Social-Ecological Resilience and Stakeholders : A Qualitative Inquir y into Community-Based Tourism in the Commonwealth of Dominica

Patrick J. Holladay, Robert P. Powell

Abstract


The Commonwealth of Dominica has one of the most depressed and volatile economies in the Eastern Caribbean due to perennial hurricane damage, depressed agricultural exports, the global recession, and volatile fuel prices. The European Union attempted to fortify their economy with grants to diversify Dominica’s tourism market. Yet, little is known about the conditions required to improve the resilience of community tourism in island nations such as Dominica. To fill this gap, we interviewed 25 decision makers regarding the necessary conditions and characteristics of resilient tourism development in Dominica. Interviews focused on social, institutional, economic and ecological resilience dynamics as the island transitions into a tourism economy. In particular this research examined: sustainable tourism development practices; reactivity of communities to internal and external pressures; the importance of social capacities; institutional (governance) design; economic stability; and ecological security. The data created baseline information from community and individual standpoints that provided guidance to enhance tourism products and the resilience of tourism dependent populations. The findings from this study represent a step forward in applying resilience theory to understand community tourism development.

Keywords


social-ecological resilience, sustainable tourism, community development, Dominica, stakeholders

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