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(A)Biotic Heritage and Sustainable Tourism

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability in Geographic Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2021) | Viewed by 18540

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, 21 000 Novi Sad, Serbia
Interests: geotourism; sustainable geotourism; geoconservation; geoethics; visitor motivation; geosite interpretation; geosite education; geosite management
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Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues, 

The diversity of nature, which includes biotic and abiotic elements, is the key to the sustainability of human society. In recent decades, there has been much more focus on biotic nature (biodiversity) while abiotic elements (geodiversity) were given very little attention. Most international and national agreements and policies were written in such a way that they often exclude geodiversity from conservation measures. However, in recent years, this has been slowly changing. The importance of abiotic elements, such as geoheritage (representative samples of geodiversity) is been given more and more attention lately, especially in the context of sustainable tourism. Several forms of tourism strictly related to biodiversity and geodiversity, such as ecotourism and geotourism were thought to be an obvious contributor to nature conservation. However, in recent years it is becoming more and more evident that this is difficult to achieve. Increasing the contribution made by tourism to geodiversity and biodiversity conservation is proving to be more challenging than it was anticipated in the past. This Special Issue is dedicated to problems related to the sustainable development of tourism forms connected to geoheritage and bioheritage, as well as the conservation and preservation of these resources for use by future generations.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to reinforce the idea that the rigorous study of geodiversity and biodiversity but also geoheritage and bioheritage associated with touristic activities (mainly geotourism and ecotourism) is fundamental for the dissemination of knowledge on sustainable tourism development and nature conservation. Furthermore, there is a special emphasis on the assessment of these resources and their use for geotourism, ecotourism, and other related forms of adequate tourism niches.

We expect this Special Issue will become a major reference on how to evaluate geodiversity and biodiversity, as well as geoheritage and bioheritage, for tourism purposes concerning sustainable tourism principles. Hence, keep in mind when writing that your readers may be practitioners, consultants or leaders, or academics: readability and illustration of concrete cases will be a plus. 

Dr. Nemanja Tomić
Prof. Dr. Slobodan B. Marković
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • geoheritage
  • bioheritage
  • geodiversity
  • biodiversity
  • geotourism
  • ecotourism
  • evaluation
  • assessment
  • sustainable tourism

