Tourist use and impact monitoring in the galÁpagos: An evolving programme with lessons learned

Daniela Cajiao, Juan Carlos Izurieta, María Casafont, Günter Reck, Keyla Castro, Verónica Santamaría, Susana Cárdenas, Yu Fai Leung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Timely and relevant monitoring of tourist use and impacts is increasingly important for the adaptive management of protected area tourism. However, programmes initially set up for monitoring need to swiftly respond and adjust to emerging trends and patterns in visitation and concomitant conservation and community ramifications. Few published papers have shared successes, failures and challenges of specific tourist monitoring programmes in protected areas. This paper addresses this gap by summarising the multi-stage development of the tourist use and impact monitoring programme in the iconic Galápagos National Park and sharing the major lessons learned. From the 1960s to the present, we identified four major stages of monitoring programme development driven by a variety of forces, from the early research on tourist impacts on wildlife to the current monitoring programme that involves significant public participation and technology applications in implementing indicators. This summary should be of value to other protected areas, especially those that are accommodating fast-growing tourism, building monitoring programmes or contemplating adjustments to their programmes due to changing management challenges, information needs or capacity for monitoring implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Galápagos National Park
  • Indicators
  • Monitoring program
  • Tourism
  • Visitor impacts
  • Visitor sites


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