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The Macaulay Institute


April 2006

White V., McCrum G., Blackstock K.L., and Scott A.

The Macaulay Institute Craigiebuckler Aberdeen AB15 8QH


1. Introduction 2. The Sustainability Debate 3. Sustainable Tourism 4. Measuring Sustainability 5. Indicators 6. Frameworks 7. Selecting Indicators 8. Analysing Indicator Results 9. Displaying and Communicating Indicator Data 10. Conclusion References 1 1 3 6 7 8 13 17 18 19 21

This work was part of a SEERAD funded project on Sustainable Rural Development (RO203909). The authors would like to acknowledge the input by Cairngorm National Park Authority staff and members of the ViSIT forum during the life of this project. "Any use which a third party makes of this document, or any reliance upon it, or decisions to be made based upon it, are the responsibility of such a third party. The Macaulay Institute accepts no duty of care or liability whatsoever to any such third party, and no responsibility for damages, if any, suffered by any third party as a result of decisions or actions taken or not taken on the basis of the contents of this document."

Literature Review 1 Introduction

Since the publication of ‘Our Common Futures’, (WCED, 1987), the concept of sustainable development has been high on the political agenda and the UK Government has demonstrated a commitment to ‘Agenda 21’, following the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio (Johnson, 2002). To ensure sustainable development becomes a reality rather than just rhetoric, it is necessary to consider the world’s major industries within this context. When considering the tourism industry, the need to adopt a ‘sustainable’ approach is exacerbated by its fragility and sensitivity to change, its multi-sectoral nature and its marked dependence on the quality of the host environment and communities; “tourism which degrades any elements of host communities and nations threatens its own future” (Manning,...