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Understanding partnerships for protected area tourism: learning from the literature.

Laing, J.H., Wegner, A., Moore, S., Weiler, B., Pfueller, S., Lee, D., Macbeth, J., Croy, G. and Lockwood, M. (2008) Understanding partnerships for protected area tourism: learning from the literature. CRC for Sustainable Tourism, Gold Coast, Qld..

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As demand grows for tourism opportunities within Australian protected areas, partnerships are increasingly seen as the way forward in dealing with the variety of interests involved and ensuring that sustainability goals are pursued. Previous tourism partnership research has not made the most of opportunities to consult related literature from a broad range of disciplines and use associated theoretical developments as a basis for analysis. This technical report addresses this gap through a multi-disciplinary review of partnerships research to reconcile the often multifarious definitions of partnership and allied concepts, such as collaboration and cooperation, and the various meanings given to success, as well as to identify factors which might impact upon partnership success or failure. Eight theoretical perspectives are explored, covering social exchange theory, adoption and diffusion of innovation, environmental dispute resolution (EDR), social representation theory, network theory, stakeholder theory, social capital theory and the institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework. Theoretical constructs offering the greatest potential for framing future research into successful tourismprotected area partnerships were social capital theory and EDR, with application of the IAD framework to cover any remaining gaps. This review suggests that it is important to consider as broad a range of factors as possible, not only those that are easy to measure. As such, factors such as administrative setting and the availability of resources, which are under-represented in the partnerships research, but intuitively seem to play a part in partnership success, should be considered. These findings provide a robust platform for further research that will be progressed as part of the broader study of which this review formed a foundational part.

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: CRC for Sustainable Tourism
Copyright: © CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd 2008
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