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 development of tourism causes negative impacts on the environment. It is in this context, through the Ecological Footprint (EF) method that this study aimed to characterize the impacts of ecotourism on the community of Mateiros, Jalapão, Brazil. The EF, which consisted in its original a method to construct a land use matrix, considering some major categories of human consumption such as food, housing, transportation, consumer goods and services, and six other categories from the main land use which are divided into the topics: land use, degraded environment, gardens, fertile land, pasture and forests protected by the government. The main objective of this index is to calculate the land area required for the production and maintenance of goods and services consumed by a community. The field research was conducted throughout the year of 2014 until July 2015. After the calculations of each category, these components were added according to the presented method in order to determine the annual EF of the tourism sector in Mateiros. The results show that the EF resulting from tourism in Mateiros is 2,194.22 hectares of land required for tourism activities in the region. The EF of tourism was considered high, nevertheless, if it is added the total of hectares needed annually for tourism activities, the result found would be 2,194.22 hectares needed to absorb the CO2 emissions generated in the region directly from the tourism sector.