Collaborative networks in community-based tourism: implications for participatory management

Andrés Burgos, Frédéric Mertens


Community-based tourism (CBT) is the result of an intra-community collaborative process, based on interpersonal relationships and in which social networks have the capacity to measure the extent of collaboration. This paper discusses community-based tourism under the assumption that both the concept of community and the process of managing touristic activities imply being involved in social relations. Social network analysis (SNA) was applied to investigate the collaborative network of Prainha do Canto Verde (Ceará, Brazil) in order to empirically assess the implications of relational patterns in tourism management. The main objective is to contribute to theoretical and methodological insights on how relational patterns within a community can shed light on participatory management in local tourism, given the complexity that characterizes social relations and the tourism system. Results of the SNA study showed that the key issue for the development of a CBT management anchored in equity and participation is the coexistence of relations between different actors. The findings also demonstrate the relevance of a network approach in the analysis of processes and results of community-based tourism development.


Community-based tourism, participatory management,

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