is certainly connected to the lack of employment possibilities in the area. In
addition, tourism is a rather unstable source of income. It is not sufficient, for most of the local
people to gain a full income from.

4. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
One of our aims with the PAN Parks concept, besides the nature conservation, is to increase local
cooperation between the tourism stakeholders. In particular, the cooperation between the
government and nature conservationists. In addition to that we hope to increase the quality of the
tourism products and services. I think it would be great to have more nature educative elements
to offer. The visitor centre plays an important role in informing the tourist. Most probably the
majority of the people who come to Soomaa visit it.
Not only for the tourists but also for the local people. In relation to community development I think
the network might increase the number of visitors and therefore also increase employment in
tourism: that however is quite vague to predict; but it would be good for our area.




                                                                         ThesiThesis Report   100
Appendix 4




             ThesiThesis Report   101
                                Interview with Mr. Ruukel/ 06. 03. 2009

       Tour Operator S. N. P/ workshops, guides walks, active

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I organize tours in the Soomaa National Park. Also I am an active member of the PAN Parks Group.
I am also going to university in order to learn more about sustainable tourism. At the moment I am
busy writing the STDS for the PAN Parks membership.

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
It is an important source of income

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
First of all, many local businesses, which could be involved in tourism, lack skills on how to sell their
products. “There are many interesting local produce, like local high quality hand crafts, typical
food, but there is no system, no knowledge on how to sell them. Consequently they are not being
sold at all. This accounts for example for local handcrafts, typical food and many more.

Another weakness I see in the skills of the local people. Especially, when Soomaa wants to open
up to the international market, it needs trained guides as well as tourism providers which are able
to speak English. Looking at the tour guides for example, this problem becomes clear. We would
get a problem of capacity, as there are only 3 or 4 good guides available who are able to do
their tours in English. However these guides, are all specialized on different tours.

Moreover I see a threat in the differences among the levels of quality within the tourism products.

I think, Estonia itself has a huge image problem. It is not in the set of the minds of the people.
People are not aware of Estonia as a holiday destination and are even less aware about
“Soomaa National Park” Who would think about travel to Estonia? And even more; who would
come to the idea, or know something about Soomaa? I think the park really lacks marketing
activities. I tried to be active in that case a bit, but much more needs to be done. Also I think the
seasonality of tourism in the area is a big issue for many people. Mainly the tourists only come
during the summer season.

Then I think that there is an issue relating the infrastructure. However, then we have to think about,
that this weakness might also be a strengths, because we want to be a wilderness destination;
which should not be totally easy and quickly to access. That’s what many people value; the
geographical location and the fact that it is abundant.

Another threat is the missiing reliable monitoring system of the tourism impacts. As anything which
is controlled or managed by the state, it is difficult to trust. Another treat can be unsuitable
activities for the national Park, which are being invented to attract tourists; but do not fit in the
area and will cause pollution. Also of course, tourism can be a threat to the forest; causing
pollution, noise etc which is distracting the animals.


4. PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature conservation aims. However it also aims to generate
community benefits. What would be your expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio-
cultural and or economic aspects?
With the PAN Parks membership I hope that we can increase the number of international arrivals.
Currently only 10 or 20 % of the visitors are from abroad, which we aim to change for the future. I
want to diversify my target group, especially by attracting visitors from the European market.
Further my aim is to make Soomaa more known as a unique wilderness destination on the map of
Europe. Getting labelled with a high quality trademark, will be a good tool for promoting the area.

                                                                          ThesiThesis Report   102
Moreover I think that the PAN parks network will continue to grow and therefore gain more power.
Also, the PAN Parks will help to improve the quality standards among the tourism products.

With the increase in the number of international visitors, the awareness of the local people about
the values, which the area offers, also increases: that the National Park has very good, qualitative
tourism products in a very unique place.
This is being emphasized with the fact that even international visitors, travel all the way to see this
place. This is also raising the local identity, which is also positive. In general, local pride is very
important for the Estonians. Of course also, with more international visitors, we also aim to
decrease the seasonality of tourism.

Also I think that trough the PAN parks membership, local people and tourism businesses are more
encouraged to work together, be innovative and communicate with each other.
Due to the PAN Parks network, the different people having a say in tourism are more encouraged
to work and cooperate together.

