A framework for implementing sustainable tourism in national parks of Iran: development and use of sustainable tourism indica-tors in Boujagh National Park, Iran

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 University of Malaya

2 Islamic Azad University

Abstract

Despite the fact that national parks and other protected areas are mostly adopting the sustainable development process, it was found that sustainability has yet to be perceived pragmatically in these areas. Due to its process, this paper presents a monitoring framework approach to develop and implement indicators for sustainable tourism. To illustrate the application of the framework, a set of indicators were developed and used by way of an iterative Delphi survey conducted to seek expert opinions on the sustainability indicators to monitor tourism development in Boujagh National Park. This park was the subject of a case study, even though with lack of data. The results of this research confirmed in developing a set of 20 indicators, which emphasised on issues related to visitor satisfaction, economy, environment and society. It is the first step in a long-term process toward developing adapted indicators for national park monitoring and will allow decision-makers to enhance the sustainability of tourism development in Boujagh National Park.

Keywords


A framework for implementing sustainable tourism in national parks of Iran: development and use of sustainable tourism indicators in Boujagh National Park, Iran

A. Reihanian1*, T.W. Hin2, E. Kahrom3, N.Z. Binti Mahmood1

 

1- Institute of Biological, Faculty of Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2- Dept. of Geography, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3- Dept. of Environment, Faculty of Environment and Energy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran.

 

* Corresponding author’s E-mail: anita_reihanian@yahoo.com

(Received: Feb.17.2014.  Accepted: Jun. 28.2014)

ABSTRACT

Despite the fact that national parks and other protected areas are mostly adopting the sustainable development process, it was found that sustainability has yet to be perceived pragmatically in these areas. Due to its process, this paper presents a monitoring framework approach to develop and implement indicators for sustainable tourism. To illustrate the application of the framework, a set of indicators were developed and used by way of an iterative Delphi survey conducted to seek expert opinions on the sustainability indicators to monitor tourism development in Boujagh National Park. This park was the subject of a case study, even though with lack of data. The results of this research confirmed in developing a set of 20 indicators, which emphasised on issues related to visitor satisfaction, economy, environment and society. It is the first step in a long-term process toward developing adapted indicators for national park monitoring and will allow decision-makers to enhance the sustainability of tourism development in Boujagh National Park.

Keywords:sustainable tourism indicator, monitoring, Boujagh National Park, Delphi

 


 

INTRODUCTION

In the past decade, there had been a great deal of interest in explaining the main issue on sustainability of tourism and the means by which indicators  can assist in better decision making. The stimulus for sustainable tourism indicators comes from the perception that almost all destinations, particularly natural areas, have been at risk due to inadequate attention to the long-term sustainability of tourism destinations. It is planned to bring to the attention of those who are able to influence the future of tourism data on the present state of development and implementation of indicators. Developing and using indicators is progressively prospected as a fundamental part of overall destination planning and management, and an essential element in efforts to promote sustainable development of tourism (Sirakaya & Choi, 2006; Miller, 2001).

Since the 1992 Rio Conference, planners have been active in their efforts to develop and

 

 

implement indicators which focused on both the issues of impact and sustainability of tourism. Studies done by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and many others have supported the conclusion that the planning and management of tourism in many destinations have occurred with insufficient information, particularly with regard to the impacts of tourism on destinations, the impacts of changes in the social and natural environment on tourism and the longer term maintenance of the key assets which make a destination attractive. It can be noted that the WTO’s core indicators were generically grouped into economic, planning, social and ecological indicator types (Dymond, 2010).

