chapter  3
15 Pages

An analysis of factors mediating community participation outcomes in tourism

BySherma Roberts

The seminal work of Peter Murphy (1985)—Tourism: A community approach provided the impetus for tourism policy makers and academics to begin to consider the involvement of local residents in the decision-making process related to tourism development planning. Murphy’s argument for this approach to tourism planning was based upon an explicit recognition that experts cannot judge the perception, preferences and priorities of residents, and that those most affected by tourism should have a say in how it evolves. Some have even gone further, arguing that a tourism industry that ignores community input can lead to soured host-tourist encounters and the eventual decline of tourism in the destination (Haywood, 1988; Zhang, Inbakaran, & Jackson, 2006). For many developing countries whose economies are premised upon the profitability of the tourism industry and by extension amicable relations between visitor and resident, this observation is crucial.

In fact, Doxey’s Irridex (Swarbrooke, 1999) proposes that host-guest encounters can move from euphoria to outright antagonism if not well managed. One way of ensuring a positive visitor experience and the sharing of equitable benefits among all stakeholders is for the local community to share in the decision-making process.