The Experience Of Stakeholder Participation In Tourism Planning: Operationalising ‘best Practice’
B. C. Hall
Stakeholder participation has become widely viewed as an essential feature of sustainable policy and decision-making. As a result the provision for stakeholder participation has been included within a range of decision-making processes but without necessarily ensuring that its structure is appropriate to the context. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 legislation required the creation of Local Access Forums to advise on public access to the English countryside. However guidance on their role and structure was vague and in 2005 a government commissioned survey indicated that many Local Access Forums were experiencing a lack of empowerment. Through observation of four Local Access Forums (LAFs) over a period of two years it was possible to compare their experiences with the findings of the government commissioned survey. One of the four LAFs studied provided indications of strategies leading to outcomes that were satisfactory for both participants and organisers. This case study has been further examined in order to develop an outline of ‘Best Practice’ that is appropriate to the formation and management of Local Access Forums within the context of stakeholder participatory groups. Keywords: stakeholders, participation, local access forums, tourism. This paper draws heavily on fieldwork undertaken for a recently completed PhD . The material has been selected and edited but at the heart of the discussion are concerns relating to empowerment in participative forms of stakeholder groups.
stakeholders, participation, local access forums, tourism