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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Tourists' visual perceptions of forests and forest management in Vancouver Island and Tasmania Hilsendager, Kyle W.

Abstract

In the past, forested areas have been used primarily for timber production. However, the recent growth of nature-based tourism has given monetary value to the recreation and scenic characteristics associated the forests in many places. This can lead to conflicts between forestry and tourism raising questions relating to the management of these two industries. What impact does forestry have on the perception of tourists in region’s that promote natural landscapes? Are certain tourist segments affected differently by the impacts of forestry in regions that market natural landscapes? How can forests be managed to ensure that tourism values are not compromised by other forest interests? To gain a better perspective of tourism and forestry related conflicts this investigation utilized a comparative case study method. The case study locations selected include Vancouver Island, Canada and Tasmania, Australia. At each destination visitors were surveyed at three types of attractions to understand differences in forestry perceptions between user groups. Forestry and tourism professionals from both regions were also interviewed. Vancouver Island and Tasmania were chosen because of the important role that both forestry and nature-based tourism play in shaping the economies of both places. Despite these similarities, differences exist in the way these two industries are managed. These differences were important for providing insight into management strategies that could be used to address these conflicts. Results suggest that forestry impacts have the potential to negatively impact upon visitor perceptions. However, this seems partly dependent upon the type of impact observed, as differences were noted between harvested areas, tree plantations, logging trucks and saw/pulp mills. Results from the different sample groups were compared to learn whether or not differences exist in the way that tourist user groups are affected by exposure to forestry impacts. Findings provided a limited amount of evidence to support this. Through the analysis of the semi-structured interviews a set of recommendations were developed to help assist forestry and tourism managers who may be dealing with similar land use conflicts. These recommendations would be useful for land managers in other jurisdictions where similar conflicts between forestry and tourism exist.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada

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