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

25 pages, 9493 KiB  
Article
One Billion Years of Earth History: Challenges of Valorizing the Outstanding Geodiversity of Southwest Germany for Sustainable Geotourism
by Heidi Elisabeth Megerle
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010559 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2288
Abstract
The German state of Baden-Württemberg boasts outstanding geo-, bio-, and archaeological diversity, and hosts two of the world’s oldest geoparks. Based on this case study, we explore why the outstanding geoheritage has not been valorized to a greater extent for a lay audience [...] Read more.
The German state of Baden-Württemberg boasts outstanding geo-, bio-, and archaeological diversity, and hosts two of the world’s oldest geoparks. Based on this case study, we explore why the outstanding geoheritage has not been valorized to a greater extent for a lay audience and where best to strike the balance between valorization and protection, with a particular focus on recent developments including the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results show that the valorizing of the geopotentials is still insufficient. Better marketing can make an important contribution to regional added value, as well as—in combination with professional geo-education—a relevant contribution to raising awareness of the state’s natural assets. Adequate measures to protect geotopes in a sustainable manner are crucial, notably in light of problems arising from overtourism, as thrown into sharp relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue (A)Biotic Heritage and Sustainable Tourism)
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14 pages, 2305 KiB  
Article
Ecotourism Practices in Potatso National Park from the Perspective of Tourists: Assessment and Developing Contradictions
by Rumin Zheng, Shuo Zhen, Lin Mei and Hongqiang Jiang
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12655; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212655 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2562
Abstract
Ecotourism in Potatso National Park has been developing for more than 15 years, which has had important guiding significance for the development of China’s national parks. This paper analyzes ecotourism practices in Potatso by extracting related travel notes and adopting the ground theory [...] Read more.
Ecotourism in Potatso National Park has been developing for more than 15 years, which has had important guiding significance for the development of China’s national parks. This paper analyzes ecotourism practices in Potatso by extracting related travel notes and adopting the ground theory and content analysis method. The results show that the current ecotourism practices in Potatso include 5 dimensions and 15 elements. The five dimensions are the natural environment, environmental education, community participation, ecotourism experience and socioeconomic background. The five most important elements are the ecosystem elements, sensory and behavioral ecotourism experience, ecological facilities and interpretation systems. There are also three contradictions: between tourists’ environmental awareness and lack of environmental behaviors, between community participation and residents’ reception capacity, and between environmental education and tourists’ experiences. Regarding the future development of Potatso, conservation will always come first. A breakthrough is needed to strengthen the conversion of environmental education to the environmental behavior of tourists, adjust the participation model of communities dynamically, and continue innovating in the form of environmental education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue (A)Biotic Heritage and Sustainable Tourism)
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19 pages, 4923 KiB  
Article
Saline Soils: A Potentially Significant Geoheritage of the Vojvodina Region, Northern Serbia
by Tijana Zeremski, Nemanja Tomić, Stanko Milić, Jovica Vasin, Randall J. Schaetzl, Dubravka Milić, Milivoj B. Gavrilov, Milorad Živanov, Jordana Ninkov and Slobodan B. Marković
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7891; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147891 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2331
Abstract
Halomorphic (or saline) soils, are characterized by high concentrations of soluble salts or sodium, or both. Saline soils have unfavorable agricultural properties but provide the natural habitats for a variety of highly specialized plants, animals, and other organisms. It is these special interactions [...] Read more.
Halomorphic (or saline) soils, are characterized by high concentrations of soluble salts or sodium, or both. Saline soils have unfavorable agricultural properties but provide the natural habitats for a variety of highly specialized plants, animals, and other organisms. It is these special interactions that create the typical landscape of saline soils, known as “slatina”. The aim of this study is to assess and evaluate the geotouristic potential of six of the most attractive slatina sites in the Vojvodina region, Northern Serbia: Jegrička, Slano Kopovo, Rusanda, Okanj, Pečena slatina, and Pašnjaci Velike Droplje. Overall, all analyzed sites have significant tourism potential, based on both natural and tourist values. In addition to the tourism potentials, analyzed sites have high value as a natural endemic ecosystem inhabited with highly specialized plants and birds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue (A)Biotic Heritage and Sustainable Tourism)
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18 pages, 2037 KiB  
Article
The Circular Economy: A Study on the Use of Airbnb for Sustainable Coastal Development in the Vietnam Mekong Delta
by Jianjia He and Thi Hoai Thuong Mai
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7493; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137493 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4783
Abstract
The concept of the circular economy has become well known for its solution-oriented approach to transforming available resources into a closed-loop resource system. However, in the context of coastal areas, coastal resources seem to be ignored in the tourism production and consumption process. [...] Read more.
