Date of Award

8-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Powell, Robert B

Committee Member

Backman , Kenneth F

Committee Member

Norman , Willam C

Committee Member

Baldwin , Robert F

Abstract

Despite millions of dollars invested in developing community-based tourism to diversify economies, reduce poverty and improve quality of life in the Caribbean, little is known about what conditions lead to resilience and sustainability of tourism dependent communities. Sustainability from a resilience theory perspective is the likelihood an existing system of resource use will persist indefinitely without a decline in the resource base or social welfare. Undertaking activities to enhance resilience and sustainability improves a systems' ability to persevere, adapt, and learn to meet challenges caused by unanticipated events such as stock market collapse, political upheaval, or natural disaster. This study used an integrated mixed-methods approach to investigate attitudes about community tourism development and the social, institutional, economic, and ecological resilience domains in six communities across Dominica. The study was broken into three main components. First, resident perceptions of social, ecological, governance, and economic resilience of their community was examined utilizing a new scale that was developed using steps promoted by DeVellis. Second, a community tourism-resilience index or scorecard was developed, which included resident attitudes toward the four resilience domains and four attributes of the local community including tourism amenities, attractions, access, and detractants. Third, a qualitative study was used to measure decision-making stakeholders' perspectives on both the need for community tourism development and activities that supported community resilience. Data indicated moderate to low resilience in all four domains across the six communities. This result suggests that these communities will need to invest in diversifying the tourism product, enhancing business training, protecting natural capital, and developing capacity in local institutions, otherwise they may be unsustainable in the face of unexpected change.

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