This paper examines the prospects for sustainable rural tourism within a rural development paradigm. Specifically, an adaptive management approach is proposed as a means of understanding and accommodating the different goals and interests that exist within multi-functional rural areas. This model allows priorities to change in line with particular situations while remaining sensitive to economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts. The proposed Mourne National Park in Northern Ireland, also designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), forms the backdrop for this study. Through a critique of a consultation process that was undertaken with the community the question is posed: can a sustainable rural tourism approach achieve meaningful community engagement and thereby reflect the needs of the community? Central to the analysis are the power differentials between the various partners participating in this model of governance. The conclusions consider implications for rural communities, revealing how trusting and meaningful relationships are central to facilitating collaboration, cooperation and adaptation.
|Publisher||Queen's University Belfast|
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2010|