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Social entrepreneurship and tourism in Cambodia: advancing community engagement


Dahles, H and Khieng, S and Verver, M and Manders, I, Social entrepreneurship and tourism in Cambodia: advancing community engagement, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28, (6) pp. 816-833. ISSN 0966-9582 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/09669582.2019.1706544


Tourism scholars agree that social entrepreneurship has an important role to play in the adoption of financially sustainable strategies to achieve social aims and the responsible development of tourism. Yet little is known about how tourism-based social enterprises (TSEs) engage with local communities. This article aims to fill this void by addressing the question of what approaches to community engagement in tourism development are being encouraged by social entrepreneurship. The study focuses on TSE-led tourism initiatives in Cambodia where tourism is a key revenue sector. Based on case-study methodology, this article develops a typology of three distinct manifestations of TSEs showing varying levels of community engagement: (1) the cash cow, (2) community empowerment and (3) inclusive business model. The findings demonstrate that across the three models, TSEs contribute to new ways of ensuring that the poorest segments of society receive a greater share of benefits. This typology also captures the diversification of community engagement away from the established role of NGOs to a variety of independent social enterprises. However, due to fluctuations in tourist arrivals and lack of structural support for TSEs, it remains to be seen whether this transformation will advance the sustainable development of Cambodian communities.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:social entrepreneurship, sustainable development, community-based tourism, local participation, Cambodia
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Tourism
Research Field:Impacts of tourism
Objective Division:Commercial Services and Tourism
Objective Group:Tourism services
Objective Field:Economic issues in tourism
UTAS Author:Dahles, H (Professor Heidi Dahles)
ID Code:146113
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-08-20
Last Modified:2021-09-27

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