The 11 core indicators proposed by WTO (WTO, 1997) are site protection, site stress, use intensity, social impacts, development control, waste management, planning process, critical ecosystem, consumer satisfaction, local satisfaction and tourism’s contribution to the local economy (Twining-Ward & Butler, 2002).  However, despite the WTO’s work providing a useful staring point, a closer analysis still reveals many difficulties such as lack of clear stakeholder participation, and absence of an appropriate monitoring framework to help translate these indicators into appropriate management actions.  Accordingly, a growing number of academics involved in sustainable tourism research (Bui, 2000; McCool et al., 2001; Twining-Ward & Butler, 2002; Dwyer & Kim, 2003; Emmelin, 2006; Mycoo, 2006) have recommended the need for sustainable tourism indicators. Twining-Ward & Butler (2002) mentioned that without indicators the concept of sustainable tourism is meaningless as indicators provide the means to assess the effectiveness of government policies and actions as well as draw attention to problematic areas in the tourism industry so that appropriate management responses are activated.

Although different states have generated their own indicators, they may all share some commonalities. For instance, environmental indicators refer to specific concerns about the natural and human environment; sustainable indicators represent sustainable practices such as waste treatment,

savings, environmental measures; and institutional indicators revolve around issues of the performance and effectiveness of different government instruments (Sirakaya et al., 2001). However, it is difficult to identify the gaps mentioned earlier between academic approaches and the work of governmental or international institutions (Buckley, 2003).

For tourism in national parks there are numerous lists of indicators that have not been implemented in practice. However, indicators that are both scientifically defensible and feasible and valuable in management are very rare (Buckley, 2003). Large scale indicators developed are insufficient for examining visitor impacts in national parks. It needs specific indicators that state the priority conservation values of the national parks concerned.  

In Iran, despite the presence of 235 protected areas covering some 16,676,734 hectares located in 31 provinces (DOE, 2014), reliable information on tourism development in national parks and other protected areas is generally absent due to inaccurate reporting and the extent of under-reporting. Most of the national parks in Iran are under the combined pressures of inadequate management and economical priorities. However, Iran’s Department of Environment (DOE) has introduced a number of policies designed to enhance environmental quality in general and, more specifically, to protected areas (DOE, 2001).

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

A number of previously published documents regarding sustainable development framework, indicator theory, sustainable tourism management and sustainable tourism indicators were reviewed (WTO, 1996; EC. 2004; Gahin et al., 2003; ISD, 2005). Whilst the literature review was not definitive, it provided a theoretical platform for the suggested approach in this study. The literature review considers the debates over the definition of sustainable tourism and the link between sustainable tourism and sustainable development. The literature highlighted the large number of existing indicator sets, but very few evaluations of their implementation. A review of these examples stressed the importance of creating a logical group as opposed to the ad hoc selection of individual indicators to ensure they provide a clear image of progress. The literature suggested that the process of implementing and using indicators is more important than seeking technically perfect individual indicators. It also highlighted the importance of stakeholders in the development of any set of indicators and their application.

Indicators for sustainable tourism in the Boujagh National Park (Fig. 1) are required to manage changes across the whole park in order to preserve its particular nature. Indicators should cover the main themes like environment, tourism, society and economy. Moreover, indicators have to measure the multiple aspects in a way that link together cause and effect.

Initially, a participatory group of stakeholders was formed to assist in the process of developing indicators.  Based on the ‘stakeholder analyses’ by Hardy & Beeton (2001), in deciding the potential make-up of the group, it is important to identify what kind of skills would be required. In this study four stakeholder groups were recognized: Department of Environment (DOE); Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization (CHHTO); National Ecotourism Committee (NEC); and Consultants as the implementing monitoring system. A committee of experts was organized to meet on a regular basis to provide advice on their area of expertise and to ensure the indicators reflected the place and time specific issues facing sustainable tourism development in Boujagh National Park (NRC, 1999). The final committee included 12 members composed of experts in the areas related to environment, society, economy and tourism. The primary focus of the members was to identify the key issues of sustainable tourism in Boujagh. It was essential to define precisely what sustainable tourism development was, not only in the international context but in the place-specific context of Boujagh as well. Three main approaches were used in this effort: secondary sources on sustainable development and tourism materials on Boujagh National Park; a series of semi-structured interviews with key informants; and visitor and local resident surveys. Within any designed groups it can be expected that there will be one or more individuals who will be highly knowledgeable in particular areas and should consequently be given special attention in the research process (Ward et al.,1999). The key informant interviews was designed to tap this important source of knowledge and provide  an opportunity to stakeholders who were not members of the committee to be involved in the research to develop a practical picture of how tourism relates to the wide range of priorities facing sustainable development in Boujagh National Park. Key informants were selected using the snowball sampling process. This involved identifying one member of the population of interest, and then asking him/her to identify a second expert with similar characteristics (Clark et al., 1998). In this way it was possible to identify a whole network of respondents who are key decision makers in a particular area.

