Stakeholder collaboration: A means to the success of rural tourism destinations? A critical evaluation of the existence of stakeholder collaboration within the Mournes, Northern Ireland

Emma J McComb, Stephen Boyd, Karla Boluk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Tourism has long been pursued by governments as a means of development in rural areas. Negatively, rural areas have certain characteristics that inhibit their ability to achieve the full benefits of tourism. Consequently, many rural tourism destinations to date have found that the benefits to be gained are over-stated. Stakeholder collaboration has been deemed critical for the success of sustainable tourism. In fact, in the context of rural tourism destinations stakeholder collaboration can be particularly advantageous in addressing specific factors relevant to rural tourism destinations that may inhibit the success of the destination. However, successful attempts to implement stakeholder collaboration have been limited. A growing body of literature reveals that successful stakeholder collaboration relies on numerous elements, which have to be incorporated for the success of the process. The paper reveals how simply attempting to implement stakeholder collaboration is not enough for its success, instead various components need to be incorporated throughout the continuous process, in particular attention is paid to establishing trust across the various stakeholder group
Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism and Hospitality Research
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Aas C, Ladkin A, Fletcher J (2005) Stakeholder collaboration and heritage management. Annals of Tourism Research 2(1): 28–48. Google Scholar
Aslam MSM, Awang KW, Samdin Z, et al. (2012) The obstructions for sustainable tourism development in rural areas. In: Zainal A, Radzi SM, Hashim R, et al. (eds) Current Issues in Hospitality and Tourism: Research and Innovations, London: CRC Press, pp. 625–631. Google Scholar
Bell J, Stockdale A (2007) Towards a multi-purpose model for the proposed Mourne National Park. Irish Geography 42(3): 293–321. Google Scholar
Bell JPW (2011) A national parkless Northern Ireland: The tourism resource paradox and implications for sustainability. In: Brebbia CA, Beriatos E (eds) Sustainable Development and Planning, Southampton: WIT Press, pp. 491–504. Google Scholar
Bramwell B, Lane B (1993) Sustainable tourism an evolving global approach. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 1(1): 1–5. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bramwell B, Sharman A (1999) Collaboration in local tourism policy-making. Annals of Tourism Research 26(2): 392–415. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Briedenhann J, Wickens E (2004) Tourism routes as a tool for the economic development of rural areas – vibrant hope or impossible dream? Tourism Management 25(1): 71–79. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Butler RW, Hall CM, Jenkins J (1998) Tourism and Recreation in Rural Areas, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons. Google Scholar
Byrd ET (2007) Stakeholders in sustainable tourism development and their roles: Applying stakeholder theory to sustainable tourism development. Tourism Review 62(2): 6–13. Google Scholar
Byrd ET, Bosley HE, Dronberger MG (2009) Comparison of stakeholder's perceptions of tourism impacts in rural eastern North Carolina. Tourism Management 20(5): 693–703. Google Scholar
Canoves G, Villarino M, Priestley GK, et al. (2004) Rural tourism in Spain: An analysis of recent evolution. Geoforum 35(6): 755–769. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Carmin J, Darnell N, Homens J (2003) Stakeholder involvement in the design of U.S. voluntary environmental programs: Does sponsorship matter? Policy Studies Journal 31(4): 527–543. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Cassidy M (2010) Community split over national park. Available at: (accessed 25 March 2014).
