Abstract

Many destinations are recognizing the potential contribution of tourism as a strategy for a sustainable livelihood. With a slower pace of life compared to their mainland counterparts, rural island communities traditionally have been supporting themselves with livelihood opportunities such as agriculture, logging, fishing, and mining. However, this paradigm is changing as many destinations, especially those with rural communities, have experienced a decline in these traditional livelihoods and turned to tourism in an effort to diversify the livelihood opportunities (Lockhart, 1997). Prince Edward County, situated in south-eastern Ontario, Canada, is a growing tourist destination. It is also an island as it is located in Lake Ontario and separated by a bridge from the mainland. This small rural county has a rich cultural and natural heritage, and is a home to a population of about 25,500 residents. Its primary livelihood has been traditional agriculture until recently when it saw an increasing number of diversified forms of agriculture and tourism-related activities and businesses being developed. As the County explores tourism as a means to diversify the economic and livelihood opportunities available, the sustainability and challenges of tourism development in the County are rising.

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Assessing stakeholders views in achieving sustainable livelihoods through tourism in Prince Edward County

Many destinations are recognizing the potential contribution of tourism as a strategy for a sustainable livelihood. With a slower pace of life compared to their mainland counterparts, rural island communities traditionally have been supporting themselves with livelihood opportunities such as agriculture, logging, fishing, and mining. However, this paradigm is changing as many destinations, especially those with rural communities, have experienced a decline in these traditional livelihoods and turned to tourism in an effort to diversify the livelihood opportunities (Lockhart, 1997). Prince Edward County, situated in south-eastern Ontario, Canada, is a growing tourist destination. It is also an island as it is located in Lake Ontario and separated by a bridge from the mainland. This small rural county has a rich cultural and natural heritage, and is a home to a population of about 25,500 residents. Its primary livelihood has been traditional agriculture until recently when it saw an increasing number of diversified forms of agriculture and tourism-related activities and businesses being developed. As the County explores tourism as a means to diversify the economic and livelihood opportunities available, the sustainability and challenges of tourism development in the County are rising.