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Universität Innsbruck (2018)

Impacts and potentials of ecotourism and community-based tourism for conservation and development in Kyrgyzstan

Borchardt, Steve

Titre : Impacts and potentials of ecotourism and community-based tourism for conservation and development in Kyrgyzstan

Auteur : Borchardt, Steve

Université de soutenance : Universität Innsbruck

Grade  : Master Thesis 2018

Résumé
CBT and ecotourism can be useful instruments for making valuable contributions to both, nature conservation and community development. While tourism in general, can be a business incubator and economic catalysator as well, CBT and ecotourism expand on these impacts and specifically focus on participatory aspects and empowerment of the community in their development scope. Furthermore, ecotourism utilises the touristic potential of natural resources to contribute to its conservation, while CBT also strives to preserve intact landscapes in accordance with the sustainable tourism principles. Understanding the impacts of these tourism forms on the community and the environment, is essential to identify enabling and hampering factors for a further improvement of the concepts contributions to conservation and development. Following up on this, the present thesis puts its focal point on the impacts and the potentials of CBT and ecotourism for nature conservation and community development in Kyrgyzstan. Therefore, the tourism development during the Soviet Era and after gaining independence has to be understood respectively in order to grasp current tourism development trends and to understand the power structures and relationships between the government, the private sector and external assistance organisations as these may indicate possible future perspectives and major obstacles for further development. Semi-structured expert interviews have been conducted to obtain necessary data about these aspects in the field. The results showed that the development of CBT and ecotourism is still at an initial stage in Kyrgyzstan. The Soviet heritage with mass tourism structures being located at the north shore of lake Issyk-Kul, lead to a neglection of small-scale tourism forms for local development by the government and thus, a lack of support and capacities. Anyways, CBT and ecotourism activities whose development has usually been greatly supported by external assistance organisations - do contribute to community development in many areas, basically by providing jobs with additional or partially even alternative incomes for local community members and by supporting economic growth in the community due to the multiplier effect. Despite of that, participatory aspects are largely ignored, and the established CBT structures do not strive for an involvement of all community members and are hence, just another tourism competitor in the growing tourism market in the study area. As current tourist numbers are still on a low level, environmental strains are rather insignificant which is why the contribution to conservation is hard to estimate and beside some cleaning activities along the most popular mountain treks in some poorly managed National Parks, supplemented by environmental awareness-raising due to educational programmes that are usually sponsored by external assistance organisations, nothing much is done. Concluding from that, the present thesis contributes to a further understanding of the impacts of ecotourism and CBT on the community development as well as on nature conservation and furthermore, to the determination of hampering and supporting factors for enhancing the development and conservation potential of these tourism forms.

Mots clés : Community-Based tourism / Ökotourismus / Tourismus als Entwicklungswerkzeug / Tourismus als Mittel für Naturschutz / Kyrgyzstan

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Page publiée le 11 février 2020