Clarkson MBE (1995) A stakeholder framework for analysing and evaluation corporate social performance. The Academy of Management Review 9(4): 281–297. Google Scholar
Dernoi L (1991) Prospects of rural tourism: Needs and opportunities. Tourism Recreation Research 16(1): 89–94. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Devesa M, Laguna M, Palacios A (2010) The role of motivation in visitor satisfaction: Empirical evidence in rural tourism. Tourism Management 31(4): 547–552. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dolli N, Pinfold JF (1997) Managing rural tourism businesses: Financing, development and marketing issues. In: Page SJ, Getz D (eds) The Business of Rural Tourism: International Perspectives, London: International Thomson Business Press, pp. 38–58. Google Scholar
Freeman RE (1984) Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, Boston: Pitman. Google Scholar
Fyall A, Garrod B (2004) Tourism Marketing, Bristol: Channel View. Google Scholar
Garrod B, Wornell R, Youell R (2006) Re-conceptualising rural resources as countryside capital: The case of rural tourism. Journal of Rural Studies 22(1): 117–128. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gartner WC (2004) Rural tourism development in the USA. International Journal of Tourism Research 6(3): 151–164. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Getz D (2005) Family in business: State of the art. Annals of Tourism 32(1): 237–258. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Graci S (2013) Collaboration and partnership development for sustainable tourism. Tourism Geographies 15(1): 25–42. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gunn CA (1994) Tourism Planning, Washington, DC: Taylor and Francis. Google Scholar
Gunn CA (1988) Tourism Planning, New York: Taylor and Francis. Google Scholar
Gunn CA (2002) Tourism Planning: Basics, Concepts, Cases, New York: Routledge. Google Scholar
Gursoy D, Rutherford DG (2004) Host attitudes towards tourism: An improved structural model. Annals of Tourism Research 31(3): 495–516. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Gurung DB, Seeland K (2008) Ecotourism in Bhutan: Extending its benefits to rural communities. Annals of Tourism Research 35(2): 489–508. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hall CM, Boyd SW (2005) Nature-based Tourism in Peripheral Areas: Development or Disaster, Clevedon: Channel View Publications. Google Scholar
Hall MC, Lew AA (2009) Understanding and Managing Tourism Impacts: Integrated Approach, New York: Routledge. Google Scholar
Hardy A, Beeton RJS, Pearson L (2002) Sustainable tourism: An overview of the concept and its position in relation to conceptualisations of tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 10(6): 475–496. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haydon L (2007) Right of passage: Northern Ireland is planning its first national business park but a complicated history means some landowners are wary. Available at: (accessed 25 March 2014).
Healey P (1998) Collaborative planning in a stakeholder society. Tourism Planning Review 69(1): 1–21. Google Scholar
Henderson S, Hoggart K (2003) Ruralities and gender divisions of labour in eastern England. Sociologica Ruralis 43(4): 349–378. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hernandez-Maestro RM, Gonzalez-Benito O (2014) Rural lodging establishments as drivers of rural development. Journal of Travel Research 53(1): 83–95. Abstract/FREE Full Text
Hoggart K (1990) Lets do away with rural. Journal of Rural Studies 6(3): 245–257. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Husbands W (1989) Social status and perception of tourism in Zambia. Annals of Tourism Research 16(2): 237–253. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Inform Communications (2007) Report to the Mourne National Park Working Party on the outcome of their public consultation “your opportunity to have your say”. Northern Ireland: Inform Communications.
Jamal T, Getz D (1999) Community roundtables for tourism-related conflicts: The dialectics of consensus and process structures. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 7(3–4): 290–313. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jamal TB, Getz D (1995) Collaboration theory and community tourism planning. Annals of Tourism Research 22(1): 186–204. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Jepson A, Clarke A, Ragsdell G (2013) Applying for motivation-opportunity-ability (MOA) model to reveal factors that influence inclusive engagement within local community festivals: The case of Utcazane 2012. International Journal of Events and Festival Management 4(3): 186–205. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnson A (2009) Northern Ireland: National Park back in the wilderness. Available at: (accessed 25 March 2014).
Keogh B (1990) Public participation in community tourism planning. Annals of Tourism Research 17(3): 449–465. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ladkin A, Bertramini AM (2002) Collaborative tourism planning: A case study of Cusco, Peru. Current Issues in Tourism 5(2): 71–93. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Landorf C (2009) Managing for sustainable tourism: A review of six cultural world heritage sites. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 17(1): 53–70. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lane B (1994) Sustainable rural tourism strategies: A tool for development and conservation. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 2(1–2): 102–115. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lankford SV, Howard DR (1994) Developing a tourism impacts scale. Annals of Tourism Research 21: 121–139. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Lebe SS, Milfelner B (2006) Innovative organisation approach to sustainable tourism development in rural areas. Kybernetes 35(7–8): 1136–1146. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Liu Z (2003) Sustainable tourism development: A critique. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 11(6): 459–475. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Madrigal R (1993) A tale of two cities. Annals of Tourism Research 20(2): 336–353. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mbaiwa JE (2005) The problems and prospects of sustainable tourism development in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 13(3): 203–227. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McAreavey R (2010) Towards a Mourne National Park? Emergent prospects and pitfalls from articulating needs in a local context. Working paper for the Institute of Spatial and Environmental Planning, School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering. Working paper no. 2. Belfast: Queens University.
