Tourism Chains and Pro-Poor Tourism Development: An Actor-Network Analysis of a Pilot Project in Costa Rica

V.R. van der Duim, J.D.A.D. Caalders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper analyses a pilot project in Costa Rica aimed to examine and improve the market linkages of 24 small-scale tourism initiatives to tour operators in Costa Rica and the Netherlands. It links pro-poor tourism and the concept of tourism chain to actor-network theory. The analysis shows that the tangible results in terms of pro-poor tourism of the project itself were meagre, as, initially, only three and later only one out of 24 projects was included in the tourism chain. However, the analysis of this project contributes to an increasing body of knowledge on how to make tourism work for the poor, in Costa Rica as well as elsewhere. It argues to move beyond existing ways of theorising tourism and to explore the heuristics of conceptualising tourism in terms of actor-network theory and suggests to examine processes of translation in which the researcher follows and supports development organisations, incoming tour operators or any other particular actor in the process of creating associations that produce the desired effect: the increase of net benefits for the poor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-125
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Actor-network theory
  • Costa Rica
  • Pro-poor tourism
  • Tourism chains

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