Developing Botanical Gardens as Natural Heritage Tourist Attractions

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Nicholas Catahan, self-proclaimed “Place/Service Ecologist”, Interim Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer at Edge Hill University Business School invited by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), tourism development agency linked to the Ministry of Tourism, and Royal Botanic Gardens of Trinidad and Tobago, to talk about cutting edge research on Botanic Gardens worldwide, their development and their instrumental part to play in global goals regarding sustainability. Nick was joined by Mr Brian Vogt, CEO of the acclaimed Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado, in a discussion about: ‘Developing Botanical Gardens as Natural Heritage Tourist Attractions’.

Nick highlights that Botanic Gardens have key aims and purpose, which must be at the forefront of any development plans, policies and practice regarding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Key concepts and good practice of mindfulness, effectual entrepreneurship (and all that comes with this, creativity, collaboration, innovation with the means available to name a few), Transformative Service Research (TSR) (considering both positive and negative transformations and ways forward), Responsible Tourism (acting locally on a micro-environmental scale, maximising positive outcomes and minimising negative), and Sustainable Tourism (regarding macro-environmental factors impacting upon places including ethical dimensions and of course acting globally with SDGs driving all that we plan for), but ultimately, Place Ecology, studying places in their entirety best we can, Place Phenology, studying the multiple dimensions of events, festivals and suchlike across the calendar year across places, and resultant responsible, strategic marketing, and Place Management practice are ways to approach development. Nick states that these are informed, evidence-based ways forward for not only Botanic Garden Communities but many others too, for the transformative service of places; and in this case developing Botanic Gardens as places of transformative service for scientific research, conservation, education and displays of collections, whilst developing as natural heritage tourist attractions being one strand and part of their policies, plans and developments.

For more information about Nick and his work on Botanic Gardens Worldwide please follow this link:

Nick is also a member of SustainNET a network of individuals at Edge Hill University who are passionate about sustainability; formed with the support of the Institute for Social Responsibility (ISR).
Period4 Nov 2020
Held atCaribbean Tourism Organization, Barbados
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Botanic Gardens
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Heritage
  • Tourism
  • Innovation
  • Effectual Entrepreneurship
  • Transformative Places
  • Transformative Services