Since the 1980s, global tourism activity has consolidated worldwide to become an important economic contributor, and consequently, the sociocultural and environmental impacts are starting to become evidenced. This raises the need of discussing about actions for sustainable tourism that should be linked not only to the economy, but also to the environment and social aspects. The work that is going to be presented is part of a doctoral research project in Sciences undertaken at the Sao Paulo University, Brazil. It aims to analyze whether the monitoring of the tourism sector with a focus on sustainability is applicable or not, through those indicators, put in a case study in the Jalapão State Park (JSP) conservation unit, in the state of Tocantins, Brazil. This is a study of an interdisciplinary nature that had the deductive method as its guide. We concluded that the key points of the sustainable tourism, when analyzed with the focal point in environmental indicators, are an important evaluation and quantification tool of that activity in the study locus. It displayed itself as an adequate tool for monitoring, thus decoding, the main environmental impacts that occur in tourism regions and their intensity, which is made possible through analysis, and has the objective to trace ways to prevent and correct the presented impacts.
Tourists bring many benefits to a local community, encouraging it to be involved in that activity; however, it may also have detrimental effects like garbage, noise, violence, external culture and the damaging of the natural environment among others, which may promote community dissatisfaction. The contact between the tourist and the local community is a concern, especially when the community is located near protected areas. In this case, the community must know the tourist destination well, so it can collaborate in the tourism development without harming the environment. In this context, the present article aims to demonstrate the results of a research study conducted as part of a doctorate program in Sciences from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It had as an objective to elaborate a methodology proposal to measure the local community satisfaction indicator, with applicability on a case study in the Mateiros community located in the surrounding area of the Parque Estadual do Jalapão –PEJ conservation unit in the state of Tocantins, Brazil. This is a study of an interdisciplinary nature that had the deductive method as its guide. The indicator result is going to be presented in this study. It pointed out as negative factors: there is no involvement between the local community and the tourism sector, and there is also dissatisfaction with regard to the town’s basic services. The study showed as positive the local community knowledge about the various attractions in the surrounding area and that the group recognizes the importance of the tourism for the town and life. Concerning the methodology that was used, the results showed that it can collaborate in seeking actions of improvement and involvement of the community in the planning and development of the local tourism. It comes out as an efficient analysis tool, thus enabling the perceiving of the local community point of view.
The principle of sustainability has been studied by different sciences with the purpose of formulating clear and concrete models. Much has been discussed about sustainability, and several points of view have been used to try to explain it; environmental science emerges from various environmental discourses that are willing to establish a new concept for understanding this complexity. This way, we focus on the activity of ecotourism as a way to integrate sustainable practices proposed by environmental science, and thus, make it possible to create a new perspective for eco-tourists and the managers of tourist destinations towards nature. The aim of this study was to suggest a direction for environmental awareness, based on environmental science, to change the eco-tourist's view of nature in ecotourism tours. The methodology used was based on a case study concerning the Jalapão State Park - JSP, located in the State of Tocantins, Northern Brazil. The study was based on discussions, theoretical studies, bibliographical research and on-site research. We have identified that to incite the tourists’ awareness, they need to visit nature to understand the environmental problems and promote actions for its preservation. We highlight in this study actions to drive their human perception through environmental science, so that the ecotourism itinerary tours to the JSP, promote a balance between the natural environment and the tourist, making them, in this way, environmental tourists.
The State Park Jalapão - PEJ proved to be one of the protected areas that has attracted tourists from all over the world with its unique scenic landscapes. Although the region already has a considerable tourist flow, to our knowledge there is a lack of continuity of studies in the region capable of drawing a plan of activities, such as the profile of the tourist and analysis of their experiences in the region, carried out from 2006-2007. Therefore, this study was proposed to know the profile and experiences of tourists visiting the park today, making a connection with the earlier study, in order to generate subsidies to trace improvement actions. We conducted interviews with tourists in the main tourism season 2015. The results show that after eight years of carrying out the first study, there were no changes, highlighting the lack of a tourism plan for the park.