Resources

RESOURCES


RESOURCES: PAPERS & PRESENTATIONS

Author : Cynthia Messer, Ingrid Schneider & Okechukwu Ukaga
School/Work Place : University of Minnesota, USA
Contact : cmesser@umn.edu
Year : 2007

Communities have a variety of interest levels in tourism overall, including sustainable tourism (WTO, 2002). While we have witnessed increased awareness and discussions about sustainability and sustainable tourism, there is often a lack of shared definitions of means and ends among stakeholders, ambiguities in what is meant by sustainable tourism, and constant debate over specific policy and practice options for achieving it (McCool et al, 2001).

Thus, to enhance understanding and application of sustainable tourism principles and practices, a program based on best practices across the U.S. was developed. The program enhances and facilitates progress in sustainable tourism by addressing environmental, economic or social issues as identified by the community. A case study of program application and evaluation is presented for discussion and replication.

The Tourism Resource Team (TRT) program provides technical assistance to community tourism organizations that have encountered an obstacle to realize their sustainable tourism goals. The University based TRT program is grounded in three principles: 1) active citizenship of local citizens in designing and implementing projects, 2) addressing issues according to sustainable development principles; and 3) a vibrant relationship between citizens and their University. The program’s process includes an invitation to communities to submit a proposal, objective evaluation of the proposal, and, if/when selected, ongoing interaction for more than one year related to the sustainable tourism obstacle.

Upon selection, the community creates a broad reaching community tourism team, provides a packet of information to the TRT and prepares for a 2-3 day visit. Based on the community’s needs, an expert TRT team participates in 2-3 days of site visits and meetings, and prepares a presentation with recommendations to discuss with the community. A final report is crafted within
one month of the visit and presented to the community. Program evaluations are conducted immediately, as well as 6 and 12 months following the visit. These immediate, short and long-term evaluations provide various feedback mechanisms and insight for the program and community.

To date, three iterations of the program have ensued leaving a list of lessons learned and successes from which to build. Issues of concern to the communities are similar to those encountered elsewhere (Nickerson and Kerr, 2000) and include: gateway community tensions with federal and state land owners, seasonality, and integrated community relations. Lessons learned and affirmed from the cases include the necessity for full community participation, need to educate about sustainable tourism, and the delicacy of community relations.

All program implementations met with success and measurable outcomes. Along with an immediate increased understanding of sustainable tourism, community leaders and citizens expressed recognition of the consequences of mass tourism development and development that occurs without public involvement. Longer-term community benefits identified include opportunities for organization, a sense of collaboration, and increased understanding of sustainable tourism. Lessons learned include insight on team formations, community culture, and resource allocation.

The TRT program has proven a valuable tool to address community-driven sustainable tourism issues. The program expands local understanding of sustainable tourism, encourages community participation in using sustainable practices to address local issues, and generates outcomes and long-term impacts for communities. The model can easily be replicated.


List of Articles
No. Subject Views Datesort
14 Think Tank IX Malay Small Family Business Values file 6379 Dec 19, 2013

In Malaysia approximately 90% of the businesses are categorized as small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The majority of these small businesses are family owned and make a significant contribution to Malaysian Gross Domestic Product. The prev...

Author: Askiah Jamaluddin & Jack Carlsen 

Year: 2009 

13 Think Tank X Re-thinking Resort Growth and Governance: An Evolution... file 3149 Oct 13, 2013

Rapid growth in resort areas, combined with environmental and market stresses, has recently created concern amongst resort decision-makers about future paths of development. Growth models have operated effectively in maintaining resort comp...

Author: Alison M. Gill & Peter W. Williams 

Year: 2010 

12 Think Tank IX The West in the East: Conflict in the Values of Volunt... file 2944 Oct 13, 2013

Consequently, the aim of this research was to explore the complexity of trying to work within a framework of sustainability, with a given number of stakeholders (in this case, a UK organisation, its customers (volunteers, primarily British) ...

