Exploring the relationship between aboriginal tourism and community development

Aboriginal communities are increasingly turning toward aboriginal tourism development to diversify their economic base, validate their claims related to proprietary rights over traditional lands and re-connect youth with elders and the community to their land and their culture. Oftentimes, these development initiatives are tied to broader community development goals, yet the success of the tourism project is generally measured by its market readiness, revenue generation and job creation. The purpose of this article is to provide insight into the breadth of aboriginal community development benefits from tourism development through a review of literature of selected international case studies on aboriginal tourism development. Framing our approach is Bell’s typology of aboriginal community development that is conceptualized as consisting of five dimensions that include community empowerment, community wellness, community economic development, community learning and community stewardship [Bell, M. (1999). The changing face of community development in the north: From the power paradigm to the spirit paradigm. Yellowknife, NWT: Inukshuk Management Consultants]. The analysis provided insight into how aboriginal tourism initiatives benefit broader community development dimensions beyond the economic and that to develop tourism that extends its benefits to the community, issues that relate to community empowerment, wellness and healing and stewardship should be addressed.

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Reference List: John W. Colton and Kelly Whitney-Squire. 2010. Retrieved from https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1157&context=aprci

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