Over the last two weeks I have taken some leave and been to visit two of our ICRT alumni working in the UK. It has been good to catch up with them and with the latest developments in wildlife tourism and sustainable tourism in national parks; and to talk with them about the issues and potential solutions.
Caroline Warburton is working for Wild Scotland a specialist tour operators' trade association which is raising standards and helping to make the businesses sustainable. Caroline took me to see dancing dolphins in the Moray Firth not more than 10 metres off-shore.
Richard Drysdale has recently been appointed Sustainable Tourism Officer for Dartmoor National Park and we spent a couple of days looking at the issues and talking about what multi-stakeholder strategies might make Dartmoor a better place to live in as well as to visit. While I was there the proposed post office closures were announced – one of the key challenges is to use tourism to maintain sustainable communities, on Dartmoor tourism plays a key role in the local economy .
It was a real pleasure to spend time with Caroline and Richard and to see what they are achieving in the field – I thank them for it.