A Tourism Biosecurity Destination Planning and Management Model

Tourists inadvertently transporting infectious diseases and invasive alien species (IAS) can have serious implications for human and environmental health, with ramifications for economic and socio-cultural wellbeing within destinations. The aim of this study was to assess international tourism biosecurity preparedness in Ireland to develop a biosecurity tourism destination planning and management model. A mixed-method approach was employed utilising essential criteria for tourism biosecurity planning and management to conduct content analysis, surveys, interviews, and observations at Irish tourism organisations and tourist ports of entry. The findings identified considerable gaps in Ireland’s tourism biosecurity preparedness. The lack of a specific national biosecurity plan or strategy that incorporates tourism is concerning. Essential criteria of tourist biosecurity communication, pathway management, and biosecurity vector mitigation measures for tourists among others were found to be severely lacking in Ireland. The findings facilitated the development of model and toolkits for tourism biosecurity planning and management.

Keywords:  tourism biosecurity preparedness, tourist vectoring, infectious disease, invasive alien species [IAS], destination resilience

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