During the survey 78 household interviews and 400 visitor questionnaire surveys were conducted. A pilot test was conducted to test the reliability of the questionnaire.  The results from the surveys were sorted, analyzed and used to develop a set of objectives for sustainable tourism development, which became the key point of reference for this study.  As the committee members had wide-ranging experiences, they also advised on the most appropriate method to be used in the different stages. Fostering an interdisciplinary group meant taking into consideration and establishing the link between tourism development and the broader environmental, social/cultural and economic conditions facing Boujagh.  Considerations which are time and place specific meant recognizing indicators that addressed current stakeholder priorities and concerns rather than simply international sustainable tourism development priorities. Based on these principles and after reviewing and utilizing the information in previous projects and studies on sustainable tourism indicators, a framework was developed for sustainable tourism development in Boujagh National Park (Fig. 2).

At first, a list of 70 critical issues was determined with the assistance of group members. In this list were some issues that had little direct links to tourism such as political freedom and lifestyle diseases. Moreover, there were many similar issues which could be classified together in a group. As a result of screening by the committee, 5 key issues were identified for sustainable tourism development.

 

Developing and Screening Indicators

Having decided on the priority issues and objectives, the study focused on the development of indicators. As stated by the UN Commission for Sustainable Development, indicators need to be: understandable, realizable, conceptually well-founded, limited in number, broad in their coverage, and dependant on data that is easily available (Moldan & Billharz, 1997).  Hardi (1997) added that indicators of sustainable development have to be long-term in vision and practical in focus, developed through wide participation and determined by organized capacity. Similar criteria were recommended by Manning et al., (1996) in choosing indicators of sustainable tourism  that address the requisites of data availability, credibility, simplicity and the capacity to show trends over time. Using these elements and WTO guidebook as a model, the committee members brainstormed in small groups to develop indicators. During the first meeting, members focused on evaluating the potential of indicators identified throughout the literature review. All the indicators were screened by the committee members for technical practicably. After the first brainstorming session a total of 250 indicators were recognized and 70 were forwarded for screening.  The screening of indicators took place at two levels. The indicators were first screened for their technical feasibility using the selection criteria of sustainable tourism indicators (Fig. 3). Based on the selected criteria, 10 sub-criteria were derived from a review of related literature on indicators.  The first six criteria were called killer criteria, in which all indicators were required to meet or were immediately rejected. The last four criteria were termed as desirable criteria, where at least two of these must be met before being accepted as an indicator (Twining-Ward & Butler, 2002).

The indicators were then screened a second time to evaluate their user friendliness. Indicators going through this process were rejected step by step, and were replaced with new ones that were more suitable to the Boujagh situation. As Hart (1999) highlighted, indicators need to fit the circumstances of the designations and not just because someone else is using them. After the technical and user friendly screening process only 20 key indicators remained and were adopted by the committee members.

 

Tuning and Monitoring Indicators

Identifying indicators was only part of the process. Fine tuning and monitoring required a set of protocols, for example, definitions of all the issues and terms used, methods to collect information, and methods to interpret the indicator’s results (Twining-Ward & Butler, 2002). Therefore, before starting data collection, further fine tuning was necessary and monitoring protocols were outlined. This session was essential to avoid the acquisition of unimportant data and information. It also helped ensure that if the indicator is to be used over a number of years, it must be understood in the same manner each time it is used (Twining-Ward & Butler, 2002). Fine-tuning included committee member meetings and discussions with key informants to help in the formulation of specific indicator definitions. Subsequently, data collection methods and sampling frames were established on a case-by-case basis, with the emphasis on establishing the most effective means of collecting data as an ongoing process. As a result of this stage, 4 of the 24 indicators retained in the previous steps were removed because they did not meet the condition of measurability over time. All the indicators were measured in percentages. This significantly clarified the interpretation and presentation of the data (Tanguay et al., 2011).

