Understanding Partnerships for Protected Area Tourism: Learning from the Literature
Laing, J and Wegner, A and Moore, S and Weiler, B and Pfueller, S and Lee, D and Macbeth, J and Croy, G and Lockwood, M, Understanding Partnerships for Protected Area Tourism: Learning from the Literature, CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd (2008) [Contract Report]
as the way forward in dealing with the variety of interests involved and ensuring that sustainability goals are
pursued. Previous tourism partnership research has not made the most of opportunities to consult related
literature from a broad range of disciplines and use associated theoretical developments as a basis for analysis.
This technical report addresses this gap through a multi-disciplinary review of partnerships research to reconcile
the often multifarious definitions of partnership and allied concepts, such as collaboration and cooperation, and
the various meanings given to success, as well as to identify factors which might impact upon partnership
success or failure. Eight theoretical perspectives are explored, covering social exchange theory, adoption and
diffusion of innovation, environmental dispute resolution (EDR), social representation theory, network theory,
stakeholder theory, social capital theory and the institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework.
Theoretical constructs offering the greatest potential for framing future research into successful tourismprotected
area partnerships were social capital theory and EDR, with application of the IAD framework to cover
any remaining gaps. This review suggests that it is important to consider as broad a range of factors as possible,
not only those that are easy to measure. As such, factors such as administrative setting and the availability of
resources, which are under-represented in the partnerships research, but intuitively seem to play a part in
partnership success, should be considered. These findings provide a robust platform for further research that will
be progressed as part of the broader study of which this review formed a foundational part.