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TOURISM AS A STIMULUS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN RURAL AREAS: A CYPRIOT PERSPECTIVE

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Author(s): Werner Gronau | Rudi Kaufmann

Journal: Tourismos : an International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism
ISSN 1790-8418

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 83;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Cyprus | sustainable development | rural areas | agro tourism

ABSTRACT
Since the mid 90ies the debate of how to achieve the objective of sustainability in the tourism sector is en vogue. Often weakly illuminated, however, is the interesting question as to whether the underlying framework conditions of the tourism industry are consistent with the concept of sustainability. This paper aims on contributing to the dialogue with a new interdisciplinary perspective. Rather than putting the emphasis on the question of whether the tourism industry can be sustainable or how sustainable it can be, the perspective of this paper focuses on whether tourism can support sustainable development. This, so far neglected shift in perspective, opens up a completely new field of academic discussion due to its remodelling of the interrelationship between sustainability and tourism industry. Therefore, in a first step, the possible influences of the tourism industry towards supporting sustainable development will be discussed. In a second step, the results of a qualitative study performed by the authors in the context of the Cypriot Agro Tourism will be presented, in order to empirically elicit existing influences of tourism on sustainable development in the rural areas of Cyprus. Especially, the case study illuminates the consequences of an efficient interplay between strategic and operational decision makers, hence, addressing both, macro and micro issues. The paper concludes, that, in synthesis with local heritage, entrepreneurship and location branding, this innovative form of tourism can provide a significant contribution to the economic, social and environmental components of sustainability and can be regarded as a best practice example.
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