For each indicator it was necessary to clearly document the special means to be used to obtain the information. The focus of this step shifted to designing surveys to collect data. Three primary surveys were conducted in order to collect data for WTO’s 11 core indicators of sustainable tourism (Table 2). These included visitor and local community surveys and key informant interviews.

 

RESULTS

Interpreting visitor and resident surveys and interviews with key informants

This section discusses the interpretation of the results from visitor and resident surveys and interviews with key informants. In the data analysis, time and place specific appeared to be the most difficult considerations. As most of the indictors were assessed for the first time, there was no scale or criteria to compare the results with. If the previous year’s results had been available, trend analysis would be possible, but without a clear yardstick, it would be largely a matter for decision makers to determine whether the change should be interpreted as a deterioration or improvement of the situation (Twining-Ward & Butler, 2002). This problem became apparent particularly in the place and time specific approach. This was definitely a serious problem which needed to be resolved to assist in the interpretation of indicators results on a long term basis.

Various alternatives were considered such as benchmarks and thresholds but finally, based on the successful experience of the case studies of indicator development around the world, the Tourism Optimization Management Model (TOMM), used in the Kangaroo and Samoa Island projects, was used for interpreting the indicator results in BNP (WTO, 2004). TOMM was developed to tackle the challenges of balancing development and conservation for the benefit of both residents and visitors (Manidis Roberts, 1997). At the core of TOMM was a set of practical indicators to monitor the status of tourism. TOMM had been developed as a collaborative management and monitoring program, based upon a series of indicators covering environmental conservation, community satisfaction, economy promotion, and visitor satisfaction levels. Data was collected in relation to each of these indicators. Over time the identified indicators were refined as more data were gathered. Based upon these indicators, an ‘acceptable range’ was established to provide a practical measurement for each indicator based on the best data and information available at the time (Arnberger et al., undated). These ranges presented a practical measurement for each indicator and helped the park on the way to reaching the optimal desired states. The acceptable ranges were identified based upon these indicators, which provided a practical measurement for each indicator based on the best information available at the time involving previous studies, observations and approximation from those with experience in the field and community. With the establishment of a range for each indicator, the interpretation of results and the process of assessing whether the results fell inside or outside the acceptable range was easier.

 

Reviewing and Improving the Monitoring System

The final phase before re-monitoring indicators was to suggest essential improvements to the indicators. A review of the initial vision, definition and data collection techniques took place directly following the first phase of monitoring. The purpose of both phases highlighted that choosing indicators is just the beginning of the process to assess the performance of the individual indicators and discuss possible improvements to data collection techniques based on the key lessons from the work (Blackstock et al., 2006).

The committee determined that checking the real indicators were clearly focused on current issues and that data collection methods were frequently improved. As a result, 13 of the indicators were approved without any changes, 3 of indicators were accepted with small changes, 2 were rejected, 3 were completely revised, and 4 new indicators were added. The 4 new indicators were ‘the proportion of tourists that believed they experienced a worthwhile trip’; ‘the proportion of visitors that believed Boujagh has a friendly local community and customer services’; ‘the proportion of tourism development impact on local community’; and ‘the proportion of key informants that agreed with the inclusion of indicators’

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 1. The location of Boujagh National Park, Guilan, Iran.

