Case Study: Community Intervention, Sustainability and Quality

Case Study: Community Intervention, Sustainability and Quality

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1635-5.ch004

Abstract

After reviewing the relevant literature covering community intervention strategies, destination sustainability, and quality, this chapter explores local people who are involved in ecotourism and related operations in the PA-based destinations of India. The study adopted exploratory sequential method under which different sets of people are interrogated during the qualitative phase of the study through focus group discussion and expert interviews. The result of qualitative phase is used for scale development, and a questionnaire survey was administered among local community members in the descriptive stage. Pilot study and cross-destination analysis are also executed before proceeding for descriptive research.
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Introduction

As discussed in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 & 3, the scenario of a community intervention in ecotourism and the perceived relationship between sustainability and quality had not been discoursed sufficiently both theoretically as well as in operational level so far. This indicates there is a dearth of scientific analysis in the field of emerging areas of community and tourism. The field research intended to fill this gap through a case study of six PA based ecotourism destinations of Kerala, India.

Statement of the Problem

Intervention of destination community on the basis of sustainability principles are sine qua non for destination sustainability. Bringing sustainability at the grass-root level by meeting the needs of both guests and hosts are the objectives of sustainable ecotourism development. The primary objective of these or stakeholder of the destination, the community has to play a very important role. Its intervention is important for ecotourism to meet the requirements at both demand as well as supply side: on the supply side, for meeting the conservation and livelihood needs of the community and on the demand side, by providing quality destinations to the visitors. In other words, community intervention is inevitable to meet destination sustainability as well as destination quality.

The present study seeks to examine the following questions with regard to Community Intervention Strategies of ecotourism destinations in the state of Kerala:

  • What are the major intervention strategies of destination communities in ecotourism in Kerala?. Do these interventions possess any operational or dimensional orientation? Or are such activities oriented towards specified purposes like conservation and / livelihood etc?

  • Have any positive changes occurred at the destinations due to the intervention of community members in ecotourism? Is there any dimensional orientation for these positive changes with regard to destination sustainability?

  • Is there any improvement in the destination quality due to community intervention?

  • Has the change in destination sustainability helped to improve destination quality?

  • Do the other stakeholders of the destination like Vana Samrakshana Samities (VSS), Transport operators, Hospitality enterprises, and Shops have positive opinion about the Community Intervention Strategies (CIS) of today?

The purpose of this study is to identify the role of community in ecotourism development and how community intervention strategies are organised. The study also seeks to find out whether these intervention strategies by the destination community is leading towards enhancing destination sustainability and improving destination quality or not.

Objectives of the Study

The overall objective of the study was to study the Community Intervention Strategies (CIS) of ecotourism in Kerala. This was further sub-divided into primary objectives and secondary objectives.

Primary Objectives

  • 1.

    To study the Role of the community in meeting Destination Sustainability (DS) and Destination Quality (DQ).

    • To identify CIS in ecotourism destinations of Kerala.

    • To identify the various dimensions of DS in ecotourism destinations of Kerala.

    • To test the relationship between CIS and DS at the ecotourism destinations of Kerala.

    • To test the relationship between CIS and in DQ at the ecotourism destinations of Kerala.

    • To test the relationship between DS and DQ at the ecotourism destinations of Kerala.

    • To study the reverse relationship between DQ and DS at the ecotourism destinations of Kerala.

  • 2.

    To examine the opinions of tourists on the DQ of ecotourism destinations of Kerala.

  • 3.

    To examine the opinions of stakeholders on CIS at the ecotourism destinations of Kerala.

Secondary Objectives

  • 1.

    To highlight the structure of Community Intervention in eco tourism destination.

  • 2.

    To understand the practical aspects of enhancement sustainability perspective of ecotourism.

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