Title of Paper

Stakeholders’ Perception on Sustainability: An Observation from Nepal’s Rural Tourism Communities

Presenter Bios

Baikuntha Prasad Acharya is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta (3-156, University Hall, Van Vliet Complex, University of Alberta), Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA, T6G 2H9). He has a research interest in rural and community development through tourism.

Elizabeth A. Halpenny, PhD is the Associate Professor in the same faculty at the University of Alberta (3-156, University Hall, Van Vliet Complex, University of Alberta), Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA, T6G 2H9; email: elizabeth.halpenny@ualberta.ca). Her research interests are in nature-based tourism, parks and protected area management, and marketing theory and consumer behavior.

Abstract

Rural tourism is popular in many less developed countries as a tool to development and poverty reduction. This paper explores the perceptions of tourism stakeholders in Ghalegaon and Ghandruk, two of Nepal’s prominent rural tourism destinations, to observe the impacts on the host communities. The views of stakeholders were solicited through interviews and group discussions to understand economic, social, cultural and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The findings revealed incremental positive and negative impacts on the communities’ sustainability with variations in perceptions of the stakeholders. Stakeholder theory is used to analyze the perception differences. Understanding stakeholder perspectives will assist in synchronizing collaborations between the stakeholders in order to enhance sustainability. The study has highlighted several important applied implications to the stakeholders including the need for better communications between local destinations and policy/regulatory agencies and intervention that advance disadvantaged populations’ opportunities to participate in the tourism economy

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Stakeholders’ Perception on Sustainability: An Observation from Nepal’s Rural Tourism Communities

Rural tourism is popular in many less developed countries as a tool to development and poverty reduction. This paper explores the perceptions of tourism stakeholders in Ghalegaon and Ghandruk, two of Nepal’s prominent rural tourism destinations, to observe the impacts on the host communities. The views of stakeholders were solicited through interviews and group discussions to understand economic, social, cultural and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The findings revealed incremental positive and negative impacts on the communities’ sustainability with variations in perceptions of the stakeholders. Stakeholder theory is used to analyze the perception differences. Understanding stakeholder perspectives will assist in synchronizing collaborations between the stakeholders in order to enhance sustainability. The study has highlighted several important applied implications to the stakeholders including the need for better communications between local destinations and policy/regulatory agencies and intervention that advance disadvantaged populations’ opportunities to participate in the tourism economy