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Planning for community based tourism in remote areas : bird watching in Arfak Mountains West Papua

Harwood, Sharon Kathleen (2010). Planning for community based tourism in remote areas : bird watching in Arfak Mountains West Papua. PhD Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Harwood, Sharon Kathleen
Title Planning for community based tourism in remote areas : bird watching in Arfak Mountains West Papua
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2010
Thesis Type PhD
Subjects 120505 - Regional Analysis and Development
120501 - Community Planning
150605 - Tourism Resource Appraisal
Abstract The focus of academic planning literature is on urban and metropolitan areas. As a result there is a dearth of literature related to planning in the more remote regions. The purpose of this research is to create an analytical framework to make a coherent examination of the planning knowledge production process applied by a remotely located community that supplies a bird watching tourism product. This thesis examines the relationship between the three types of planning theory in the planning knowledge production process to describe how planning theory contributes to the practices applied in a remote locale.

A mixed methods research strategy was developed to determine the characteristics that are inherent to a bird watching tourism product and those that differentiate the product within a product range. The quantitative results from 714 bird watchers and 51 Tour Operators indicated that the differentiating characteristics of bird watching tourism products are dependent upon the presence of pre development conditions such as governance structures and infrastructure. The qualitative analysis of the decision making process found that the case study community planned for tourism development in isolation to knowledge about tourist preferences and in its stead focused upon the visiting Tour Operators perceptions of market demand.

The results suggest that planning knowledge production is not limited to quantifiable data to substantiate financially competitive development in a remote location. The case study community demonstrated that planning knowledge that sustains the development within the community locale can be internally produced and more credible than quantifiable data. The thesis concluded that the application of urban derived planning theory serves to reinforce a marginalised perspective of remoteness and that a place based conceptualisation of planning for development in remote areas that considers the unique qualities of the people and the environment is required. 
Keyword planning
remote area
alternative tourism
community based tourism
special interest tourism

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