I expect that new energy to nature protection and tourism activities will come in, that we are able
to archive to preserve the area while allowing tourism to take place in a responsible way. I hope
that new horizons are going to be opened as we get new impulses and ideas, also by looking at
other PAN Park members.

I also hope to gain community benefits via tourism, serving as a tool for increasing the local
employment opportunities within the area. I for example, always use local guides for my tours, or
for the construction of the walking paths, which always brings along local working opportunities.


                                  Interview with Mr. Sosi 17. 03. 2009

       Local accommodation provider

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
Tourism is a side activity for me, more a hobby. Mainly it occurs in the summer; in the winter it is
rather calm. However for others it is their main income, so is even more important.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects
for the local community? Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to
the well being of the community.
In general, tourism is seen as something positive as it gives many people some income, or side
income. However, old people are not much enthusiastic about it.
I see a threat that, if the number of visitors is increasing without any limits. It will cause negative
effects on our village: people might get distracted the nature might be caused some harm. What I
really think is missing are information for the visitors, which is really interesting and which teaches
something about our culture.
I really think that the visitor centre lacks interesting information for the tourists, to truly learn and
understand the value of the area. Sometimes I also think that the entrepreneurs among each
other could be more cooperative.

4. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
I expect that more people are coming. I think that the numbers of international visitors is going to
grow. Also I think that there will be more visitors all year around. I think, that this will also generate
more jobs in tourism. Also that the area and the all the services are in good conditions. That more
information for the tourists is being provided: teaching about the area: its history, culture etc.

                                                                         ThesiThesis Report     103
                               Interview with Mrs. Ruumet 11. 03. 2009

       Local accommodation provider

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
We offer accommodation for tourists here in Tori. We also offer them things to do around here.
Then we send them to the people we know, like Silver Sams or Aivar Ruukel. Also we advice them
to go to the horse farm in Tori.
For us it is very important that the National Park to stay as it is. Handling his fragile eco system with
care is not only our responsibility we have towards our grand children, but also towards our selfs
and the people living in the area today. If the park is losing its unique values we are losing our
product, our source of income.

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
It is very important for us, as it is our main source of income. At the moment however it is going
quite well and we are building a second accommodation facility. Besides small scale agriculture,
for the village of Tori tourism is an important source of income.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
I think if the “right” tourists are coming here, I do not see any threats for the community relating
tourism. These people should be well educated. People who know why they are coming and who
have a sense for nature.

I actually see tourism as an opportunity to help to solve the problem of unemployment of our area:
also I see an opportunity that tourism can help to prevent the area from losing its human touch.
More and more people are moving into the cities. I also think that there is an issue concerning the
tourism products. I think that the human touch is missing there as well. Local stories should be
included in the products. Also I see a threat in random service providers who have low quality
offerings.

I see a problem of communication between the local government and the entrepreneurs.

4. PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature conservation aims. However it also aims to generate
community benefits. What would be your expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio-
cultural and or economic aspects?
With the PAN Parks network I hope to attract more “educated” tourists. Also more people from
abroad. I hope to increase the number of tourists who know why they are coming to Soomaa,
who value our area and who have a sense for nature.
I hope to attract a few people in the low season. Additionally, I would like to have a better quality
among all the tourism service providers. I also would like to have more “human touch” within the
products. Also I like to increase the cooperation and communication among the tourism
entrepreneurs and the local governments.




                                                                         ThesiThesis Report    104
                                 Interview with Mr. Kruill 11. 03. 2009

       Local accommodation provider

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your business?
We provide accommodation inside the National park since 2004. We also offer different activities
for the tourists like paint ball, canoe tours etc. The house was built with some funds, from a tourism
investor. Therefore it can also be used for local people to gather, and have some social events,
parties. After a few years, then the local people also have to pay, if they want to do these parties.
The first 5 years are for the free public use.