               

 

Revising, Fine-tuning and Monitoring Indicators

Applying, Interpreting and Drawing up an Action Plan

Reviewing and Improving a Monitoring System

Ensuring a balance of indicators across the themes and within the framework

Formulation and definition of precise indicators wording

Ensuring resources available for applying indicators and acting on their findings

Ensuring whether the results fall inside or outside the acceptable range

Assessing the performance of indicators

Reviewing initial vision, definitions and make necessary improvements

Developing and Screening Indicators

Key Issues

Environment

Tourism

Society

Economy

 

Fig. 2.  A framework for implementation sustainable tourism development indicators in Boujagh National Park

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1. Boujagh National Park’s sustainable tourism objectives and corresponding indicators

Issue

Indicator Focus

Objective

Indicators Utility

Visitor

satisfaction

Visitor’s satisfaction with their

experiences

Improve the quality of visitor’s

experience through upgrading

tourism facilities, services and

activities

 

 

- Proportion of visitors who were very satisfied or satisfied with the quality and price of accommodation

- Proportion of visitors who agreed Boujagh National Park is a hospitable destination that will relax your mind, refresh your spirit and make you feel totally alive to be close to the nature

- Proportion of visitors who were satisfied with scenic variety experience

- Proportion of tourists that believed they experienced an credible trip

- Proportion of tourists that believed they viewed and researched in a national park

- Proportion of visitors that experienced cultural heritage, produce and rural landscapes

- Proportion of visitors that believed Boujagh has a friendly local community and customer services

- Proportion of visitors who were satisfied with their overall experience on Boujagh National Park

- Proportion of repeat visitation

Economy

Regional development

Tourism economic benefits for Boujagh National Park

- The annual average number of nights stayed

- Proportion of visitors that would recommend Boujagh National Park to others to visit

-  Average tourist expenditure

Environment

 

Visitor’s awareness

 

Visitor activity has minimal negative impacts on the natural environment

 

- Proportion of visitations to natural areas occurring on  managed sites

- Proportion of visitor awareness of conservation regulations prior to arriving in Boujagh National Park

Society

Local community awareness

 

The majority of local community who participated in conservation

programmes

-  Proportion of local community to the park conservation programmes

-  Proportion of local community involvement in tourism development

-  Proportion of tourism development impact on local community

Management

 

Local community participation in the planning process

The majority of local community

participation in the tourism planning

process

 

-  Proportion of local community participation in the tourism planning process

- Proportion of multiple stakeholders participation in the tourism planning process

- Proportion of key informants that believed Boujagh National Park has sustainable tourism planning

-  Proportion of key informants that agreed with the inclusion of indicators

 

 

 

Fig. 3. Sustainable tourism indicators rating criteria

 

Table 2. Core indicators of sustainable tourism by WTO

 

Indicator

Indicator descriptor

1

Site protection

Category of site protection according to IUCN

2

Stress

Tourist numbers visiting a site (per annum/peak month)

3

Use intensity

Intensity of use in peak periods (persons per hectare)

4

Social impact

Ratio of tourists to locals (peak period and over time)

5

Development control

Existence of environmental review procedure or formal site controls

6

Waste management

Percentage of sewage from site receiving treatment

7

Planning process

Existence of organized regional plan for tourism

8

Critical ecosystems

Number of rare/endangered species

9

Consumer satisfaction

Level of satisfaction by visitors

10

Local satisfaction

Level of satisfaction by locals

11

Tourism contribution to

local economy

Proportion of total economic activity generated by tourism

 

 

DISCUSSION

This paper designed a framework approach for selecting and implementing sustainable tourism indicators for Boujagh National Park. The framework was developed to support the park authority in its endeavour to move beyond principles of sustainable tourism to measuring changes. There is little by way of academic literature on tourism in Boujagh national park compared to the number of studies that have been made in fauna and flora (Kharazmi et al., 2011).

Additionally, while several studies have discussed the fact that sustainability depends on the agendas of stakeholders, this study has added the notion that due to the considerable influence at the regional level, the adoption of sustainability is also linked to the concept of power. The assessment of

 

stakeholder responses stressed that there were two levels of influence within stakeholders. This study has found that the consultants have had a significant influence.

Although, there is still much work to be done to move towards sustainable tourism development in Boujagh National Park, this study has provided the starting point for the development and monitoring  of a framework, and the criteria to be used to select indicators. This study will be undertaken at a rate, and in ways that will assist in ensuring the conservation of the natural resources of the park; generate continuing economic benefits throughout society; contribute to the general improvement in the quality of life; and the sustainability of the tourism industry in Boujagh.

