Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Agents in Sustainable Tourism Development Understanding Their Involvement and Engagement

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Agents in Sustainable Tourism Development Understanding Their Involvement and Engagement

Article excerpt

Sustainable development is commonly and widely used term in our contemporary world. The concept has gained the popularity because it satisfies the urge of both environmentalists and the developers and is considered as the meeting point of the developers and environmentalists. Tourism as an economic sector is capable of contributing to the regional development by means of employment generation, foreign exchange earnings and infrastructure development however is blamed for the overuse of the natural resources that leads to the negative impact on the environment. So there is an urgent need to maintain the balance between development and environment. The concepts of sustainability though a complex topic gives ideal inputs for the kind of development that is resilient to adversities in the society. In this process of development the role of partners of such development is of paramount interest to us. This paper gives a detailed note on the various agents and stakeholders of tourism, the nature of their interest in tourism, various levels of their participation in tourism development, role of private and public sector in tourism development and finally the intrigue relationship between such partners of sustainable tourism.

Growth of the tourism and hospitality industry in world destinations presents various challenges such as protection of environment, conservation of heritage, preservation of social fabric and cultural values, and maintenance of a desired quality of life for residents. The development of tourism that is sustainable in economic, environmental, social and cultural terms has been repeatedly recommended by the researchers. For this, researchers have recommended the involvement of many partners, called as stakeholders. Managing Sustainable tourism requires interactions between such stakeholders. Broadly the stakeholders can be divided into three segments in terms of the ownership namely; the public sector (government bodies such as city planners and transportation department), the private sector (tourism and hospitality firms, associations and trade bodies) and the local residents (residence and organisations working on behalf of the local residents). This paper aims to uncover the current interrelationships of stakeholders representing agents or partners of Sustainable Tourism development.

Objectives of the study

In view of the above the present paper discusses the following issues related to stakeholders' participation.

* Outlining various stakeholders and agents of sustainable tourism and hospitality sector

* To understand the underlining interest of various stakeholders in tourism and hospitality industry

* Conceptually establishing the network of inter-relationships of stakeholders representing government, the community and the tourism and hospitality industry

Who are the stakeholders in sustainable tourism ?

The concept of stakeholder theory was first promulgated by Freeman in the year 1984, who introduced stakeholder theory to strategic management and he defined "stakeholder" as "any group or individual who can affect or who is affected by the achievement of the organization's objectives" (Freeman 1984). A stakeholder is a person who has the right and capacity to participate in the process; thus, anyone who is impacted upon by the action of others has a right to be involved (Gray 1989). In this context, a stakeholder in the tourism industry is deemed to be anyone who is impacted on by development of tourism whether positively or negatively. Stakeholders' participation results in reducing potential conflict between the tourists and host community by involving the latter in shaping the way in which tourism develops (Swarbrooke 1999; Bramwell and Lane 1999). Various stakeholders are explained as below.

* A community can be defined most usefully for tourism in terms of a geographical area, or a group of people with shared origins or interests. If the geographical definition is used, then the community can be defined as citizens within a given locality. …

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