Economic transition and the struggle for local control in ecotourism development: the case of Kyrgyzstan

PALMER, N. J. (2006). Economic transition and the struggle for local control in ecotourism development: the case of Kyrgyzstan. Journal of ecotourism, 5 (1+2), p. 40.

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Abstract

This is a contextual paper, examining the involvement of external development agencies in an emerging post-Soviet economy. The paper provides an outline of some of the main political and economic challenges facing the case example area – Kyrgyzstan. It then goes on to briefly consider ecotourism as a concept linking natural resources and cultural environments with a key focus on ‘local’, locating ecotourism as a key potential vehicle for promoting and protecting diversity in globalisation debates. The main part of the paper discusses the intervention of one external development agency, the Swiss Development Co-operation (SDC), via the introduction of community-based tourism (CBT) to Kyrgyzstan. One particular CBT group has developed a successful ecotourism product using SDC technical assistance. Kyrgyz tour operator responses to this development are presented and the implications of external development agency intervention in Kyrgyzstan's tourism development are considered with respect to the creation of a struggle for local control amongst the Kyrgyz tour operators, an emphasis on the cultural value of the ethnic Kyrgyz population and a focus on poverty alleviation amongst these people rather than other Kyrgyz citizens. A need for further research is highlighted, particularly with respect to the potential imperialistic effects of external development agencies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: community based tourism, ecotourism, external development agencies, Kyrgyzstan
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Research
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 14 May 2008
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2010 16:54
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/844

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