|Title||The practicalities of a learning tourism destination: a case study of the Ningaloo Coast|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Authors||Schianetz K., Jones T., Kavanagh L., Walker P.A, Lockington D., Wood D.|
|Journal||International Journal of Tourism Research|
|Keywords||adaptive management, learning organisation, learning tourism destination, participatory research, system dynamics modelling, systems thinking|
Discusses practical issues involved in implementing the Learning Tourism Destination (LTD) concept within a case study of the Ningaloo Coast in Western Australia (WA)
The Learning Tourism Destination (LTD) concept is based on organisational learning theory, and has emerged from the need for more adaptive responses to complex management environments and to address triple-bottom-line sustainability. Key aspects of the LTD approach include the use of system thinking tools, adaptive management and participatory research to support decision-making. This article discusses some of the results from implementing a LTD approach on the Ningaloo Coast in WA. The framework was shown to increase understanding of the tourism system among stakeholders, created the potential for improved participative decision-making and responsibility within the industry, and provided possible levers for desirable change. The destination model developed within the LTD was also demonstrated to support collective adaptive management and learning processes. There may be difficulties in establishing suitable long-term convenors for LTD projects, beyond that of being researcher driven.
This article provides a case study of some of the practical implications of implementing adaptive learning processes within sustainable coastal tourism planning. The methodology is based on collective learning, continuous monitoring of changes within the system, and ongoing testing of policies and implementation strategies. Articles that assist with practical insights into the implementation of collective learning processes within complex adaptive systems have obvious value for practitioners, as well as researchers.