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    Description

    Adaptive management as applied to tourism policy treats management policies as experiments that probe the responses of the system as human behavior changes. We present a conceptual systems model that incorporates the gap between observed and desired levels of the ecological footprint with respect to biocapacity. Addressing this gap (or "overshoot") can inform strategies to increase or decrease visitation or its associated consumption in the coming years. The feedback mechanism in this conceptual model incorporates a gap between observed and desired ecological footprint levels of tourists and residents. The work is based on longer-term and ongoing study of tourism impacts and ecological footpriont assessments from the SPIN-Eco Project. We present historical tourism and environmental data from the province of Siena, Italy, and discuss the use of discrete, static environmental indicators as part of an iterative feedback process to manage tourism within biophysical limits. We discuss a necessary shift of emphasis from certain and static numbers to a process-based management model that can reflect slow changes to biophysical resources. As underscored by ecological footprint analysis, the energy and material use associated with tourism and local activity can erode natural capital foundations if that use exceeds the area's biological capactiy to support it. The dynamic, and iterative process of using such indicators as management feedback allows us to view sustainability more accurately as a transition and journey, rather than a static destination to which management must arrive.

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    Citation

    Patterson, Trista M.; Niccolucci, Valentina; Marchettini, Nadia. 2007. Adaptive environmental management of tourism in the province of Siena, Italy using the ecological footprint. Journal of Environmental Management. 86(2): 329-331

    Keywords

    Adaptive management, tourism, ecological footprint

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/30428