Local Actors, Global Implications: Rethinking Tourism and Communities in Development

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Maryland B, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: Sanjay Nepal
Chairs: Sanjay Nepal

Call for Submissions

This session aims to provide renewed focus on communities as the cornerstone of successful tourism development strategies. The potential for sustainable livelihood strategies through tourism is often acknowledged in the literature; however, very few concrete and successful examples of symbiosis between tourism, livelihoods and community engagement have been reported. Some of the challenges relate to conceptions of community, while others relate to tourism development perceived as “either/or” alternative. Tourism may often be problematic given the contested and entrenched nature of its development, diverse stakeholder groups with differing perspectives, interests and positions, and historically embedded issues of race and class differentiation, for example. We seek papers which aim to provide new perspectives on community identities and meanings, local resistance, tourism ethics and social and environmental justice.

If you are interested in participating in the session: Please send abstract (max. 250 words) to Sanjay Nepal (snepal@uwaterloo.ca) or Jarkko Saarinen (jarkko.saarinen@oulu.fi) on or before October 20, 2019. Abstract submission and conference registration with the AAG are due October 25, 2018.


Involvement of communities in tourism development and practices have long been of interest to geographers. However, the idea of “community” is complex and challenging for research and it has been often conceptualized in rather confusing and inconsistent manner. Often times interpreted as territorially bounded, and somewhat homogeneous in their characteristics, underlying tensions of ethnicity, class, and gender have been ignored or less emphasized to offer an ideal, standard, nostalgized or even sanitized interpretations of what community means as a concept or as a unit of analysis. Similarly, it is acknowledged that tourism industry has a great potential to provide major benefits to its destination communities, but that costs of tourism may outweigh benefits is less acknowledged, or at least attempts are not made to disclose likely negative consequences of tourism to local communities. For example, recently the World Bank Group published a report titled ‘Tourism for Development: 20 Reasons Sustainable Tourism Counts for Development’, which demonstrates the developmental promise the tourism industry has in global and national policy-making arenas. However, development policies and plans do not always succeed or serve all the key stakeholders which may result negative consequences. In relation to local communities and ethnic groups these negative consequences can include land use and access issues, commodification of natural and cultural resources, and marginalization of communities' needs. This is the case especially in peripheral regions, where tourism systems often are characterized by dependency, inequalities, enclave development, and leakages. Local community protests of tourism development are now reported widely, both by mainstream media and tourism researchers.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Theano S. Terkenli*, University of the Aegean, Efthymia Saradakou, Hellenic Open University, Towards a critical analytical approach to overtourism: the case of the landscape of Santorini 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Tomás Cuevas-Contreras*, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Dallen J Timothy, Arizona State University, Isabel Zizaldra-Hernández, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Managing Medical Tourism Mobility in Mexico’s Northern Border Communities 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Ko Koens*, Breda University of Applied Sciences, Enabling transformative change in city destinations through city hospitality 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Jarkko Saarinen*, University of Oulu, Global change, Tourism and Community Impacts in Kalahari, Botswana 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Leon Mach*, Resident Lecturer in Environmental Policy and Socioeconomic Values, School for Field Studies, Bocas del Toro, Panama, Defining communities and their differences: Sustaining Indigenous tourism in Bocas del Toro, Panama 20 9:20 AM

To access contact information login