Author: Angela M. Benson 

Year: 2009 

11 Think Tank IX Labour Justice and Sustainable Tourism: The Centrality... file 5145 Oct 13, 2013

What we value is intricately linked to our morality and our ethics, whether personal or corporate. Sustainability is essentially a statement of morality, embedding as it does the notion of inter- and intra-generational equity. This includes,...

Author: Stephanie Chok & Jim Macbeth 

Year: 2009 

10 Think Tank VIII Moving from Destination Marketing to Destination Manag... file 5611 Oct 13, 2013

This paper provides a case study of how a tourism organisation has interpreted the change from a ‘marketing’ to a ‘management’ approach in destination development. It begins by looking at what the literature has said about destination manag...

Author: David Foster 

Year: 2008 

9 Think Tank VIII An Assessment of Efforts to Enhance the Quality of Lif... file 2446 Oct 13, 2013

Quality of life studies are usually either objective or subjective in nature. Objective quality of life studies concentrate on social indicators whereas subjective quality of life studies attempt to assess the perceived satisfaction that in...

Author: Turgut Var, Erhan Ada, Gökce Ozdemir & Deniz Hasirci 

Year: 2008 

8 Think Tank VII Branding Sustainability: Taking 'The Natural Step' in ... file 3962 Oct 13, 2013

Translation of the concept of sustainability into practice is fraught with problems. While policy advances in all sectors of the economy have made steps in the right direction the lack of clarity in defining what is meant by 'sustainability...

Author: Alison Gill & Peter Williams 

Year: 2007 

7 Think Tank VII Rural Adventure Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship file 3436 Oct 13, 2013

The intent of this research is to provide a comparative analysis of several innovative social entrepreneurial businesses operating within the realm of rural adventure tourism. This qualitative, case-based research explores six companies, wh...

Author: Christina Heyniger & Kristin Lamoureaux 

Year: 2007 

6 Think Tank VII Volunteer Tourism: Sustainable Innovation in Tourism, ... file 4958 Oct 13, 2013

This is a study of the relationships between two volunteer tourism host communities and the volunteer tourists who visit them. One is a declining rural community located in the Appalachian mountains of the United States. The other is in a ra...

Author: Nancy McGehee 

Year: 2007 

» Think Tank VII Tourism Resource Teams: Innovation with and for touris... file 11162 Oct 13, 2013

Communities have a variety of interest levels in tourism overall, including sustainable tourism (WTO, 2002). While we have witnessed increased awareness and discussions about sustainability and sustainable tourism, there is often a lack of s...

Author: Cynthia Messer, Ingrid Schneider & Okechukwu Ukaga 

Year: 2007 

4 Think Tank VII Getting Fit to Innovate: TUI's InnOlympics file 2953 Oct 13, 2013

Tether (2003) describes innovation within service industries as having a Cinderella status - marginal and neglected. The traditional approach to thinking about innovation has been to concentrate on manufacturing and within that, the role of...

Author: Graham Miller & Caroline Scarles 

Year: 2007 

3 OPA award Stakeholder involvement, culture and accountability in... file 5518 Oct 13, 2013

Following its historical rise and fall, America’s first industrialized polluted landscape garnered federal and local support to remedy its near destruction. Today, the Blackstone Valley is a pragmatic example of translating theory into pract...

Author: Robert Billington, Veronica Cadoppi & Natalie Carter 

Year: 2006 

OPA: 2006 Outstanding Paper Award Winner 

2 Think Tank VI Stakeholder involvement, culture and accountability in... file 5887 Oct 13, 2013

Following its historical rise and fall, America’s first industrialized polluted landscape garnered federal and local support to remedy its near destruction. Today, the Blackstone Valley is a pragmatic example of translating theory into pract...

Author: Robert Billington, Veronica Cadoppi & Natalie Carter 

Year: 2006 

OPA: 2006 Outstanding Paper Award Winner 

1 Think Tank IV Sustainability in a Mature Mass-Tourism Destination: T... file 3347 Oct 13, 2013

Most destinations are struggling to achieve sustainability for their economies, their environments, their cultures and their tourism industries. This laudatory, idealistic and complex process involves many sectors of the industry, the commun...

Author: Pauline Sheldon, John Knox & Kem Lowry 

Year: 2004 

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