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Stakeholder perspectives on the implications of increases in tourism on local users of nature-based recreation settings in the Selwyn District, New Zealand

Apse, Megan
Stewart, Emma
Espiner, Stephen R.
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::1506 Tourism , ANZSRC::150601 Impacts of Tourism , ANZSRC::150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience , ANZSRC::050205 Environmental Management
The pre-COVID-19 growth in international tourism to New Zealand and the dispersal of visitors into the regions resulted in pressure at nature-based settings where both recreation and tourism occur. This research used data from interviews with fourteen outdoor recreationists to examine how they were responding to increasing visitor numbers at their favoured nature-based recreation settings. Findings suggested that recreationists have noticed increased tourism in areas used for outdoor recreation, and, although tourism to New Zealand was broadly supported, there were concerns about the negative impacts of tourism. Participants in this study reported displacing from their usual nature-based recreation settings due to tourism, and there was also evidence of the use of cognitive coping strategies. Analysis suggested that stakeholder perspectives align with tourism literature suggesting that tolerance for tourism decreases over time, typically as visitor numbers increase, and in the absence of direct benefits from tourism. This paper reports on phase two of a three-phase research project examining the implications of increases in tourism at nature-based recreation settings in the Selwyn District. Phases one and three (also published in the LEaP series) report on the literature on regional tourism and outdoor recreation, and on the perspectives of nature-based recreationists active in the study area.