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
Its our main income. However only 4 month a year we have customers. Altogether we have
around 1000 clients.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects
within your community? Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the
well being of the community.
I think, in the villages, most people see tourism as something positive. They are not annoyed by it.
Our neighbours, however sometimes complain about noise of the tourists. Also one time, our
clients had a firework, and our neighbours were happy to be entertained.
The problem is that the younger generation is moving into the cities to find work. The younger
generation do not see their future in agriculture or tourism. Therefore they move to the cities. This
leads the area to kind of lose its human touch. I think many people are too old to be interested in
tourism.
I think that there is a lack of infrastructure as the road to the National Park is very bad.
Also there are some misunderstandings between nature conservationist and entrepreneurs. Also
some problem exists in relation to ever changing new reforms in Estonian conservation This also
brings along a lot of confusing bureaucracy.

4. PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature conservation aims. However it also aims to generate
community benefits. What would be your expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio-
cultural and or economic aspects?
I think that the PAN Parks membership will be a good, new value for the Soomaa National Park.
Due to the membership, the brand name of Soomaa will be more widely known, specifically on
the European market, which will increase the number of international visitors.


                               Interview with Mrs. Olesesk 11. 03. 2009

       Local accommodation provider

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your business?
We offer accommodation facilities. We are quite new in the business and do not have that much
experiences yet, we just finished renovating the house.

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
We hope it will be very important for us. But I think tourism to this area will be more and more
popular.

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.

For the people within the surrounding villages, I think tourism is seen as something very positive. The
only aspect which might be a threat for us is the fact that it is a very seasonal activity. That makes

                                                                          ThesiThesis Report   105
it difficult to depend a living on. I think that the roads are in very bad conditions, which also is a
problem for tourists wanting to come to the area, as well as for us.

4. PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature conservation aims. However it also aims to generate
community benefits. What would be your expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio-
cultural and or economic aspects?
I think it will increase the number of tourists and increase the quality of the tourists. Also I think the
tourism offering will improve. I think and hope that it will benefit the local communities as well.
Tourist will also spend some money in the local shops so more people will also benefit from tourism;
creating new jobs. I think it will bring benefits in relation to marketing on different markets.


                                  Interview with Mr. Sams 11. 03. 2009

       Organizes canoue trips

1. Could you give me a short introduction on your position and area of responsibility?
I organize canoue trips for tourists.

2. Which role does tourism in the National Park play for you?
It is my source of income. However real income only comes in during the summer season (may till
august)

3. Do you see any issues in tourism which are related to socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
Those can also be aspects which you consider to be a future threat to the well being of the
community.
Random services with insufficient quality standards are a threat to our area.
On the other hand also some tourists are a threat to the area. Those include many people who
are coming for these event tours. They do not know how to behave in a natural place.

4. Are you familiar with the PAN Parks concept? PAN Parks mainly aims to support nature
conservation aims. However it also aims to generate community benefits. What would be your
expectations and objectives of PAN Parks relating socio- cultural and or economic aspects?
I hope that the number of these people who have no sense on how to behave in nature is
decreasing. I think that there will be more international visitors coming. Also I hope that the
cooperation between the entrepreneurs is growing.




                                                                         ThesiThesis Report     106
Appendix 5




             ThesiThesis Report   107
                                                     Appendix 5

         Indicator ranking against 5 criteria:

         1. Relevance
             Does the indicator respond to a relevant identified issue and or objective identified?
             Does it provide helpful information for management decisions?
         2. Feasibility
             Does the information already exist?
         3. Credibility
             Does the information stems from scientifically trustable source? (Only if existent)
         4. Clarity
             Can the information be understood clearly?
         5. Comparability
             Can the indicator depict changes over time and can it function as a benchmark?


