Volume 1 Issue 1 June 2003: Applied Research Note 3

Community-based tourism: Moving from rhetoric to practice

by Ross E. Mitchell (Department of Rural Economy, University of Alberta)

This article provides a synopsis of the author’s previous research on community-based tourism in the Peruvian Andes in two communities: Taquile Island and Chiquian. Various publications are summarized, with a focus on their key connective ingredient – community integration in tourism. In this formula, three critical parameters are highlighted: (1) community awareness, (2) community unity, and (3) power or control relationships (local and external). It is argued that to move beyond participatory rhetoric to meaningful practice, tourism planners must take communities seriously. Key recommendations include supporting tourism champions, incorporating alternative forms of knowledge and maximizing local input whenever feasible.

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