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The explosion of tourism in Asia and the Pacific has created a multitude of opportunities for many local communities, paving the way for economic development and heightened cultural awareness. Unfortunately, uncontrolled mass tourism is also causing irreversible damage to many World Heritage Sites and living cultural landscapes.

While properly managed tourism development can help alleviate poverty, revitalize traditional industries and develop awareness of cultural heritage preservation, unchecked tourism development threatens to destroy the very foundations of tourism - the attractions themselves.

Unbridled tourism rates are one of the biggest threats to the historic monuments and ancient landscapes of the Asia-Pacific region. Fragile, old structures have limited tolerance to the stress caused by masses of visitors and zero tolerance for thieves wishing to take home a piece of 'history' as a souvenir.

IMPACT addresses the need for a balance between tourism and the preservation of tourist attractions and the cultures within which they exist. Each volume provides an assessment which can shape a co-coordinated strategy aimed at preserving heritage sites and ensuring sustainable tourism development.

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