Bramwell, Sharman 1999 Local Collaboration

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Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 392415, 1999 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved Printed in Great Britain 0160-7383/99 $19.00+0.00

PII: S0160-7383(98)00105-4

COLLABORATION IN LOCAL TOURISM POLICYMAKINGBill Bramwell Angela Sharman Sheffield Hallam University, UKAbstract: Collaborations among stakeholders to develop policies for a destination are the subject of growing interest among researchers and managers. This paper presents an analytical framework to assess whether local collaborative arrangements are inclusionary and involve collective learning and consensus-building. The framework considers whether or not specific collaborations reduce the power imbalances between stakeholders, and it develops the concept of partial consensus. The practical value of the framework is suggested in an examination of local collaborative arrangements to develop a visitor management plan for the Hope Valley in Britain|s Peak District National Park. Keywords: policymaking, collaborative planning, consensus-building, stakeholders, Peak District, United Kingdom. 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. Resume: La collaboration dans la politique locale du tourisme. Les collaborations parmi les interesses pour developper des politiques pour une destination touristique sont le sujet d|un interet croissant parmi les chercheurs et les directeurs. Cet article presente un cadre analytique pour determiner si les decisions collaboratives locales sont inclusives et si elles entranent un developpement ciollectif de connaissances et de consensus d|opinion. Ce cadre mesure si certaines collaborations reduisent les desequilibres de pouvoir entre interesses, et il developpe le concept de consensus partiel. La valeur pratique du cadre est suggere dans un examen de decisions collaboratives locales pour developper un plan de gestion de visiteurs a la vallee de Hope dans le parc national du Peak District au Royaume-Uni. Mots-cles: politique de tourisme, planification collaborative, consensus, interesses, Peak District, Royaume-Uni. 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

There are many potential benefits when stakeholders in a destination collaborate together and attempt to build a consensus about tourism policies. First, such collaboration potentially avoids the cost of resolving adversarial conflicts among stakeholders in the long term (Healey 1998). Adversarial conflicts are wasteful as stakeholders entrench their mutual suspicions, improve their adversarial skills and play out similar conflicts around each subsequent issue. Second, collaborative relations may be more politically legitimate if they give stakeholders a greater influence in the decision-making which affects their lives (Benveniste 1989). Third, this collaboration improves the coordination of policies and related actions, and promotes consideration of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of tourism. The resulting outcomes are potentially more efficient and sustainable

Bill Bramwell is Reader in Tourism Management and Angela Sharman is Teaching and Research Associate in the Centre for Tourism, Sheffield Hallam University (City Campus, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK. Email Bill Bramwell helped develop locally-based collaborative tourism partnerships while employed by the English Tourist Board. He co-edits the Journal of Sustainable Tourism and his research interests include urban and sustainable tourism planning. Angela Sharman conducts research on environmental management and sustainable tourism.




(Lane 1994). Further, collaboration {{adds value|| by building on the store of knowledge, insights, and capabilities of stakeholders in the destination (Bramwell and Broom 1989). For example, Roberts and Bradley (1991) suggest that the sharing of ideas among stakeholders results in a richer understanding of issues and leads to more innovative policies. Such joint working may also promote a {{shared ownership|| of the resulting policies, and thereby channel energies into joint implementation or {{co-production|| (Susskind and Elliott 1983). While locally-based tourism collaborations may offer advantages to stakeholders and destinations, their development gives rise to difficult challenges. For example, the resource allocations, policy ideas, and institutional practices embedded within society may often restrict the influence of particular stakeholders on the collaborative arrangements. The power of stakeholders is often unequal, and it is suggested that {{power governs the interaction of individuals, organizations and agencies influencing, or trying to influence, the formulation of tourism policy and the manner in which it is implemented|| (Hall 1994:52). The purpose of this paper is to present a framework of issues to consider when evaluating whether local collaborative tourism policymaking is inclusionary and involves collective learning and consensus-building. Destination managers need advice about how to promote locally-based collaborative arrangements, and the framework is intended to assist them in this work. The proposed framework incorporates consideration of the extent to which power imbalances among stakeholders are reduced, if at all, within a collaboration. It discusses whether and how relevant stakeholders have a voice, are involved in collective learning, and build trust and consensual views across divisions. Further, the paper indicates the practical value of the theoretical framework by applying it to assess stakeholder involvement in the development of a visitor management plan for the Hope Valley and Edale in Britain|s Peak District National Park. This area has long been a magnet for visitors, and there is concern about the impacts of tourism on its physical environment and ways of life. While the circumstances of each collaborative initiative are unique, important general lessons still may be learnt by assessing whether individual initiatives succeed in being inclusionary and based on collective learning and consensus-building. LOCAL COLLABORATIVE POLICY-MAKING The framework developed in the paper to assess local collaborative tourism policy-making draws ideas from literature about interorganizational collaboration, {{communicative|| approaches to planning, and citizen participation. The review suggests that some recent assessments of tourism policymaking draw on general theories of interorganizational collaboration to explain how stakeholders may collaborate to solve problems (Jamal and Getz 1995; Long 1997; Selin and Beason 1991). In the field of interorganizational theory, Gray suggests that collaboration occurs when the problem is complex and a single organization cannot solve it on its own. It {{is a process in which those parties with a stake in the problem actively seek a mutually



determined solution||, with stakeholders retaining their independence in decision making despite agreeing to abide by shared rules among the collaborating parties (1989:xviii). Getz and Jamal (1994) use interorganizational theory to assess stakeholder collaboration in tourism planning in Canada|s Canmore and Bow Corridor, while Jamal and Getz (1997) employ the same theory to examine communitybased {{visioning|| for tourism development. Interorganizational collaboration theory also forms a basis for Selin and Chavez (1995) to develop an evolutionary model of partnerships in destinations, and for Selin and Myers (1998) to assess factors constraining or promoting the effectiveness of such partnerships. Reed reviews Jamal and Getz|s work on collaboration in destinations and argues that {{While power relations are included within collaborative theory, it is frequently assumed that collaboration can overcome power imbalances by involving all stakeholders in a process that meets their needs|| (1997:567). She contends that such power differences among stakeholders actually are so embedded in society that they always affect the nature of the collaboration. A further problem not highlighted by Reed is that collaboration theory might suggest the inequitable proposition that participants may be excluded from collaborative arrangements if they lack resources or capacity. Hence, Jamal and Getz suggest that {{a stakeholder who is impacted by the actions of other stakeholders has a right to become involved in order to moderate those impacts, but must also have the resources and skills (capacity) in order to participate|| (1995:194). The literature on {{communicative|| approaches to planning explores opportunities to enable relevant stakeholders to have a voice in policymaking. For example, Healey (1997) contends that planning should draw on the webs of relations found in local areas and build the capacities of stakeholders so that they can have more direct influence on their own lives. It is argued that it is important to promote horizontal forms of collaboration, where stakeholders with legitimate and often conflicting interests in a local area engage in discourse and consensus-building. The challenge is seen as developing the capacity of the diverse stakeholders who potentially could assert concern about their locality (Bryson and Crosby 1992; Forester 1989; Innes 1995). Healey (1997) emphasizes how systemic constraints, such as power inequalities and institutional practices, can inhibit the influence of stakeholders on collaborative arrangements, but she also moves beyond simply considering who controls the resource flows. Attention is focused on the processes within collaboration through which relations can be built up among relevant stakeholders, and to the communicative forms through which their often conflicting interests and views can be identified and consensus developed. Much emphasis is placed on respectful {{speaking and listening|| among stakehol