This week we are pleased to introduce in our blog Anke Winchenbach and her research in the field of Responsible Tourism. She was one of the speakers at the 8th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations (RTD8) at the beginning of April.
Here the summary of her studies about “Training for Livelihoods in The Gambia – Taking Responsibility for Responsible Tourism”:
Building human capacity in the form of skills training and formal and informal education has been identified as the key to responsible and sustainable tourism development in The Gambia (Bah and Goodwin, 2003; Carlisle et al., 2012). However, there seems to be an assumption that increased awareness and training automatically lead to positive outcomes towards responsible and sustainable tourism and will socially and economically empower local people. Despite an increased interest and investment in rural tourism development and a consensus on the importance of education and knowledge for Responsible Tourism development, no research has been conducted on the impact of tourism training in rural Gambia from a local perspective. This presentation addressed what impact tourism training had on Responsible Tourism practices in four rural communities, thus aiming to challenge existing assumptions and adding another dimension to the growing academic work on sustainable and responsible tourism development.
Winchenbach’s research examined in particular the following three main questions:
- What role do training and knowledge play for responsible tourism practices in rural Gambia
- Why do some communities find it easier than others to transfer training from theory into practice
- Who is responsible for Responsible Tourism practices?
Winchenbach concluded her presentation with practical recommendations to close the gap between assuming responsibility post training and taking positive action, which could help to fulfil the vision of producing and promoting positive changes for creating better places to live in.
The presentation was based on her recent dissertation research as part of a MA degree in Tourism, Environment and Development at King’s College, London. Her innovative research was awarded with the “Best Thesis Award 2012/2013” in the programme.
Read Anke Winchenbach’s dissertation!
Compliments to Anke Winchenbach for her studies!