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Tourism Management 27 (2006) 1274–1289 www.elsevier.com/locate/tourman

Sustainability indicators for managing community tourism
HwanSuk Chris Choia,Ã, Ercan Sirakayab

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., Canada N1G 2W1 Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX77843-2261, USA Received 13 February 2005; accepted 14 May 2005


Abstract The purpose of this study is to develop indicators to measure community tourism development (CTD) within a sustainable framework. In order to develop such objective indicators, this study employed a modified Delphi technique. A panel of 38 academic researchers in tourism provided input into developing the indicators. Afterthree rounds of discussion, the panel members reached consensus on the following set of 125 indicators: political (32), social (28), ecological (25), economic (24), technological (3), and cultural dimensions (13) for CTD. This set of sustainable tourism indicators can serve as a starting-point for devising a set of indicators at the local and regional level. Further study shall develop a set ofsustainable indicators relying on communities’ distinctive characteristics and employing indicator experts from the social and physical sciences and from all stakeholder groups, including residents of the host community, industry experts, government planners, policy-makers and non-governmental organizations [United Nations (2001). Managing sustainable tourism development: ESCAP tourism review, No. 22.New York, NY: UN]. r 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Sustainable community tourism; Sustainability indicators; Community tourism management; The Delphi technique

1. Introduction In the 20th century, globalization of capitalism, movement of populations, and advances in transportation and communication technology have helped to develop tourism into one of the world’s largestindustries. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (2004), world tourism receipts will reach approximately $727.9 billion by the end of 2004, with tourism generating more than 214 million jobs and contributing about $5.5 trillion of gross domestic product (GDP), 10.4% of the world’s total. Because of its ability to create income, taxes, hard currency and jobs, tourism has made asignificant contribution to the economics of many communities around the world (Sirakaya, Jamal, & Choi, 2001).
ÃCorresponding author. Tel.: +1 519 824 4120; fax: +1 519 823 5512. E-mail addresses: hwchoi@uoguelph.ca, canadatourism@gmail.com (H.C. Choi).

However, although tourism has brought economic benefits, it has significantly contributed to environmental degradation, negative social and culturalimpacts and habitat fragmentation. Tourism’s unplanned growth has damaged the natural and socio-cultural environments of many tourism destinations (Domet, 1991; Frueh, 1986; Hall & Lew, 1998; Hidinger, 1996; Mowforth & Munt, 1998; Murphy, 1985; Singh, 1989). These undesirable side-effects have led to the growing concern for the conservation and preservation of natural resources, human well-being and thelong-term economic viability of communities (Akis, Peristianis, & Warner, 1996; Butler & Boyd, 2000; Cater, 1993; Hall & McArthur, 1998; Haralambopoulos & Pizam, 1996; Healy, 1994; Mowforth & Munt, 1998; Place, 1995; Richard & Hall, 2000). As decision-makers became increasingly aware of the drawbacks of mass tourism, they searched for alternative tourism planning, management and developmentoptions. As a result, the notion of sustainable development (sustainability) emerged as an alternative

0261-5177/$ - see front matter r 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2005.05.018

H.C. Choi, E. Sirakaya / Tourism Management 27 (2006) 1274–1289 1275

to the traditional neo-classical model of economic development. The World Commission on...
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