Sustainable Tourism and Public Policy in Europe: A Case Study of the Regional Nature Park of Auvergne Volcanoes, France

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Teologiska institutionen

Abstract: European Regional Nature Parks are based in rural areas and are involved in the fields of biodiversity and sustainable development. Sustainable tourism is a highly topical issue in Europe and many countries are trying to raise the citizens’ and tourists’ awareness of sustainability issues. It is therefore natural that Regional Nature Parks have become a useful tool in this regard. Implementing the principles of sustainable tourism implies a combination of the socioeconomic goals of regional park tourism and the ecological goals of nature conservation. Nature conservation through tourism has become increasingly market-oriented and more instrumental over the years, which reflects the rise of neoliberalist politics. Accordingly, this thesis will contribute to answering the following question: how is the natural heritage of the RNP of Auvergne Volcanoes used as a tool to promote sustainable tourism on a regional scale within a European framework? The thesis focuses mainly on the Regional Nature Park of Auvergne Volcanoes as a cultural, natural and environmental heritage. It investigates whether the Park’s local landscapes are used to turn it into a saleable product within a European framework. The thesis also emphasises the governance aspects of the park through an analysis of the policies and planning documents guiding it. In this way, this thesis focuses on the role of the European Union and of national, regional and local governments in sustainable tourism. It also aims to extend our understanding of the influence of public policy upon the development of sustainable tourism.

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