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Monitoring sustainable tourism development : a comprehensive, stakeholder driven, adaptive approach

The thesis addresses the question of how to establish an appropriate methodology for monitoring sustainable tourism development (STD) in Samoa, an independent small island state in the South Pacific. The theoretical starting point and common thread throughout this study is that sustainable development can and must form the paramount context for STD. The author adopts an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on innovative research in the field of ecology and ecosystem management in order to gain understanding of new and emerging interpretations of sustainability and their implications for STD. Three guiding principles are identified and consequently form the conceptual foundation for the work. That understanding and implementing STD requires: i) a comprehensive systemic approach; ii) a stakeholder-driven focus; and iii) the adaptive capacity to accommodate the non-linear behaviour of complex systems. These principles are tested in the context of the development of a place-based STD monitoring programme in Samoa. In collaboration with the Samoa Visitors Bureau (SVB) and a multidisciplinary stakeholder committee, a set of STD objectives for Samoa were formulated, 20 indicators were identified to monitor progress towards their achievement, and a monitoring programme was established to utilise the results. The objectives and corresponding indicators are broad in their coverage of tourism and sustainable development issues, have stakeholder resonance, and are feasible considering the technical and human capacity currently available in SVB. The monitoring programme also has the flexibility to adapt to change as it inevitably occurs. The work undertaken in Samoa demonstrates that as well as generating timely information on the current state of STD, if a stakeholder approach is adopted, monitoring can also provide the opportunity for considerable social learning, and help bridge the gap between indicator development and indicator use, ensuring indicator results are actually used to change the way tourism is planned, developed and managed.
Date January 2002
CreatorsTwining-Ward, Louise
PublisherUniversity of Surrey
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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