The intersection of community development, tourism and planning is a fascinating one. Tourism has long been used as a development strategy, in both developed and developing countries, from the national to local levels. These approaches have typically focused on economic dimensions with decisions about tourism investments, policies and venues driven by these economic considerations. More recently, the conversation has shifted to include other aspects - social and environmental - to better reflect sustainable development concepts. Perhaps most importantly is the richer focus on the inclusion of stakeholders. An inclusionary, participatory approach is an essential ingredient of community development and this brings both fields even closer together. It reflects an approach aimed at building on strengths in communities, and fostering social capacity and capital. In this book, the dimensions of the role tourism plays in community development are explored. A panoply of perspectives are presented, tackling such questions as, can tourism heal? How can tourism development serve as a catalyst to overcome social injustices and cultural divides?
This book was originally published as a special issue of Community Development.