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Social entrepreneurship and tourism in Cambodia: advancing community engagement

Dahles, H ORCID: 0000-0003-1239-1718, Khieng, S, Verver, M and Manders, I 2020 , 'Social entrepreneurship and tourism in Cambodia: advancing community engagement' , Journal of Sustainable Tourism, vol. 28, no. 6 , pp. 816-833 , doi: 10.1080/09669582.2019.1706544.

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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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Dahles, H and Khieng, S and Verver, M and Manders, I
Keywords: social entrepreneurship, sustainable development, community-based tourism, local participation, Cambodia
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Sustainable Tourism
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0966-9582
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/09669582.2019.1706544
Copyright Information:

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

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