Environment Systems and Decisions

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 249–268 | Cite as

Nature-based solutions for sustainable tourism development in protected natural areas: a review

  • Ante MandićEmail author


This research aims to explore the potentials of nature-based solutions (NbS) to mitigate the socio-economic pressures rising from tourism development within protected natural areas. Paper delivers a tourism studies perspective exclusively, by reviewing publications published between 2008 and 2018 in leading tourism and hospitality journals. The content analysis results support conclusions that each of the tourism development dimensions, i.e. governance, management and conservation, capacity building, visitor management and monitoring, sustainable financing and green infrastructure, can be related to at least one of the NbS approaches via conceptual or implemented measures. Moreover, tourism development in protected areas supports the new perspective of NbS, encompassing intangible governmental interventions. Additionally, the term nature-based solutions has not been established in tourism literature yet. The literature review provides an in-depth understanding of the role of NbS in sustainable tourism development within protected natural areas and suggests a future research agenda for scholars and practitioners. The major limitation of this study is a restriction on journal selection.


Nature-based solutions Protected areas Natural resources Tourism development Sustainable development Park tourism Resilience Tourism research 



The author would like to express his gratitude to both reviewers for comprehensive review and suggestions that have contributed improve the quality of paper.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Tourism and Economy, Faculty of Economics, Business and TourismUniversity of SplitSplitCroatia

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