Between theory and practice : A conceptualization of community based tourism and community participation
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Tourism in general and community-based tourism (CBT) in particular is important in the overall development discourse in which political ideology and philosophy have a role to play. This paper, using a thorough desk top research, perused various sources of literature, especially handbooks and manual on CBT, to interrogate how theory and practice inform the conceptualization of Community Based Tourism and community participation. CBT is a form of tourism which emphasises and encourages the involvement of communities in showcasing their culture, artifacts, heritage and environments. Community participation may include running own enterprises as individuals, as collectives and/or with formal partners and may include village visits and tours, participation in village life, cultural tours and so forth. his paper argues that the degree of participation is informed by the CBT venture type as some venture types work to the advantage of communities while others do not. Notions of control, power, empowerment, decision-making and socio-economic conditions are important in this discourse. Participation approaches should be able to challenge existing power structures if genuine empowerment is to be achieved in previously disadvantaged areas The major contribution of this paper is the Community participation and CBT Model Framework which it posits. The framework can be used to locate areas of effective community participation through ‘citizen control’ by venture type. It informs both policy and practice in modeling CBT ventures which ensure community participation, control, empowerment and community decision-making. While most manuals mostly targeted practitioners, this paper advocates the development of manuals which target communities so that they can initiate, manage and run productive CBT projects.
Giampiccoli, A. and Mtapuri, O. 2015. Between theory and practice : A conceptualization of community based tourism and community participation. Loyola College of Social Sciences. 29(1): 27-52.