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Individual and community empowerment enhancement in sustainable tourism development in post-communist Poland

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Title: Individual and community empowerment enhancement in sustainable tourism development in post-communist Poland
Author(s): Strzelecka, Marianna
Director of Research: Wicks, Bruce E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Wicks, Bruce E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Flint, Courtney G.; Stewart, William P.; Reisner, Ann
Department / Program: Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline: Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): participatory tourism development empowerment interactional community field post-communist Poland
Abstract: The question of tourism in post-communist transition has been one of the key concerns of policymakers in Central and Eastern Europe. The opening of Polish society to Western influences about three decades ago and the subsequent reforms caused a deep socio-economic crisis in the country. Whereas, on the one hand the negative consequences of this socio-economic transition have been the strongest in rural communities, on the other hand opening Poland’s economy to influences from the West has re-vitalized rural travel. Poland has become a popular destination for visitors to post-communist Europe. Interest in traveling to rural areas creates multiple opportunities to diversify rural economy through the development of sustainable tourism. Poland has been changing its tourism policy, turning away from the centralized tourism planning and instead turning toward distributing responsibilities for regional and local development to relevant authorities. The study explores social and political aspects of participatory tourism development in a post-communist setting. The important task of this work is to demonstrate how tourism decision-making could encourage the practice of local democracy through empowering individual stakeholders and communities in Pomerania, Poland. The unique post-communist context provided the opportunity to integrate knowledge from different disciplines and to go beyond a single perspective in order to develop a more sophisticated understanding of decision-making in Poland. Therefore for this study, the views of local stakeholders became critical to understanding the community processes and perceived individual empowerment within a community field. Recent developments of rural sustainable tourism on post-communist societies will most likely lead to an increase in a number of studies focused on interactions and patterns of relationships in rural areas.
Issue Date: 2012-09-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34302
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Marianna Strzelecka
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-09-18
Date Deposited: 2012-08
 

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