Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Business

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

First Advisor

Professor Ross Dowling

Second Advisor

Dr Dale Sanders

Abstract

Community-based tourism (CBT) provides an attractive alternative to mass tourism. In Bali, Indonesia, it is a potentially significant contributor to tourism development. The aim of this research was to obtain a greater understanding of CBT through an examination of relevant issues, and the perceptions of the host communities and tourists regarding CBT products. This study used a mixed methods approach to collect data from the host communities and tourists who visited the villages in Bali.

Five main elements of CBT products came to light during a review of the literature in the preliminary phase of the research. Subsequently, aspects of authenticity and change for development as important features of sustainable CBT products were identified and added to the study during the qualitative phase of the research. At the conclusion of Research Phase 1, the qualitative stage, four additional elements had been identified, making a total of 10. These 10 CBT product elements were then further subdivided and formed the variables for the data collection instrument used in Research Phase 2, the quantitative study.

The Research Phase 1 qualitative results indicate that the CBT tourists clearly identified their expectations of CBT products and were supportive of a sustainable industry to preserve the villagers‟ way of life and the rural environment. However, they were also concerned about safety and hygiene. The Research Phase 2 quantitative results consistently show similar findings. Furthermore, a significant number of tourists expressed a willingness to use and consume products and services provided by the community.

As part of the research, two types of CBT tourists were identified – „overnighters‟ and “daytrippers‟. Both groups sought the same type of attractions, albeit in different degrees of intensity, yet they required different types and standards of services and facilities. The overnighter group intermingled, they wanted to experience the local culture and lifestyle, and were more accepting of the local amenities. By contrast, the daytrippers experienced a snap-shot of village life while on excursions away from their resort hotel accommodation.

The Research Phase 1 qualitative results show that the host communities were aware ofthe intrinsic value of the tourist attractions in their villages, but lacked the confidence to share them with visitors. The community respondents in this phase of the study also demonstrated limited awareness of tourists‟ needs. The Research Phase 2 quantitative results indicate an adequate understanding of CBT features, but enhancements were needed in some areas, such as product packaging, information and narration, and service provision.

Tri hita karana (THK) is a Balinese life value that has been adopted as an underpinning principle of a sustainable approach to tourism development in Bali. According to the principles of THK, a harmonious balance within and between the three relationships of a human to Universe-spirit, a human to humans, and a human to nature is necessary for human contentment. For the CBT product match, all three THK relationships were „represented harmoniously‟, rather than „represented equally‟. It is also shown that the components of both the Balinese THK and the global sustainability values are represented in the CBT products.

The overall survey results indicate that the host communities and tourists had considerable agreement about CBT product items, with an average rating of most variables for both groups of around 2 (moderate agreement). This high level of concurrence may be due to a majority of respondents, who are sustainable tourists, and the host communities‟ innate connection with THK principles, thereby slanting the results towards sustainability in both groups. The results of this research provide a greater understanding of the nexus of host communities‟ and tourists‟ perceptions, which can be used as guidelines for future CBT product developments.

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