Community-based tourism (CBT) began in Kyrgyzstan in 2000 as a proposed method for environmentally conscious, socially equitable economic growth. Initiated by an international development organization, CBT aims to provide economic opportunities for poor rural communities through the provision of ecotourism activities in the surrounding mountains. Focusing on the case study village of Arslanbob, this research evaluates CBT on a local level and within broader sustainable development policies including Kyrgyzstan’s National Sustainable Development Strategy for 2013-2017 (NSDS) and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda. Field research to evaluate CBT’s impacts took place from September through December 2015 and included interviews with 43 tourism and environmental management stakeholders as well as three weeks of participant observation and in-depth interviews with Arslanbob residents. The findings indicate that strong local leadership, long-term international non-governmental organization (INGO) support, and Arslanbob’s unique historical and cultural background contributed to CBT’s success at providing options for environmentally sustainable economic diversification at the community level. However, changing forestry regulations and national economic policies resulting in significant foreign migration and remittances may outweigh CBT’s environmental and economic impacts. Furthermore, scarce government involvement and a lack of monitoring frameworks limit CBT’s effectiveness at achieving broader national and international policy objectives.
|Commitee:||Kamp, Marianne, Watson, Marcus|
|School:||University of Wyoming|
|School Location:||United States -- Wyoming|
|Source:||MAI 56/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental management, International Relations, Sustainability|
|Keywords:||Community-based, Development, Environment, Kyrgyzstan, Sustainable, Tourism|
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