             1. Suggested indicators for the PAN Parks Foundation (centralized level)
Indicator ( economic)                           Relevance                   Feasibility     Credibility   Clarity   Comparability
                                                (Indicator relates to the
                                                objective to …)
1.Average spending per customer / per
stay on tourism related products or services
                                                Increase local tourism
                                                income in the PAN Park
                                                                            No/ Visitor
                                                                            survey
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √           √
                                                region
2. 1. Total number of local people
employed by tourism in the PAN Parks
                                                Increase employment
                                                opportunities for local
                                                                            Governme
                                                                            nt statistics
                                                                                            √             √           √
region                                          people in tourism in the
                                                PAN Park Region
2. 2. Number of people trained in tourism
related topics in the PAN Parks region
                                                Support local education
                                                and training
                                                                            NGOS
                                                                                            √             √           √
3.1 Total number of tourists visiting the PAN
Park
                                                Increase tourism
                                                demand for the PAN
                                                                            No/ Visitor
                                                                            survey
                                                                                            √             √           √
                                                Park region
3.2 Average spending per customer / per
stay on local economy (spending on
                                                 Increase income for
                                                the local economy via
                                                                            No/ Visitor
                                                                            survey
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √           √
food, souvenirs, facilities etc)                tourists spending on
                                                local economy ( non-
                                                tourism related)
4. 1. Percentage of local people in the PAN
Parks region who believe that tourism
                                                Improve local services
                                                and infrastructure due
                                                                            No/
                                                                            Residents
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √           √
helped to bring in new services or              to tourism                  survey
infrastructure
 4. 2. Percentage of local people in the PAN
Parks region who belief that the tourism
                                                Improve local services and No/
                                                infrastructure being       Residents
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √          √
related infrastructure development is           consistent with local      survey
consistent with the local building style and    building style and
atmosphere                                      atmosphere




Indicator (socio-cultural )                     Relevance                   Feasibility     Credibility   Clarity   Comparability
                                                (Indicator relates to the
                                                objective to …)

                                                                                    ThesiThesis Report    108
5. 1 Percentage of tourism stakeholder
satisfied with the level of networking and
                                                Increase networking
                                                and knowledge sharing
                                                                             No/ Survey
                                                                             at LPPG
                                                                                                 ----
                                                                                                           √           √
knowledge sharing at the PAN Parks region       among tourism                meetings
                                                stakeholders in the PAN
                                                Park region
5. 2 Number of local people in the PAN
Parks region knowing about sustainable
                                                Increase knowledge
                                                and awareness about
                                                                             No/
                                                                             Residents
                                                                                             ----
                                                                                                           √           √
tourism and the possibility to participate in   sustainable tourism and      survey
decision making processes                       its participation
                                                possibilities among local
                                                people
6.1Percentage of locals who are satisfied
with tourism development in relation in the
                                                Sustain satisfaction of
                                                local population with
                                                                             No/
                                                                             Residents
                                                                                             ----
                                                                                                           √           √
PAN Parks region                                tourism development          survey

6. 2Percentage of tourists who consider
themselves as environmentally and
                                                Attract environmentally
                                                and culturally sensitive
                                                                             No/ Visitor
                                                                             survey
                                                                                             ----
                                                                                                           √           √
culturally interested/ aware, in relation to    clientele to the PAN
the overall number of tourists                  Parks region/ sustain
                                                satisfaction of locals
                                                with tourism
7. 1 Percentage of locals who are proud of
their community and culture
                                                Increase local
                                                awareness and pride
                                                                             No/
                                                                             Residents
                                                                                             ----
                                                                                                           √           √
                                                                             survey



7. 2 Percentage of local community who
agree that their local culture, their
                                                Retain cultural traditions
                                                and patterns
                                                                             No/
                                                                             Residents
                                                                                             ----
                                                                                                           √           √
traditions, its integrity and authenticity is                                survey
being retained
7. 3 Number of local business related to
local culture (handicrafts, music, food)
                                                Retain traditional
                                                economic activities
                                                                             Governme
                                                                             nt statistics
                                                                                             √             √          √




              2. Suggested indicators for the Soomaa National Park (local level)
Indicators ( economic)                          Relevance                    Feasibility     Credibility   Clarity   Comparability
                                                (Indicator relates to the
                                                objective to …)
                                                                                     ThesiThesis Report    109
1. 1 Average spending per tourists per stay
on tourism related products or
                                                Increase local tourism
                                                income in the PAN Park
                                                                            No/ Visitor
                                                                            survey
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √         √
services(accommodation, trips etc) at the       region
Soomaa National Park region
1. 2 Average spending per tourists at the
Soomaa National Park per stay on tourism
                                                Decrease seasonality of
                                                tourism income SNP.
                                                                            No/ Visitor
                                                                            survey
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √         √
related products or services
(accommodation, trips etc) during low
season
2. 1. Total number of local people
employed in.tourism in the SNP     region
                                                Increase employment
                                                opportunities for local
                                                                            Governme
                                                                            nt statistics
                                                                                            √             √         √
                                                people in tourism in the
                                                SNP Region
2. 2. 1. Number of trainings for local
peoples English skills in tourism
                                                Support local education
                                                and training
                                                                            NGOS
                                                                                            √             √         √
2. 2. 2. Number trainings for local people
relating entrepreneurial skills in tourism
                                                Support local education
                                                and training
                                                                            NGOS
                                                                                            √             √         √
3. 1. Total number of tourists visiting SNP     Increase tourism
                                                demand for the PAN
                                                                            No/ Visitor
                                                                            survey
                                                                                                          √         √
                                                Park region
3. 2. Average spending per tourists at the
Soomaa National Park per stay on local
                                                 Increase income for
                                                the local economy via
                                                                            No/ Visitor
                                                                            survey
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √         √
economy on non-tourism related products         tourists spending on
or services (spending on food, souvenirs,       local economy ( non-
facilities etc)                                 tourism related)

