Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Resources and activities audits

The aim of the Resources and Activities Audits was to make detailed assessments of resources, products and activities currently and potentially available to integrated tourism. The audit was presented in the form of a database of Integrated Tourism resources on two levels. The first level was descriptive, drawing mainly on material collected in the Resource and Activities Review and presented in economic, social and cultural, human and community resources, and environmental categories. The second level was more evaluative: a matrix of resource use productivity was developed around the ideas of endogeneity and complementarity; a matrix of sustainability was developed which included examples of issues surrounding appropriate scales of tourism development; finally, the matrix of rural development was structured around networks, embeddedness and empowerment. Examples of positive and negative evidence were provided to illustrate the concepts. The focus was on identifying examples of good practice in integrated tourism in each sub-region.

In order to contribute to the analysis of potential future development of integrated tourism a final section of the audit was devoted to illustrating the resources which are not immediately recognised as part of the current tourism product, but which may have the capacity for integration into it, taking into account the views of all the actors from all the surveys in addition to the reflections and analysis of the researchers.

The audits reveal the great diversity of resources currently being exploited for tourism in the study regions. Economic resources range in scale from numerous micro businesses to enterprises with over 1,000,000 customers. Quality indicators vary across the regions and consistent grading systems are often absent at regional or national level. Regarding socio-cultural resources, access tends to be throughout the year. The human/community resources consist mainly of local level partnerships and associations, often run by volunteers, but capable of securing funding from local, regional and European authorities. Local municipal structures are also important, and in several cases regional development agencies are becoming increasingly significant. Environmental resources include many landscape types, habitats, plant and animal species.

Regarding endogeneity, several key issues emerge from a comparison of evaluations across the study regions: incomers can play a controversial role in relation to endogenous development; the question of authenticity arises when endogenous products are revived and modified in order to appeal to the visitor or export market; land ownership and access rights are crucial to tourism development.

In terms of complementarity, three key types are found: use of community facilities by both visitors and locals; use of primary renewable resources for leisure; use of transport infrastructure for business and leisure. However, total complementarity between all sets of local activities is often difficult to achieve and there are still many challenges in planning an integrated approach.

The sustainability of tourism and the resources that it depends on are also considered. In several of the study regions, there is potential to increase tourist numbers without damaging the environmental and socio-cultural resources as long as expansion is managed properly. Most institutions involved with tourism acknowledge the principles of sustainability, even though practical tools to implement these principles are often lacking.

Finally, rural development objectives are addressed through networks, embeddedness and empowerment. The main findings here are: horizontal networks do exist in the sub-regions; vertical networks are often under-developed; inclusivity and empowerment remain hard to achieve; the contribution of networks to rural development objectives must take into account the local socio-cultural environment.

The audits go on to consider the potential for future development of IT and identify under-utilised resources common to most of the sub-regions, the main barriers to development and the main factors on which future development depends. Finally, the overall recommendations are made: establish good governance; support strong, inclusive horizontal networks between communities and interest groups; support equitable vertical networks between local actors and exogenous interests and sources of capital; invest in capacity building and awareness-raising; make better use of existing cultural resources; use complementary specialist knowledge to add to existing knowledge; provide uninterrupted support to existing local initiatives; target marketing to increase visitor numbers and lengthen the season; develop specialist tourist routes that could operate equally well out of the traditional high season; invest in improving basic tourism infrastructure.

Reported by

Countryside and Community Research Institute,
Dunholme Villa, The Park, Cheltenham
United Kingdom
See on map
Folgen Sie uns auf: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Verwaltet vom Amt für Veröffentlichungen der EU Nach oben