Ed McMahon: Responsible Tourism: How to Protect the Goose that Lays the Golden Egg

Ed McMahon
Ed McMahon during his lecture in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP
Ed McMahon lecturing in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium
The crowd looks on during Ed McMahon's lecture. William Staffeld / AAP
Ed McMahon during his lecture in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP The crowd looks on during Ed McMahon's lecture. William Staffeld / AAP

Ed McMahon holds the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC. Before joining the Urban Land Institute in 2004, he spent 14 years as the vice president and director of land use planning for the Conservation Fund in Arlington, Virginia where he helped to protect more than five million acres of land of historic or natural significance. McMahon is the cofounder and former president of Scenic America, a national nonprofit organization devoted to protecting America's scenic landscapes. Prior, he taught law and public policy at Georgetown University Law Center for nine years, and served in the U.S. Army, both at home and abroad.

McMahon is the author or coauthor of 15 books and more than 300 articles. His most recent book is Conservation Communities: Creating Value with Nature, Open Space, and Agriculture. McMahon writes regularly for Urban Land Magazine, Planning Commissioners Journal and other periodicals. During the past 30 years McMahon has worked with more than 600 communities in all 50 states on a wide variety of land use and economic development issues.

McMahon has served on numerous advisory boards and commissions including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Maryland, the Governor's Institute for Community Design, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Orton Family Foundation.

McMahon has a B.S. from Spring Hill College, an M.A. in urban studies from the University of Alabama, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law School.

Abstract:

Tourism is big business, both in the U.S. and around the world. Tourism can provide many benefits, but unless it is planned and managed, it can also cause many problems. In some cases, it can even destroy the very assets that attracted tourists in the first place. This lecture will explore the basics of responsible tourism. The lecture will set out principles that communities and businesses can use to maximize the benefits of tourism, while minimizing the problems. The differences between mass market tourism and sustainable tourism will be explained and examples will be provided of communities that are attracting tourists without losing their soul.

Cosponsored by the Cornell Baker Program in Real Estate and Department of City and Regional Planning