 

Table 3. A designed table for sustainable tourism indicator results in BNP

Indicator

Acceptable range (%)

Result

Environmental

1

Proportion of visitations to natural areas occurring on managed sites

60-80%

Acceptable

2

Proportion of visitor awareness of conservation regulations prior to arriving in Boujagh National Park

70-100%

Acceptable

 

Economic

3

The annual average number of nights stayed

2-4 nights

Poor

4

Proportion of visitors that would recommend Boujagh National Park to others to visit

70-80%

Acceptable

5

Average tourist expenditure

50-70%

Poor

Visitor’s Satisfaction

6

Proportion of visitors who were very satisfied or satisfied with the quality and price of accommodation

70-100%

Poor

7

Proportion of visitors who agreed that Boujagh National Park is a hospitable destination that will relax your mind, refresh your spirit and make you feel totally alive to be close to the nature

70-100%

Poor

 

Proportion of visitors who were satisfied with the scenic variety experience

70-100%

Acceptable

8

Proportion of tourists who believed they experienced a worthwhile trip

70-100%

Poor

9

Proportion of tourists who believed they viewed and researched in a national park

60-80%

Poor

10

Proportion of visitors that experienced cultural heritage, produce and rural landscapes

70-100%

Poor

11

 

Proportion of visitors that believed Boujagh has a friendly local community and customer services

70-100%

Poor

12

Proportion of visitors who were satisfied with their overall experience on Boujagh National Park

80-100%

Poor

13

Proportion of repeat visitation

30-50%

Good

Social

14

Proportion of local community to the park conservation programmes

70-90%

Poor

15

Proportion of local community involvement in tourism development

70-100%

Poor

16

Proportion of tourism development impact on local community

70-100%

Poor

Managerial

17

Proportion of local community participation in the tourism planning process

70-100%

Poor

18

Proportion of multiple stakeholders participation in the tourism planning process

70-100

Poor

19

Proportion of key informants that believed Boujagh National Park has a sustainable tourism planning

70-100%

Poor

20

Proportion of key informants that agreed with the inclusion of indicators

70-100%

Acceptable

 

 

Acknowledgements

My special thanks also to the University of Malaya for providing financial support grant.  Particular thanks must be extended to those who participated in interviews and so generously devoted their time to this study. I would like to express my great thanks to Professor Seyed Ali Elahinia and Dr.

 

Shahrokh Yousefzadeh Chabok for their never ending support.

Arnberger, A., Eder, R., Jiricka, A., Probstl, U. & Salak, B. (n. d.) VV-TOMM- the tourism optimization management model for the needs of marginal areas. Managing and stressing sustainable tourism development processes. The CENTRAL EUROPE Programme, co‚Äźfinanced by the ERDF.

Blackstock K., McCrum G., Scott A. & White V. (2006) A framework for developing indicators of sustainable tourism. Macaulay Institute in partnership with The Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Buckley, R. (2003) Ecological indicators of tourist impacts in parks. Journal of Ecotourism. 2: 54-66.

Bui, T. (2000) Tourism dynamics and sustainable tourism development – principles and implications in southeast Asia. Unpublished doctoral thesis, NTU, Singapore.

Clark M., Riley M.,Wilkie E. & Wood R.C. (1998) Researching and writing dissertations in hospitality and tourism. London: International Thomas Business Press.

DOE. (2001) Laws and regulations of environmental policy, Tehran. Iran. 560p.

DOE. (2014). Homepage www.doe.org

Dymond, S. (2010) Indicators of sustainable tourism in New Zealand: a local government perspective. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 5 (4): 279-293.

Dwyer, L. & Kim, C. (2003) Destination competitiveness: determinants and indicators. Current Issues in Tourism. 6: 369–414.

Emmelin, L. (2006) Sustainable tourism development in the Baltic Sea Region: overview of existing tools and methods for integrating sustainable tourism development with spatial planning at local and regional level. Ostersund, Sweden: Mid-Sweden University.

