Nguyen, D. T. N., d’ Hauteserre, A.-M., & Serrao-Neumann, S. (2021). Intrinsic barriers to and opportunities for community empowerment in community-based tourism development in Thai Nguyen province, Vietnam. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2021.1884689
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14156
Even though community empowerment is a crucial component of sustainable tourism, true community empowerment is in fact hard to achieve and still eludes many countries. Few studies have looked at factors that may inhibit or encourage empowerment processes for local people. In response to this gap, this article explores intrinsic barriers to and opportunities for community empowerment in community-based tourism development in Thai Nguyen province, Vietnam. Drawing on empirical data, results show that intrinsic barriers to community empowerment derived from their dependence on government, especially in top-down political systems such as in Vietnam, and the framing of knowledge associated with formal education. Findings also reveal opportunities to enhance community empowerment if community power were acknowledged, and locals were able to exercise that power. Such recognition has the potential to transform experiences of/about local people, to empower them by shifting the focus to a paradigm that starts from within local people themselves, and their community, to using their inner strength - a significant power that they could use to enable them to achieve what they desire in tourism, and to make real change occur. The paper concludes with the implications of this analysis for community empowerment and sustainable tourism development.
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