Back to the future: overcoming the fear to engage

Document Type


Publication details

Scherrer, P 2010, 'Back to the future: overcoming the fear to engage', paper presented to the Joint Tourism Research Seminar, Gold Coast, Qld., 19 November.


In Australia and many parts of the world, protected area managers face the challenge of implementing a legislated dual mandate of conservation and public use. On Rottnest Island, Western Australia, this balancing act is amplified through the managing agency’s financial reliance on visitors and by highly polarised public opinions and vocal interest groups. This case study examines the implementation of the Sustainable Visitor Capacity (SVC) framework aimed at providing a scientific and participative planning and management process. It examines issues of power, engagement and organisational inertia in light of a common goal, the perpetual enjoyment of a sustained healthy natural, cultural and social environment.