Stakeholder collaboration as a major factor for sustainable ecotourism development in developing countries

Amare WONDIRAD, Denis Tolkach, Brian King

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

174 Citations (Scopus)


Ecotourism has been widely championed by academics and practitioners as a potential contributor of conservation and development. However, others have questioned whether sustainability goals can be achieved through this form of tourism. Of the various factors reported in the literature as hindering the success of ecotourism, the lack of effective stakeholder collaboration features prominently. This study draws upon stakeholder and collaboration theories and on triple-bottom-line principles, to investigate the contributions of stakeholder collaborations to sustainable ecotourism. The researchers adopted an exploratory research design and conducted stakeholder in-depth interviews and focus group discussions between 2016 and 2018. The findings revealed poor interactions and collaborations amongst ecotourism stakeholders. Consequently, ecotourism in Southern Ethiopia accelerates the degradation of natural resources, neglecting communities while benefiting other ecotourism stakeholders. Therefore, in poorly resourced and remote destinations, failure to empower and participate communities undermines ecotourism and jeopardizes the long-term survival of ecosystems and communities themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104024
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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