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An approach to community-based tourism planning in the baffin region, canada's far north: a retrospective

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An Approach to Community-Based Tourism Planning in the Baffin Region, Canada’s Far North: A Retrospective Task: The Baffin is in the northwest part of Nunavut. Its physical landscape consists of sparse vegetation. The area consists of a range of lowland, glaciers, mountains, and fiords. Sunlight in the area takes nearly four hours per day in winter to about the entire day throughout the summer period. The area’s environment presents beautiful scenery for tourism. The sparse nature of the region favors air travel. The Inuit community in the region hunts during the summer region. This makes tourism in the area during the summer to boom since sports hunting and fishing are forms of consumptive tourism. The Baffin region’s setting poses both challenges and avenues for economic development. The aboriginal people of the Baffin, through consumptive tourism, contribute to the progress of this part of Canada. The area’s community (the Inuit of Nunavut) is relatively in isolation, small and sparsely spread. The climate is extreme, and the local community’s role in the provision of essential utilities to tourists is a desire with appreciation. Shipping of goods into the region is possible only during the summer period. The region’s economic instability is a factor to consider in the planning process. The 1983 strategy was the first community based tourism strategy designed to increase and widen opportunities for the Inuit. This would increase economic opportunities to the communities and its related benefits. The strategy embraced consultation in tourism planning that involved the local communities and interested parties in the development. The strategy aimed at reducing the effects that could arise from tourism, both social and environmental. It provided a case for the adoption of sustainable development. The Baffin Regional Planning Project marked a significant planning initiative in Canada. The planning for non-consumptive occurred through the following three major steps. The development of the” Resources of the Land” map was the first step. It involved the identification of areas that could be of potential concerns to tourists. The second stage involved taking care of views on the advantages and disadvantages about development and means of incorporation of the views into the plan. Step three saw the identification features and sites of interest to the Inuit fell under this stage of the planning process. Isolation of sites from accessible to inaccessible took place during this stage. The main aim the step was to expand control by community on tourists’ activities with a view to minimize effects of tourism. The process involved market analysis conducted after stage three so as to find out the level of interest in visiting Pangnirtung. The analysis gave positive outcome and initiated further works, launched on five possible avenues, to rejuvenate the region’s developing tourism. A five-year development plan started thereafter. Critical issues or problems in the approach to community based tourism planning in Baffin region consisted of the following inter-linked significant issues. Identification of the community affected by the tourism was a critical concern in the planning process. Identification of the various stakeholders was a considerable factor. The criteria of selecting the stakeholder were a critical area in the process. Determination of people who act to promote the planning so as to attain full public participation was a considerable area in the planning process. In determining communalities affected by tourism, the planning team conducted an in-depth assessment of the Inuit community. They analyzed the community’s structure and composition. This information was useful to the planners in determining and further division of roles among members of the community. It helped determine the community’s preparedness for vigorous participation. In the pursuit to determine the stakeholders, the planners get to define the stakeholders’ scope of interest in various resources. This helped achieve harmony where there overlapping interests. Local and national tourists are both tourism attractants and hold interests in tourism together with international stakeholders. The determination of the level of stakeholder was a complicated situation in the planning process. This aimed at tending to the balance of power among various stakeholders in tourism. Determining who should take charge as a promoter in the participatory planning, the involvement of the government was a notable requirement. Maintaining constant communication with the community was also important. In determining the method to use in achieving efficient public participation, a list of the goals of participation, the community status, and the plan was helpful (Husbands, 2010). Participation ideology and challenges identified to helped in formulating the framework to host participation. Management measures were necessary to realize the implementation of the plan. The use of the internet as an option for promotion approach was a notable management measure in the process. To facilitate individuals’ tourism skills, educational programs such as cooperative training and on-the-job training avenues were helpful. In terms of promotion, the government expected to take on the expensive supportive functions of market research and market development. Interviews conducted with locally owned tourism companies and broadcast in lnuktiiut on the radio aimed to explain to communities that development is a slow process in need of a lengthy commitment. The change of the position of Economic Development Officer (EDO) to Community Economic Development Officer (CEDO) was a notable management measure. Various other shifts in management positions helped fill the shortage with trained personnel in the north. The involvement of the Inuit community in tourism was a highly beneficial measure to the formerly marginalized aboriginal inhabitants in the Baffin region (Hung, Sirakay-Turk & Ingram, 2011). The excellent planning process of tourism in the Baffin region formed a good ground for sustainable tourism. There is a high increase in the Inuit community participation in the tourism industry due to the various strategies taken in the planning process (Islet, Yuksekokulu, Mah & Ahmet, 2005). Adoption of holistic community involvement in tourism, therefore, improves the conservation and management of the environment (Marzuki, Hay, & James, 2012). Successful tourism planning depends on effective public participation. References Hung, K., Sirakay-Turk, E., & Ingram, L. (2011). Testing the Efficacy of an Integrative Model for Community Participation. Journal of Travel Research. vol. 50 no. 3 276-288. doi: 10. 1177/0047287510362781 Husbands, W. (2010). Practicing Responsible Tourism: International Case Studies in Tourism Planning, Policy, and Development. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Islet, T., Yuksekokulu, O., Mah, N., & Ahmet, S. (2005). Stages in the emergence of a participatory tourism development approach in the Developing World. Geoforum. Volume 36, Issue 3, May 2005, Pages 333–352. Retrieved from http://www. sciencedirect. com/science/article/pii/S001671850400082X Marzuki, A., Hay, I., & James, J. (2012). Public participation shortcomings in tourism planning: the case of the Langkawi Islands, Malaysia. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Vol. 20, No. 4 585-602. Retrieved from http://www. tandfonline. com/doi/abs/10. 1080/09669582. 2011. 638384#preview

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