European Commission (EC). (2004) Study on indicators of sustainable development at the local level. European Community. pp.1-68.

Hardi, P. (1997) Measurement and indicators program of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. In B. Moldan, and B. Billharz (eds.) Sustainability Indicators: Report of the Project on Indicators of Sustainable Development (pp. 28–32). SCOPE Report No. 58. Chichester: John Wiley.

Hart M. (1999) Guide to sustainable community indicators (2nd eds.). North Andover: Hart Environmental Data.

Gahin, R., Veleva, V. & Hart, M. (2003) Do indicators help create sustainable communities? Local Environment. 8: 661-666.

Gallopin, G.C. (1997) Indicators and their use: information for decision making in Sustainability Indicators, Report of the project on indicators of Sustainable Development. Moldan, B., Billharz, S. (Eds). Chichester: John Wiley and Sons Ltd. pp. 13-32.

International Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD). (2005) Compendium of sustainable development indicator initiatives. www.iisd.org/ measure/ compendium

Khara, H. Sattari, M. Nezami, Sh. Mirhasheminasab, S.F. Mousavi, A. and Ahmadnezhad, M. (2011) Parasites of some bonyfish species from Boojagh Wetland in the southwest shores of the Caspian Sea. Caspian Journal of Environmental Sciences. 9: 47-53

Manidis Roberts Consultants (1997) Developing a tourism optimization management model (TOMM). Surrey Hills: Manidis Roberts Consultants.202-207

McCool, S.F., Moisey, R.N. & Nickerson N.P. (2001) What should tourism sustain? the disconnect with industry perception of useful indicators. Journal of Travel Research. 4: 24–131.

Manning, T., Clifford, G., Docherty, D. & Ernst, M. (1996) What tourism managers need to know: a practical guide to the development and use of indicators of sustainable tourism. Prepared for WTO. Ottawa Canada of Consulting and Audit Canada. pp. 1-73.

Miller G. (2001) The development of indicators for sustainable tourism: results of a Delphi survey of tourism researchers. Tourism Management. 22: 351-362.

Mycoo, M. (2006) Sustainable tourism using regulations, market mechanisms and green certification: a case study of Barbados. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 14: 489–511.

National Research Council (NRC) Board on Sustainable Development (1999) Our Common Journey. A transition toward sustainability. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. On WWW at http://books.nap.edu/books/0309067839/html/index.html.Accessed 30.5.01.

Sirakaya, E. & Jamal, Ch. (2001) Developing indicators for destination sustainability. Texas, USA: CABI International. 11-50

Tanguay, G.A., Rajaonson, J. & Therrien, M.CH. (2011) Sustainable tourism indicators: selection for policy implementation and scientific recognition. Centre interuniversity de research en analyse des organisations (CIRANO). Quebec. 28-31

Twining–Ward, L. & Butler, R. (2002) Implementing STD on a small island: development and use of sustainable tourism development indicators in Samoa. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 10: 363–387.

Waldron, D., Williams, P.W., (2003) Steps towards sustainability monitoring: the case of the Resort Municipality of Whistler. In sustainable tourism: a global perspective. Harris, R., Griffin, T., Williams, P. (Eds.). London: Butterworth-Heinemann. pp. 180-194.

Ward T., Kingstone F. & Siwatibau S. (1999) Indicators of success for the South Pacific biodiversity conservation programme. Volume 1: Technical report. Unpublished draft for discussion, SPREP, Apia. 9-34

World Tourism Organization (2004). Indicators of sustainable development for tourism destinations: a guidebook. Madrid: WTO. 1-99

World Tourism Organisation (WTO). (1996) What tourism managers need to know: a practical guide to the development and use of indicators of sustainable tourism. Prepared for WTO by: Manning, T., Clifford, G., Docherty, D., Ernst, M. Ottawa Canada of Consulting and Audit Canada. pp.1-73.

World Tourism Organization (WTO). (1997) Tourism is one of the environment’s best friends. Secretary-General addresses special session of United Nations. Press release 24 June, 1997, New York, USA. 122-150