The use of Mayan rainforests for ecotourism development: an empowerment approach for local communities

Mendoza-Ramos, Adrian, and Prideaux, Bruce (2014) The use of Mayan rainforests for ecotourism development: an empowerment approach for local communities. In: Prideaux, Bruce, (ed.) Rainforest Tourism, Conservation and Management: challenges for sustainable development. Routledge, New York, NY, USA, pp. 199-212.

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[Extract] Scholars who have addressed issues related to community-based ecotourism have observed that the top-down approach has often resulted in communities having limited power to have their voice heard or· exercise choice in its implementation (Sakata and Prideaux, 2013). The empowerment of local communities to make their own decisions on participation is therefore an important issue as it is a key element in the development of locally owned ecotourism businesses (Robbins et al., 1998). In many, but not all (see Chapter 14 of this book), cases communities interested in engaging in ecotourism require assistance from a range of external organisations, including the government, NGOs and importantly the tourism industry, in particular those organisations that promote and sell ecotourism experiences.

This chapter examines empowerment issues in the context of a Mayan rainforest community located in Guatemala that has some capacity to actively engage in ecotourism ventures, but for a number of community-related reasons remains disengaged. In this sense, disempowerment is a consequence of internal rather than external forces. Ultimately, however, community-based ecotourism must be something that has the support of the host community, be environmentally sustainable and be financially viable in the long run to enable it to make a worthwhile economic contribution to the host community (Sofield, 2003).

Item ID: 37756
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-415-63582-0
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Adrian Mendoza-Ramos' thesis (of the same title) can be found at the link in the Related URLs field.

Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2015 23:58
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150601 Impacts of Tourism @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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