Tourism projects for community development : Influences of tour operators and development organisations.

ERSKINE, Louise M. (2011). Tourism projects for community development : Influences of tour operators and development organisations. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This study compares tour operators and development organisations, by analysing their role in three differently funded and operated tourism projects in Ecuador. Additionally, the study identifies links between micro level livelihood outputs of the projects, the meso level operational contexts, and macro level influences. The study reviews general assumptions that the tourism private sector is not as capable of contributing to poverty reduction to the same extent that the development sector is.Guided by a political economy approach, whilst also considering Giddens' concept of structuration theory, the study examines whether traditional structuralist views of tourism development in less economically developed countries (LEDCs) are applicable within the context of three externally-led tourism projects. Elements of critical ethnography and livelihoods analysis were employed to gather primarily qualitative data, which was obtained by interviewing, observing, carrying out ranking exercises, and analysing documents.Results of the study revealed that the tour operator project was considerably more successful in contributing to the livelihoods of residents surrounding the project. The tour operator was well equipped to respond to operational challenges of the project, and well networked with a range of organisations which provided technical expertise, and small grants. The projects supported by development organisations had notable positive outputs, but failed to create adequate networks with the private sector to sell the projects, and hence were suffering from over-supply and lack of demand.The study showed that development organisations were more confined to operating within bureaucratic processes of head offices than tour operators, which also had detrimental effects on project outputs. Development organisation projects suffer from a lack of tourism expertise, and must adhere to strict regulations regarding project design and operations, echoing the power of institutional structures over agency. Although tour operators must comply with service and product standards to satisfy their international buyers, they appear to be more influential in altering traditional structures, such as networking between the private and development sectors, thus demonstrating the potential power of agency.The evidence concluded that tour operators are better equipped to fund and operate sustainable tourism projects which contribute to community development, and that development organisations would significantly benefit from enlisting the assistance of tour operators in project design, operations, and sales outlets.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2011.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:19
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:19
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19628

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