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Community participation in heritage tourism planning: is it too much to ask?

Dragouni, M; Fouseki, K; Georgantzis, N; (2017) Community participation in heritage tourism planning: is it too much to ask? Journal of Sustainable Tourism 10.1080/09669582.2017.1404606. (In press).

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Considering the complications of collecting empirical data on community participation, this study proposes a new methodological approach that departs from the current literature. For the first time, an experimental procedure is adopted to conduct a direct comparison between participatory and non-participatory decision-making in the context of heritage tourism planning. Contrary to previous work, this is the first ex-ante assessment of community participation at a destination with no such prior experience. The analysis relies on behavioural data on choices, deliberation and conflict studied in the context of a controlled collaborative environment. The findings suggest that choices and deliberation between participatory and non-participatory groups exhibit no statistically significant differences although participatory groups were more susceptible to conflict. However, interestingly, conflict was constructive as it increased provisions for heritage goods. Furthermore, intra-group heterogeneity did not always affect collective decisions negatively whereas trust and institutional credibility played a major role in influencing both individual and collective preferences. These findings have important implications for research and policy, opening a novel avenue for the systematic study of participation dynamics to inform the instigation of participatory endeavours.

Type: Article
Title: Community participation in heritage tourism planning: is it too much to ask?
DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2017.1404606
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2017.1404606
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Heritage tourism, community participation, voluntary contributions to public goods, experimental economics
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043165
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