Nature-based tourism has many benefits
Business School creates new network of international experts in tourism and well-being
The Business School Centre for Sport, Leisure and Tourism Research (CSLTR) recently held a two day event, bringing together experts from around the world, to discuss the opportunities for joint research into tourism, well-being and ecosystem services.
The initiative, led by research fellow Dr Fernando Correia and CLST, might be the first of its kind combining expertise in three distinct areas; the ability to measure the human benefits from use of ecosystem services, the measurement of the economic benefits to the region in which the ecosystem is located and finally, the expertise to develop tourism products based on the natural environment.
Fernando Correia explains ‘We know that, generally speaking, people who make the most use of nature for leisure make the least use of services like the NHS. Until now most of the research has focused on the economic benefits of harnessing the ecosystem services for the purposes of tourism. We hope to carry out new studies that marry those advantages with accurate measurement of the health and well-being benefits to people who participate in those tourism activities.’
A precedent has already been set with the work of the Nordic well-being project, a group involving research centres from the five Nordic countries. The Business School event brought this group together with researchers from Portugal, Netherlands, and Exeter academics from economics, human geography and sustainable land management, sports and health science and the European Centre for Environment and Human Health.
Correia concludes ‘By building on existing areas of expertise, we hope to conduct new research into this emerging topic which will be of international benefit to locations of nature-based tourism, including here, in the South West.’
Date: 11 March 2011