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Title: Empowering island communities for tourism development : the case of the Sporades Islands
Author: Ntregka, Stefania-Zoi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 2284
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2017
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Tourism is a powerful tool for economic development for island destinations. Its impacts however, may be devastating for these vulnerable destinations. Resident participation in tourism planning and decision-making is thought to be beneficial for destination communities. This study presents an analysis of tourism development and the dimensions of community participation in decision-making and empowerment for local communities in the Sporades Islands, in Greece. The research location, containing four islands, was selected in order to provide an opportunity for comparison between communities with different levels of tourism development. The main focus of the study was to investigate community empowerment through the process of decision-making with respect to tourism planning and development. Seasonality as a factor was taken into consideration as an important determinant of tourism development for the islands. More specifically, the study aimed to examine the residents' attitudes towards tourism development, to determine the extent of resident participation regarding tourism decisions, to evaluate the degree of community empowerment that exists, as well as identifying those factors that promote or restrict it. This led to the development of a conceptual model of the process toward community empowerment and this was applied to the Sporades Islands. A mixed-methods methodology was chosen, achieving 887 completed questionnaires across Sporades during both the high and low season, and 26 in-depth interviews were undertaken with key stakeholders and residents from within the research location. The findings demonstrated that tourism is well-supported amongst the residents but also identified a series of barriers that restrict the involvement of community members in tourism-related decisions. Some of the barriers were associated with limited resident access to information concerning tourism development and the apathy that local authorities identified in residents. Based on the findings a conceptual model of the process toward empowerment emerges that provides a blueprint toward enhancing residents with greater involvement in tourism decision-making.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available