4. 1. Percentage of local people in the PAN
Parks region who believe that tourism
                                                Improve local services
                                                and infrastructure due
                                                                            No/
                                                                            Residents
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √         √
helped to bring in new services or              to tourism                  survey
infrastructure

4. 2. Percentage of local people in the PAN
Parks region who belief that the tourism
                                                Improve local services and No/
                                                infrastructure being       Residents
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √         √
related infrastructure development is           consistent with local      survey
consistent with the local building style and    building style and
atmosphere                                      atmosphere

Indicators ( socio-cultural)                    Relevance                   Feasibility     Credibility   Clarity   Comparability
                                                (Indicator relates to the
                                                objective to …)
5. 1. Percentage of tourism stakeholders
satisfied with networking and knowledge
                                                Increase networking
                                                and knowledge sharing
                                                                            No/ Survey
                                                                            at LPPG
                                                                                             ----
                                                                                                          √         √
sharing among the different stakeholders at     among tourism               meetings
the SNP region                                  stakeholders in the PAN
                                                Park region
5. 2 Number of local people in the PAN
Parks region knowing about sustainable
                                                Increase knowledge
                                                and awareness about
                                                                            No/
                                                                            Residents
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √         √
tourism and the possibility to participate in   sustainable tourism and     survey
decision making processes                       its participation
                                                possibilities among local
                                                people
6. 1 Percentage of locals who are satisfied
with tourism development in the PAN Parks
                                                Sustain satisfaction of
                                                local population with
                                                                            No/
                                                                            Residents
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √         √
region                                          tourism development         survey

6. 2 Percentage of tourists who consider
themselves as environmentally and
                                                Attract environmentally
                                                and culturally sensitive
                                                                            No/ Visitor
                                                                            survey
                                                                                            ----
                                                                                                          √         √
culturally interested/ aware, in relation to    clientele to the PAN
                                                                                    ThesiThesis Report    110
the overall number of tourists                  Parks region/ sustain
                                                satisfaction of locals
                                                with tourism
7. 1 Percentage of locals, stating to be
proud of their community and culture
                                                Increase local
                                                awareness and pride
                                                                             No/
                                                                             Residents
                                                                                             ----
                                                                                                          √     √
                                                                             survey
7. 2 Percentage of local community who
agree that their local culture, their
                                                Retain cultural traditions
                                                and patterns
                                                                             No/
                                                                             Residents
                                                                                             ----
                                                                                                          √     √
traditions, its integrity and authenticity is                                survey
being retained
7. 3 Number of local business related to
local culture (handicrafts, music, food) in
                                                Retain traditional
                                                economic activities
                                                                             Governme
                                                                             nt statistics
                                                                                             √            √     √
the region




