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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT OF WHITEWATER SPORTS IN THE SOUTHERN ALPS

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Author(s): BERNARD MASSIERA | LAURA SCHUFT

Journal: Citius Altius Fortius
ISSN 1582-8131

Volume: 29;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Management | Offers | River | Sport | Sustainable | Tourism.

ABSTRACT
Purpose: In order to better understand how certain sports tourism professionals have overcome the economic crisis, this paper focuses on how they have innovated on technical, managerial and marketing levels. Analyzing these strategies in the sector of “recreational white-water sports tourism” appears as a way to prospect.Design/methodology/approach: The offer of white-water sports tourism does not fall under tradition forms of organization known to work in the tourism sector. Since the end of the nineties its mode of development seems to have enabled this sector to avoid undergoing the economic crisis. The methodology, based on interviews withentrepreneurs in the sector of white-water sports tourism in the Southern Alps, addresses their managerial strategies and strategic modes of operation in the development of their businesses. The aim is to explore the managerial factors that have resulted in both economic and environmental sustainability. The concept of sustainable development is employed to understand how these entrepreneurial activities are embedded in the social, economic and natural environments of the Southern Alps valleys. Findings: The investigation shows that, rather than focusing on business strategy, professionals in this sector focus primarily on community relations. The supply of white-water sports tourism is presented in a lattice form which develops as a community. The modes of development of this sector, far from corresponding to standard business rationale, amount to a form of sustainable development which may explain the relative success of sport tourism in this period of crisis.
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