Tourism and recreation as a driving force for forecasting biodiversity changes: Lake Engure watershed area as an example

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Tourism and recreation as a driving force for forecasting biodiversity changes: Lake Engure watershed area as an example

The aim of the research was to evaluate tourism as a driving force and its pressures in the Lake Engure drainage basin area to forecast the possible long-term changes in biodiversity, in accordance with the DPSIR (Driving forces, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) framework, used by European Environment Agency (EEA). A map of the territory, divided into three tourism zones, was charted using secondary data sources, field research data and surveys of holiday-makers. Tourism enterprises and service providers as driving forces and the pressures created were evaluated, and statistical data on capacity of tourist accommodation, a number of people employed in the tourism industry and a number of tourists in the territory were summarised. Owners of summer houses and recreationists were surveyed in regard of their behaviour, the local services offered, the involvement of local municipality in the process and their future plans, and these factors were studied to evaluate the possible impact of second house tourism. The results indicate that tourism and recreation as a driving force is most active in the coastal zone, however, there is not a big tourist flow. In the future the territory will be mainly used for transit tourism, second-home tourism and recreation.

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