Wednesday 7
Resilience, tourism and protected areas
Meriem Bouamrane
› 11:30 - 12:30 (1h)
Ecotourism's evaluation and resilience in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal
Nabin Baral  1@  
1 : University of Washington
Anderson Hall, Seattle -  États-Unis

Ecotourism has been promoted to reconcile seemingly conflicting goals of tourism development and nature conservation. The article's goal is to evaluate ecotourism in the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA), Nepal and explore its resilience to the decade long (1996-2006) Maoist insurgency. Drawing upon more than 10 months of field research, participant observation, semi-structured surveys and content analysis of 21 annual reports, ecotourism was evaluated by organizing ACA's programs and activities under the four major themes: local capacity building, waste management, education, and infrastructure development. Of which local capacity building appeared to be most prominent. Visitor numbers declined during the insurgency, but the ecotourism enterprise managed to survive mainly due to self-organization of local tourism entrepreneurs. Capacity building and diversification of livelihoods facilitated self-organization. Following the insurgency, visitor numbers rebounded and the ecotourism system is continuing to develop and evolve. As such, ecotourism was resilient to the insurgency, but how it will respond to slow-changing destabilizing forces can provide more insights into its resilience in general. 

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