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Analyzing Urban Tourism Stakeholder Relationships: A Network Perspective

Abstract: This paper presents a methodological approach to examine how sustainable tourism policy can be developed and implemented in urban destination. The stakeholder theory is discussed in the context of managing diverse stakeholder interests towards sustainable tourism policy. In order to examine the pattern of relationships among various destination stakeholders and roles of key stakeholders in influencing sustainable tourism policy, the policy network approach is studied. The strengths and weaknesses of network analysis technique in terms of providing a framework to measure and analyze the characteristics of tourism networks in enhancing sustainable tourism policymaking is discussed.

Introduction: Policy provides broad guidance for decision making and links the formulation of strategy with its implementation (Wheelen and Hunger 1990). Tourism policy can be defined as “a set of regulations, rules, guidelines, directives, and development objectives and strategies.” (Goeldner, Ritchie & McIntosh 2000, p. 445). Tourism policy provides a framework to guide tourism development actions and it is a strategic declaration of intent within which tourism is expected to develop (Jenkins 2000). Thus, within a sustainable tourism perspective, the tourism development framework or rules, regulations, guidelines and strategies of tourism policy are concerned with the principles of sustainability.

The concept of sustainable tourism is broad and refers to tourism that is long-termed, integrated, participatory, and environmentally, socially, culturally and economically compatible. Goeldner et al. (2000) identify the main goal of a tourism policy (from a “sustainable tourism” perspective) as providing high-quality visitor experiences that can maximize the benefits to destination stakeholders without compromising environmental, social, and cultural integrity of destination. Therefore, it could be argued that achieving this goal would depend on the extent to which tourism destinations manage to integrate these major perspectives and diverse stakeholders.

So, who is or must be involved in sustainable tourism policy domain? Are the government organizations, the private sector organizations or non-governmental organizations formulating, initiating or influencing tourism policies? More specifically can urban destination stakeholders influence sustainable tourism policy making?

This study identifies key destination stakeholders in sustainable tourism development (STD) by applying stakeholder theory. It examines patterns of relationships among various destination stakeholders (i.e., tourism network members) through network analysis and attempts to provide a framework to analyze the role that tourism networks could play in enhancing sustainable tourism policy development in urban destinations.

Writer is Seldjan Timur Haskayne School of Business University of Calgary, Canada

Follow the green link to download the report Analyzing Urban Tourism Stakeholder Relationships: A Network Perspective.

This article is quoted from the Tourism ROI Newsletter published on 2010-05.12.

This articel is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Education and qualification, Performance and management, Policy, Sustainability, USA.


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