Recreation and Tourism
The assessment of recreation and tourism impacts often forms a part of the appraisal of policies, programmes and projects undertaken by RPA. However, we also undertake work on tourism and recreation in its own right and have undertaken impact assessments and evaluations of European policies in the area of Package Travel and also on the impacts of EU policy frameworks on tourism, including the development of guidance on funding mechanisms available to industry and options to enhance sustainable tourism.
We also work on projects to promote sustainable tourism working, for example, on a scoping study into the use of eco-rafts on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, on the provision of information on accessible tourism for people with disabilities including recommendations for industry and on options for improving coastal access in England.
In addition to evaluating impacts on tourism and tourism businesses, considering recreation and recreational benefits is important. Whilst tourism and recreation impacts are often assessed together, recreational benefits have traditionally been underestimated and in many cases recreational activities may provide economic benefits to users that exceed revenue generation for tourism businesses. We often consider recreation and tourism as assessment categories when identifying the wider range of impacts likely to result from the implementation of a particular measure or policy option.
Our work on recreation and tourism has included the development of methodologies for policy appraisal, undertaken in the context of marine conservation, flood risk and planning and based on different methods grounded in environmental economics theory. For example, we have assisted policy makers with the valuation of recreational and tourism benefits from the designation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and have developed a methodology to assist with the valuation of impacts from future designations. In the realm of flood risk, our appraisals frequently involve consultation with recreational users in order to incorporate their views in any decision making process.
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