The concept of the circular economy has become well known for its solution-oriented approach to transforming available resources into a closed-loop resource system. However, in the context of coastal areas, coastal resources seem to be ignored in the tourism production and consumption process. In relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this article discusses how sharing economy practices may sustain coastal resources through ecotourism, applying a sharing-economy theory that emphasizes changes in the new form—a circular economy—rather than a single traditional Airbnb model or ecotourism model. This study proposes a coastal sustainable development structure model based on the integration between the sharing economy and ecotourism with three modes—positive economic effects, positive economic pressures, and sustainable coastal development—and uses coastal residents’ expectations of their living conditions as moderating factors to investigate the impact of the circular economy on coastal sustainability. We developed a survey-based model that included 303 samples from the indigenous residents of 13 provinces throughout the Vietnam Mekong Delta. The results show that the integration of ecotourism with the Airbnb model has a positive effect on residents’ living conditions, supporting sustainable local development. However, the advancement of technology and residents’ awareness involves barriers to coastal development because the process of modernization is still limited in coastal areas. More specifically, in the case of the Vietnam Mekong Delta, our results suggest that limited technical knowledge and language ability stand as barriers to coastal businesses, showing that the lack of inter-regional connectivity limits the magnitude of local tourism in coastal areas. These findings are useful for assessing residents’ living conditions so that coastal development can work towards poverty reduction. Finally, the establishment and expansion of policies by local authorities can be an indispensable part of coastal economic development by limiting the negative effects of the abuse of natural resources and facilitating family businesses in coastal zones in an effort towards the integration of economic development and social and environmental responsibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue (A)Biotic Heritage and Sustainable Tourism)
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18 pages, 7453 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Preferences of Iranian Geotourists: Case Study of Shadows Canyon and Canyon of Jinns
by Nemanja Tomić, Babak Sepehriannasab, Slobodan B. Marković, Qingzhen Hao and Heros Augusto Santos Lobo
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020798 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2500
Abstract
Compared to other parts of the country, the region of Central Iran still remains mainly outside of major tourism flows even though there are significant geosites with great value for geotourism development. Two of those sites, the Shadow Canyon and the Canyon of [...] Read more.
Compared to other parts of the country, the region of Central Iran still remains mainly outside of major tourism flows even though there are significant geosites with great value for geotourism development. Two of those sites, the Shadow Canyon and the Canyon of Jinns, have excellent qualities for the development of this form of tourism in the future. The goal of this research is to gain information about the preferences of Iranian geotourists and to determine the current state and geotourism potential of Shadows Canyon and Jinn Canyon located in Central Iran by applying the modified geosite assessment model (M-GAM). The results indicate that Iranian geotourists consider rarity and the number of viewpoints the most important when choosing which geosite to visit, while the least important are tour guide service as well as hostelry and restaurant service. The results also show that more attention should primarily be concentrated toward promotional activities and basic tourist infrastructure construction in the future to attract even more tourists to these and other geosites in Iran. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue (A)Biotic Heritage and Sustainable Tourism)
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24 pages, 7196 KiB  
Article
Behavioural Survey of Local Inhabitants’ Views and Attitudes about Slovak Karst National Park in Slovakia
by Janetta Nestorová Dická, Alena Gessert, Lenka Bryndzová and Tamás Telbisz
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10029; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310029 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2861
Abstract
Park-people relationships are crucial for the effective operation of national parks (NPs). According to this new paradigm, protected areas are increasingly considered as instruments for regional development, particularly in marginal regions. However, park-people relationships often comprise conflicts. We tried to understand park-people relationships [...] Read more.
Park-people relationships are crucial for the effective operation of national parks (NPs). According to this new paradigm, protected areas are increasingly considered as instruments for regional development, particularly in marginal regions. However, park-people relationships often comprise conflicts. We tried to understand park-people relationships through the views and attitudes of local people living in or around the area of the Slovak Karst NP, which is found in a marginal, less developed region within Slovakia. We carried out a questionnaire survey and applied multidimensional statistical methods for the results. We identified four attitude dimensions and six local people clusters. Clusters were compared in terms of socio-demographic characteristics, views on NP tasks, attitudes towards the NP, tourism and nature, as well as migration intentions. We found that 45% of the sampled population had positive attitudes towards the NP and nature, 29.5% were neutral and 25.5% had somewhat negative feelings. Results showed that the personal economic situation, the relationship with tourism, age, education level and profession all influence the attitude of local people towards the NP. As for the socio-economic development of the region, we found that till now, the Slovak Karst NP had only a limited role. Nonetheless, understanding the views and attitudes of local people may help to refine the NP strategy. Results suggest that NP management should strengthen the interaction with local communities and improve resource efficiency through a participatory approach to preserve natural values, improve the quality of life and stop outward migration from the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue (A)Biotic Heritage and Sustainable Tourism)
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