Dangi, Tek Bahadur (2016-12). Towards a Robust Framework of Sustainable Community-based Tourism (SCBT): Exploring Destination Justice and Equity as a Part of Governance, a Case Study of Bryan-College Station, Texas, USA. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • Definitions and descriptions of Sustainable Tourism (ST) and Community-Based Tourism (CBT) abound. ST emerged in opposition to the negative impacts of mass tourism with the former being manifested in various forms such as community-based tourism, ecotourism, volunteer tourism, responsible tourism, and so on. Meanwhile, CBT has gained some prominence alongside ST, but it is unknown how it relates to ST? Multiple definitions, diverse principles, indicators and criteria in each make the concepts of ST and CBT highly problematic and at times pose research and practical challenges. Therefore, this dissertation was conducted by taking a scoping review type comprehensive literature review (CLR) on ST and CBT to develop a research framework, which then led to an empirical study. The CLR found that the literature was consistent with key dimensions of sustainable tourism including economic, social, and environmental aspects. However, though the key dimensions remained the same, some specific aspects such as justice, ethics, and equity in the domain of governance were found to be under-represented in both the ST and CBT literatures. Based on the CLR and the gaps identified, a preliminary framework of SCBT was proposed retaining all the existing dimensions and criteria and adding the under-represented issues. The empirical study employed the tourism community in Bryan-College Station (BCS), Texas, which consisted of literature reviews, participant observation, and in-depth interviews with 40 participants. The analysis used an iterative approach to the qualitative data. The findings of the study suggested that issues of justice and equity were largely addressed by the governing bodies through mechanisms of collaborative participation and decision-making. Results suggest tourism has contributed to heritage preservation and enhanced community pride and cohesion. It was further found the emotional solidarity between the stakeholders, visitors and residents appear very strong. However, suggestions from a few participants for inclusion in decision-making, and inability of some ethnic minorities to take full advantage of equal employment opportunities, and their reduced work hours in summer suggest a need for a more pro-active and collaborative type of tourism governance. The recommendations of the study may be helpful in addressing justice and equity issues in tourism.
  • Definitions and descriptions of Sustainable Tourism (ST) and Community-Based Tourism (CBT) abound. ST emerged in opposition to the negative impacts of mass tourism with the former being manifested in various forms such as community-based tourism, ecotourism, volunteer tourism, responsible tourism, and so on. Meanwhile, CBT has gained some prominence alongside ST, but it is unknown how it relates to ST? Multiple definitions, diverse principles, indicators and criteria in each make the concepts of ST and CBT highly problematic and at times pose research and practical challenges. Therefore, this dissertation was conducted by taking a scoping review type comprehensive literature review (CLR) on ST and CBT to develop a research framework, which then led to an empirical study.
    The CLR found that the literature was consistent with key dimensions of sustainable tourism including economic, social, and environmental aspects. However, though the key dimensions remained the same, some specific aspects such as justice, ethics, and equity in the domain of governance were found to be under-represented in both the ST and CBT literatures. Based on the CLR and the gaps identified, a preliminary framework of SCBT was proposed retaining all the existing dimensions and criteria and adding the under-represented issues. The empirical study employed the tourism community in Bryan-College Station (BCS), Texas, which consisted of literature reviews, participant observation, and in-depth interviews with 40 participants. The analysis used an iterative approach to the qualitative data. The findings of the study suggested that issues of justice and equity were largely addressed by the governing bodies through mechanisms of collaborative participation and decision-making. Results suggest tourism has contributed to heritage preservation and enhanced community pride and cohesion. It was further found the emotional solidarity between the stakeholders, visitors and residents appear very strong. However, suggestions from a few participants for inclusion in decision-making, and inability of some ethnic minorities to take full advantage of equal employment opportunities, and their reduced work hours in summer suggest a need for a more pro-active and collaborative type of tourism governance. The recommendations of the study may be helpful in addressing justice and equity issues in tourism.

publication date

  • December 2016