Mediating Empowerment: The Role of Technology in Sustainable Tourism Governance

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    Abstract

    Tourism has a dualistic nature characterised on the one hand by a high resilience and constant growth and on the other hand by a short-term greed of “consuming” its own life support systems: nature, culture and communities (Snepenger, Snepenger, Dalbey, & Wessol, 2007). Both aspects are constantly spurred by the rapid changes in demand and the diversity of supply, and the intrinsic importance that tourism has gained in individual lifestyles and in national economies. In addition, the strong influence of globalization on the institutional, organizational and policy formulation (Hall, 2005), determines three major aspects of tourism: the expansion of demand, the concentration of supply and increased similarities in demand. (Cornelissen, 2005) Consequently, the fragile balance required by a sustainable tourism development (European Commission, 2003a), (UNEP / UNWTO / WMO, 2008) is often at risk from conflicting goals of conservation versus development plans for tourism. Mixed approaches that combine top-down governance models with bottom-up collaborative strategies and policy networks are considered able to provide resilient decision making systems able to cope with unexpected challenges or conflict situations. These are characterized by shared rule-making and agreements between interdependent actors with divergent opinions and goals (Elzen, Geels, & Ken, 2004). Ultimately, a significant progress towards sustainability can be achieved by fostering changes of meaning and concepts, infrastructures and user-learning processes (Ehrenfeld, 2001).
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
    PublisherCopenhagen Business School [wp]
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    SeriesCLCS Working Paper Series

    Cite this

    Budeanu, A. (2012). Mediating Empowerment: The Role of Technology in Sustainable Tourism Governance. Copenhagen Business School [wp]. CLCS Working Paper Series