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Mbaiwa, J.E., Bernard, F.E. and Orford, C.E. 2008. Limits of acceptable change for tourism in the Okavango Delta. Botswana Notes and Records, 39 (Tourism as a Sustainable Development Factor): 98-112


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Limits of acceptable change for tourism in the Okavango Delta.

Summary / Notes:

The Okavango Delta's booming tourism industry raises obvious questions about the future. Has tourism already surpassed some critical environmental and social thresholds? Is tourism endangering the ecological well-being of the Okavango Delta? These are questions about how much change is acceptable as delta tourism grows. This paper reports on a pilot project to address these questions at two delta tourist sites using the limits of acceptable change (LAC) framework. Limits to change are examined by surveying attitudes of tourism stakeholders and tourists toward present and future ecological and social conditions. Whereas tourists and non-tourists generally view present conditions as acceptable in both study areas, continued growth raises red flags in the minds of both those who know the delta and tourists, especially in the more densely developed of the two study areas. Both tourists and non-tourists believed that growth will lead to "change for the worse" in a wide range of environmental and social impact variables. On the other hand, all respondents agreed strongly that growth in Okavango Delta tourism would improve employment opportunities and expand the economy. As one tool in pursuit of the elusive target of sustainable tourism, the LAC framework challenges tourism planners and managers to balance tourism benefits against impending environmental and social costs foreseen by all stakeholders.

Year: 2008

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41236637


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