chapter  2
25 Pages

Incorporating social justice in tourism planning: racial reconciliation and sustainable community development in the Deep South

WithAlan W. Barton, Sarah J. Leonard

The advantages of tourism to rural communities are generally painted as economic: developing a tourism industry brings in ‘‘fresh’’ dollars, provides jobs and offers opportunities for local entrepreneurship (National Agricultural Library, 2008; World Travel & Tourism Council, 2008). When tourism focuses on local heritage, cultural advantages can accrue as well, as local residents learn about, take pride in, and conserve their own stories (Barton, 2005; Howard, 2002; President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, 2005). A growing body of literature argues that tourism can also contribute to social equity and justice in rural communities, and that social and cultural factors are important elements in sustainable community development in many rural contexts (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2008; Moore & Jie Wen, 2009; Scheyvens & Momsen, 2008). Recently, the social justice aspects of tourism have received substantial attention in the media as well (see, e.g., Gentleman, 2006; Lancaster, 2007; Markey, 2007; Popescu, 2007; Rao, 2009; Weiner, 2008).