Enhancing Local Community’s Involvement and Empowerment through Practicing Cittaslow: Experiences from Goolwa, South Australia
1 Lincoln Business School, College of Social Science, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK
2 Department of Tourism, School of Humanities and Creative Arts, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
This study attempted to investigate how and the extent to which Cittaslow philosophy and practice enhanced local community’s involvement and empowerment in relation to tourism development from the sustainability’s perspective. As an empirical study, a series of in-depth interviews with key stakeholders including local government, local business, and local community’s members were conducted in Goolwa, the first Australian accredited Cittaslow town since 2007, located in South Australia. The results indicated that to a greater extent the accreditation and practice of Cittaslow philosophy in Goolwa increased a stronger and more effective collaboration amongst local community, business and residents as an essential element for achieving sustainability in tourism development. Not only did it encourage the local community’s participation in decision making process from the beginning of tourism development, but also revitalised the locality and sense of place of Goolwa through promoting local specialities and produces, in particular food and wine products. The results also suggested that psychological and social aspects of local community’s empowerment have been significantly enhanced after the establishment of Cittaslow. Yet, the economic empowerment of the local community was less experienced.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014
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