2009 Assessing the environmental quality of tourism and recreation areas is considered fundamental to the sustainable management of these resources. However, existing methodologies for such assessments rely on sets of environmental data that are often poorly linked and difficult to interpret and integrate in a holistic manner. Risk assessment is a concept that has developed to the point where it has the potential to address current limitations in environmental assessment methodologies. This thesis presents a new model for the application of risk assessment to the management and assessment of environmental sustainability in the tourism and recreation sector. This model was applied and tested at two contrasting tourism and recreation areas in Ireland and a detailed methodology was developed. The results of this research identify key problem areas with respect to environmental sustainability at the two study areas. These results also demonstrate the strengths of the risk assessment approach and indicate that this methodology represents a valuable alternative to existing methodologies.