                                                                                     ThesiThesis Report   111
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ii
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iv
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Research Centre, The Netherlands, 2007
v
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Ayr, UK, 2001, p. 13
vi
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vii
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development, The Fourth International Conferenence on Monitoring and Managemnent of Visitor Flows in Recreational and
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viii
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ix
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x
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xi
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xii
     Beunders, N., PAN Parks’ manual for sustainable tourism and development, University of Applied Siences, Breda, 2002
xiii
     Dr. Cotrell, S., Perceptions, attitudes and perceived benefits of local residents about tourism development in and around
European Protected Area Network Parks, Colorado State University, in in Raschi, A., Trampetti, S. , Management for
protection and sustainable development, The Fourth International Conferenence on Monitoring and Managemnent of
Visitor Flows in Recreational and Protected Areas, Montecatini Terme, Italy, 2008
xiv
     http://www.metla.fi/ julkaisut/workingpapers/2004/mwp002-32.pdf.2004
xv
    Dr. Cotrell, S.,The Socio-economic analysis of PAN Parks, Bieszczady National Park, Poland, Power point: Results of
Questionnaire Pilot Study 2005, Colorado State University, 2005
xvi
     Dr. Cotrell, S., Perceptions, attitudes and perceived benefits of local residents about tourism development in and around
European Protected Area Network Parks, Colorado State University, in in Raschi, A., Trampetti, S. , Management for
protection and sustainable development, The Fourth International Conferenence on Monitoring and Managemnent of
Visitor Flows in Recreational and Protected Areas, Montecatini Terme, Italy, 2008
xvii
      Dr. Cottrell, S., v. d. Donk, M., Siikamäki, P., The Socio-cultural analysis of PAN Parks / Oulanka NP, Oulanka Research
Station/ Colorado State University, USA, NHTV, University of Applied Siences, Breda, Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland,
2008
xviii
      Dr. Cotrell, S, Cutumisu, N., Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy in WWF PAN Parks, the case of a Swedish and
Romanian National Park, Department of Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism, Colorado State University, Colorado,
USA and University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada 2006
xix
      Cotrell, S. P., : “Perceptions, attitudes, and perceived benefits of local residents about tourism development in and
around European Protected Area Network Parks” in Raschi, A., Trampetti, S. , Management for protection and sustainable
development, The Fourth International Conferenence on Monitoring and Managemnent of Visitor Flows in Recreational and
Protected Areas, Montecatini Terme, Italy, 2008,p. 72
xx
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xxi
     V. Egmond, T., ST1: intro lecture, University of Applied Sience, Breda, 2008
xxii
      http://www.foeeurope.org/sustainability/sustain/t-content-prism.htm/ 23. 05. 09/ ( 12:30)
xxiii
      Dr. Cotrell, S.,The Socio-economic analysis of PAN Parks, Bieszczady National Park, Poland, Results of Questionnaire Pilot
Study, Colorado State University, 2005
xxiv
       Beunders, N., PAN Parks’ manual for sustainable tourism and development, University of Applied Sciences, Breda, 2002,
p. 5
xxv
       http://www.tourism.umn.edu/research/sustainabletourism/index.htm/12. 03.2009/ (14:30)
xxvi
         WTO, Sustainable tourism development: a guide for local planners. Madrid,1993
xxvii
         http://www.ecotourism.org/site/c.orLQKXPCLmF/b.4835303/k.C64B/What_is_Ecotourism.ht
xxviii
        Gebhard, K., Meyer, M., Roth, S., Ecological Tourism in Europe (ETE), criteria for sustainable tourism, Bonn, 2009
xxix
       Gebhard, K., Meyer, M., Roth, S., Ecological Tourism in Europe (ETE), criteria for sustainable tourism, Bonn, 2009
xxx
       UNWTO, Making tourism more sustainable: a guide for policy makers, Madrid 2005
xxxi
       Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A guidebook, WTO, Madrid, 2004, p. 8-16
xxxii
        http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/sourcebook/sba104.htm
xxxiii
       Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A guidebook, WTO, Madrid, 2004, p. 26-32
xxxiv
       Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A guidebook, WTO, Madrid, 2004, p. 26-32
xxxv
      Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A guidebook, WTO, Madrid, 2004, p. 26-43
xxxvi
       Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A guidebook, WTO, Madrid, 2004, p. 40-41
xxxvii
        Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A guidebook, WTO, Madrid, 2004, p. 43-54
xxxviii
           http://www.panparks.org/Introduction/Vision/23. 02. 09/ ( 12:30)
xxxix
         http://www.panparks.org/Introduction/History/23. 06. 09/ ( 12:30)
xl
     Claude, Dr. M. , General Director of the World Wide Fund for Nature, 1998, (PANparksLesson7Rev2.pdf)
xli
