Understanding how tourism can bring sociocultural benefits to destination communities

Pearce, Philip L. (2008) Understanding how tourism can bring sociocultural benefits to destination communities. In: Moscardo, Gianna, (ed.) Building Community Capacity for Tourism Development. CABI, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK, pp. 29-40.

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This chapter is concerned with the broad-scale analysis and nurturing of the sociocultural benefits of tourism. It can be suggested that there are few easy generalizations about tourism's sociocultural consequences. There are likely to be even fewer universal mechanisms to develop and enhance such sociocultural benefits since, both for the purposes of analysis and action, tourism can be an unwieldy phenomenon. By way of example, the social and cultural benefits of having backpackers in a community are different in Australia to the effects of the same travel group in Thailand (Cohen, 2004;Richards and Wilson, 2004). Factors affecting these tourism differences include the biophysical and cultural settings in which the tourism operates, the behaviour and travel patterns of the visitors, the skills of the tourism personnel involved and the role of tourism in the community's options for development (Dredge and Jewdns, 2007).

This chapter builds an understanding of tourism's social and cultural benefits by initially paying attention to issues of tourism's diversity as discussed above. It focuses particularly on cultural relativism, language use, social networks and the concept of well-being. These concerns are seen as a necessary and informative preface to capturing a rich understanding of the variety and scope of tourism's social and cultural effects. The central part of the discussion then presents an organizing model of sociocultural benefits. This approach, it will be argued, holds some promise of enriching the more traditional discussions which tend only to itemize tourism's costs and benefits. A compilation of the mechanisms to enhance tourism's benefits in the sociocultural domain is provided using the insights generated by the organizing model.

Item ID: 7325
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-84593-447-7
Keywords: tourism; sociocultural benefits; destination communities
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Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2010 22:20
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 100%
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