Abstract

This research tests Beaumont and Dredge’s tourism application of governance structure theory using recent tourism planning efforts in the community of Sitka, Alaska. In less than two years, the community of Sitka undertook two separate tourism-planning processes in response to a major tourism event (need for cruise dock to accommodate large cruise ships). The first plan followed a participant-led governance structure, the second plan a council-led governance structure. The participant-led governance structure produced a plan through a collaborative process that empowered citizen participants and sought to limit growth, while the council-led structure produced a more pro-growth plan and downplayed citizen concern for maintaining quality of life. Through this research, tourism governance structures are critically analyzed with a clearer understanding of advantages and disadvantages of planning processes under differing governance structures.

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The Role of Governance in Tourism Planning

This research tests Beaumont and Dredge’s tourism application of governance structure theory using recent tourism planning efforts in the community of Sitka, Alaska. In less than two years, the community of Sitka undertook two separate tourism-planning processes in response to a major tourism event (need for cruise dock to accommodate large cruise ships). The first plan followed a participant-led governance structure, the second plan a council-led governance structure. The participant-led governance structure produced a plan through a collaborative process that empowered citizen participants and sought to limit growth, while the council-led structure produced a more pro-growth plan and downplayed citizen concern for maintaining quality of life. Through this research, tourism governance structures are critically analyzed with a clearer understanding of advantages and disadvantages of planning processes under differing governance structures.