Influenced and influential: the role of tour operators and development organisations in tourism and poverty reduction in Ecuador

ERSKINE, Louise and MEYER, Dorothea (2012). Influenced and influential: the role of tour operators and development organisations in tourism and poverty reduction in Ecuador. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 20 (3), 339-357.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/09669582.2011.630470

Abstract

This paper uses a comparative analysis of three differently funded and managed tourism projects in Ecuador to examine the use of a theoretical dimension in the study of tourism as a tool for poverty reduction. The key elements of Giddens’ structuration theory are tested by exploring actor's knowledgeability and reflexivity, and institutionalised interactions, leading to a discussion of the duality of agency and structure. Ninety-seven resident interviews, along with 28 expert stakeholders’ interviews were carried out, shedding light on the dense web of relations, interactions and structures in which poverty reduction tourism projects operate. The key ways in which tourism projects initiated and funded by development organisations differ from private sector-funded projects are uncovered. Short-term development organisation funding was found to be a serious problem, as was the lack of collaborative partnerships between the private sector and development organisations. Contrasting ideologies were found at agency and private sector levels, but were less pronounced at community levels. The paper deduces that development organisations are strongly influenced, and confined, by institutional structures, whereas tour operators’ freedom of action can be more effective in altering traditional tourism industry structures. All three projects demonstrate the duality of agency and structure to varying degrees.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Tourism, Hospitality, Events and Food
Identification Number: 10.1080/09669582.2011.630470
Depositing User: Dorothea Meyer
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2012 09:38
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2014 15:42
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5998

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