Studying sustainable and wildlife tourism at Bournemouth University Department of Tourism and Hospitality
Drs. Susanna Curtin and Jon Edwards had an enjoyable day out at RSPB Arne with the MSc students studying wildlife, nature and ecotourism. They were there to experience the diverse wetland and woodland habitat and to learn about the relationship between nature reserves and ecotourism.
Are nature reserves visitor attractions? Becky Williams from the RSPB gave an interesting talk on how they manage the influx of visitors who range from avid bird watchers, dog walkers and/or family day trippers. The new shop and café are an added attraction and will further increase visitor numbers causing pressure on car parking, facilities and residents along the approach road.
However, the increase visitor numbers is also a factor of changing lifestyles and the desire to get out and experience nature in a beautiful and accessible part of Poole harbour. Visitors are therefore welcomed at the reserve as increased numbers means increased spend in the shop and the café and increased RSPB memberships inspired by the visitor experience. Good for nature and good for people. The students had a nice day out and learned a lot too.