chapter  7
15 Pages

Engaging residents in planning for sustainable rural-nature tourism in post-communist Poland

WithMarianna Strzelecka, Bruce E. Wicks

Research within the tourism discipline has for a long time concentrated on the economic aspects of the industry (e.g., Dwyer, Forsyth, & Spurr, 2006; Elkin & Roberts, 1987; King, Dwyer, & Prideaux 2007), tourism influences on social processes (e.g., Crompton, 1992; Haukeland, 1984; Pearce, 1995) as well as environmental concerns (e.g., Blangy & Nielsen, 1993) each trying to document the impact tourism development has on localities, regions and national economies. However, research investigating tourism influence on local societies occurs usually when tourism is mature or in the final stages of its development and has not shown enough concern toward the social and political impact of the process of tourism planning. It has been the issue of involving local residents and other local stakeholders in decision-making that is of academic interest (Parkins & Mitchell, 2005). Not only is it important to consider the value of decentralized and inclusive decision-making for the sake of quality of decisions, but we must also realize the potential contribution of decision-making involving a wide spectrum of local stakeholders to increasing local dynamics.