      Van der Donk, M. , Ten years of experience in providing wilderness experience opportunities in Europe`s certified PAN
Parks, NHTV, University of Applied Siences, Breda, in Raschi, A., Trampetti, S. , Management for protection and sustainable
development, The Fourth International Conferenence on Monitoring and Managemnent of Visitor Flows in Recreational and
Protected Areas, Montecatini Terme, Italy, 2008,p. 77
xlii
      http://www.panparks.org/Introduction/Vision/ 01.02.2008/ (19:30)
xliii
      www.panparks.org/ 01.02.2008/ (08:30)
xliv
      http://www.panparks.org/Introduction/Verification/Principles/01.06.2008/ (19:30)
xlv
      PAN Parks Verification Manual, Principle and Criteria 4, Version 6, 2006
xlvi
      PAN Parks Verification Manual, Principle and Criteria 5, Version 6, 2006
xlvii
      http://www.panparks.org/Introduction/Verification/Principles)/ /30.03.2008/ (13:30)
xlviii
      Dr. Cottrell, S., Van den Berg, C., Femke, B., PAN Parks principles: cross-cultural comparison – Bieszczady & Slovenski Raj
National Parks, Colorado State University, Wagening University, 2005
xlix
     Mateev, P., Analysis of the Benefits of PAN Parks: Central Balkan National Park, Bulgaria, Wageningen University and
Research Centre, The Netherlands, 2007
l
    PAN Parks Verification Manual, Principle and Criteria 4, PAN Parks Verification Manual, Principle and Criteria 5, Version 6,
2006 2
             PAN Parks Verification Manual, Principle and Criteria 4/ PAN Parks Verification Manual, Principle and Criteria 5,
Version 6, 2006
li
    Mayer, B., PAN Parks Organization, in charge of local business partners (written document)
lii
     PAN Parks Verification Manual, Principle and Criteria 4/ PAN Parks Verification Manual, Principle and Criteria 5, Version 6,
2006
liii
     http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk. 03.05.2008/ (19:30)
liv
     http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5377.htm/ 03.05.2008/ (11:30)
lv
     www.soomaa.com / 06. 03. 2009/ ( 13: 40)
lvi
     Mireland, Estonian wilderness capital: Protected Area Fact Sheet
lvii
      Mireland, Estonian wilderness capital: Protected Area Fact Sheet
lviii
      www.soomaa.com/ 03.12.2008/ (12:30)
lix
     Sustainable Tourism Strategy of Soomaa NP region 2009- 2013
lx
     Management Plan, Soomaa National Park , Viljandi, 2000
lxi
        Erkmann, K., Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Head of the Paikuse Municipality
lxii
     Kiviloo, T., Interview 18. 03. 2009/ Head of the Kopu Municipality
lxiii
     Management Plan, Soomaa National Park , Viljandi, 2000, p. 12
lxiv
     Kiviloo, T., Interview 18. 03. 2009/ Head of the Kopu Municipality
lxv
        Metsoja, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Chairman of the Board
lxvi
        Metsoja, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Chairman of the Board
lxvii
         Erkmann, K., Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Head of the Paikuse Municipality
lxviii
         Kiviloo, T., Interview 18. 03. 2009/ Head of the Kopu Municipality
lxix
         Kuusk, L. Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Representative of Suure- Jaani Municipality
lxx
        Link, E., Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Head of the Tori Municipality
lxxi
         Kesküll, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu Tourism Board
lxxii
         Kuusk, L., Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Representative of Suure- Jaani Municipality
lxxiii
         Erkmann, K., Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Head of the Paikuse Municipality
lxxiv
        Kuusk, L., Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Representative of Suure- Jaani Municipality
lxxv
      Erkmann, K., Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Head of the Paikuse Municipality
lxxvi
       Kiviloo, T., Interview 18. 03. 2009/ Head of the Kopu Municipality
lxxvii
        Kiviloo, T., Interview 18. 03. 2009/ Head of the Kopu Municipality
lxxviii
        Kase, U., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Development and Planning Department
lxxix
       Kesküll, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu Tourism Board
lxxx
      Kiviloo, T., Interview 18. 03. 2009/ Head of the Kopu Municipality
lxxxi
       Kase, U., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Development and Planning Department
lxxxii
        Kiviloo, T., Interview 18. 03. 2009/ Head of the Kopu Municipality
lxxxiii
         Korts, T., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Manging director: Friends of Soomaa
lxxxiv
        Adams, M., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Managing director of Green Riverland
lxxxv
       Hoder, D., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Chairman of the Tipu Nature School
lxxxvi
        Adams, M., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Managing director of Green Riverland
lxxxvii
         Adams, M., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Managing director of Green Riverland
lxxxviii
         Hoder, D., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Chairman of the Tipu Nature School
lxxxix
         Parts, R., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Visitor Management Specialist/ State Forest Management Board
xc
      Parts, R., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Visitor Management Specialist/ State Forest Management Board
xci
        Olesk, Mr., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facility
xcii
       Ruumet, K., Interview 11. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facilities /
xciii
      Ruukel, A., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Tour Operator S. N. P/ workshops, guides walks
xciv
       Sosi, H., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facilities
             Ruukel, A., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Tour Operator S. N. P/ workshops, guides walks
xcv
     Olesk, Mr., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facility
xcvi
     Ruumet, K., Interview 11. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facilities /
xcvii
         Kase, U., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Development and Planning Department
xcviii
      Metsoja, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Chairman of the Board
              Kase, U., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Development and Planning Department
              Kesküll, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu Tourism Board
              Link, E., Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Head of the Tori Municipality
              Kuusk, L. Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Representative of Suure- Jaani Municipality
xcix
     Kesküll, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu Tourism Board
             Kase, U., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Development and Planning Department
             Erkmann, K., Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Head of the Paikuse Municipality
c
   Kiviloo, T., Interview 18. 03. 2009/ Head of the Kopu Municipality
ci
    Kiviloo, T., Interview 18. 03. 2009/ Head of the Kopu Municipality
cii
    Kase, U., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Development and Planning Department
                Maidla, R., Interview 24. 03. 2009/ Union of Viljandi local municipalities
ciii
       Kesküll, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu Tourism Board
civ
       Metsoja, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Chairman of the Board
cv
       Kesküll, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu Tourism Board
cvi
      Metsoja, A., Interview 16. 03. 2009/ Pärnu County Government – Chairman of the Board
cvii
      Adams, M., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Managing director of Green Riverland
cviii
      Adams, M., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Managing director of Green Riverland
cix
    Adams, M., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Managing director of Green Riverland
cx
       Adams, M., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Managing director of Green Riverland
cxi
       Adams, M., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Managing director of Green Riverland
cxii
       Adams, M., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Managing director of Green Riverland
cxiii
        Marivee, M., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Conservation Planning Specialist Environmental Board, Pärnu
cxiv
       Suurkask, M. Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Conservation Planner, Environmental Board Pärnu
cxv
        Marivee, M., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Conservation Planning Specialist Environmental Board, Pärnu
cxvi
      Marivee, M., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Conservation Planning Specialist Environmental Board, Pärnu
cxvii
      Ruumet, K., Interview 11. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facilities
cxviii
         Ruukel, A., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Tour Operator S. N. P/ workshops, guides walks, active
                  Ruumet, K., Interview 11. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facilities
cxix
       Olesk, Mr., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facility
                 Ruukel, A., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Tour Operator S. N. P/ workshops, guides walks
cxx
     Ruukel, A., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Tour Operator S. N. P/ workshops, guides walks
cxxi
      Ruumet, K., Interview 11. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facilities
                  Olesk, Mr., Interview 17. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facility
                  Ruukel, A., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Tour Operator S. N. P/ workshops, guides walks
cxxii
       Ruumet, K., Interview 11. 03. 2009/ Accommodation facilities
cxxiii
        Ruukel, A., Interview 06. 03. 2009/ Tour Operator S. N. P/ workshops, guides walks
cxxiv
        Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A guidebook, WTO, Madrid, 2004
cxxv
       Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A guidebook, WTO, Madrid, 2004
cxxvi
        Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A guidebook, WTO, Madrid, 2004
cxxvii
         Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A guidebook, WTO, Madrid, 2004
cxxviii
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Description: How to measure socio- cultural and economic impacts of PAN Parks sustainable tourism concept? - A case study at the Soomaa National Park - Thesis Report - Christina Timmermann