McAreavey R, McDonagh J (2010) Sustainable rural tourism: Lessons for rural tourism. Sociologia Ruralis 51(2): 175–194. Google Scholar
McDonagh J, Shortall S, Varley T (2009) A Living Countryside? The Politics of Sustainable Development in Rural Ireland, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing. Google Scholar
Murdoch D (2000) Networks: A new paradigm of rural development. Journal of Rural Studies 16: 407–419. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Murphy PE (1983) Tourism as a community industry – An ecological model of tourism development. Tourism Management 4(3): 180–193. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nicodemus DM (2004) Mobilising information: Local news and the formation of a viable political community. Political Communication 21(2): 161–176. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Northern Ireland Tourism Board NITB (2012) Destination Mourne Mountains Tourism Plan 2013–2018, Belfast: NITB.
Organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD) (1991) The State of the Environment, UK: OECD.
Park DB, Yoon YS (2009) Segmentation by motivation in rural tourism: A Korean case study. Tourism Management 30(1): 99–108. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Perdue R (1987) Rural resident tourism perceptions and attitudes. Annals of Tourism Research 14(3): 420–429. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pevetz W (1970) Recreational facilities, agriculture and forestry, and preservation of the cultural landscape. Forderungsdienst 18(3): 73–82. Google Scholar
Pigram JJ (1983) Outdoor Recreation and Resource Management, Beckenham: Croom Helm. Google Scholar
Plog SC (1974) Why destination areas rise and fall in popularity. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Quarterly 14(4): 55–58. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Randelli F, Romei P, Tortora M (2014) An evolutionary approach to the study of rural tourism: The case of Tuscany. Land Use Policy 38: 276–281. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reed MG (1997) Power relations and community based tourism planning. Annals of Tourism Research 24(3): 566–591. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reed MS, Graves A, Dandy N, et al. (2009) Who's in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management. Journal of Environmental Management 90(5): 1933–1949. CrossRefMedlineOrder article via InfotrieveWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Rodriguez P (2007) Los andaluces Y el turismo: Percepcion social del turismo en Andalalucia, Sevilla: Consejeria de Turismo, Comercio Y Deporte. Google Scholar
Sautter ET, Leisen B (1999) Managing stakeholders a tourism planning model. Annals of Tourism Research 26(2): 312–328. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Saxena G (2005) Relationships, networks and the learning regions: Case evidence from the peak district National Park. Tourism Management 13(1): 25–35. Google Scholar
Selin S (1999) Developing a typology of sustainable tourism partnerships. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 7(3–4): 260–273. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sharpley R (2002) Rural tourism and challenge of tourism diversification: The case of Cyprus. Tourism Management 23(2): 233–244. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sharpley R, Sharpley J (1997) Rural Tourism: An Introduction, London: International Thomson Business Press. Google Scholar
Sharpley R, Vass A (2006) Tourism, farming and diversification: An attitudinal study. Tourism Management 27(5): 1040–1052. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Simmons DG (1994) Community participation in tourism planning. Tourism Management 15(20): 98–108. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spyriadis A (2002) Collaboration partnerships as strategic marketing tools of international hotel chains in pursuit of business development and competitive advantage in the global marketplace, UK: MSc Dissertation, Bournemouth University. Google Scholar
Sznajder M, Przezborska L, Scrimgeour F (2009) Agritourism, Oxfordshire: CABI. Google Scholar
The Mourne Heritage Trust (MHT) (2010) Mourne Mountains Landscape Partnership, Newcastle: MHT.
The Mourne Heritage Trust (MHT) (2012) Annuals reports and accounts: April to March 2011–2012, Newcastle: MHT.
The Mourne National Park Working Party (2007) Report to the minister. Belfast: Environment and Heritage Services.
The Mourne Trustees (2007) Report on the outcomes of the Mournes National Park consultation exercise: Independent report of the nominees of the Mourne Trustees. Northern Ireland: The Mourne Trustees.
Tosun C (1998) Roots of unsustainable tourism development at the local level: The case of Urgup in Turkey. Tourism Management 19(6): 595–610. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar
Tosun C (2001) Challenges of sustainable tourism development in the developing world: The case of Turkey. Tourism Management 22(3): 289–303. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Travis AS (2000) Ecotourism versus sustainable rural tourism: Alternative ways forward. Tourism 48(4): 313–320. Google Scholar
United Nations Environmental Programme and The World Tourism Organisation (UNEP and UNWTO) (2005) Making tourism more sustainable – A guide for policy makers. Paris: United Nations Environmental Programme.
Vachan S, Klassen RD (2008) Environmental management and management performance: The role of collaboration in the supply chain. International Journal of Production Economics 111(2): 299–315. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wickens E (1999) Tourists' voices: A sociological analysis of tourists' experiences in Chalkidiki, Northern Greece. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Oxford Brookes University, UK.
World Tourism Organisation (2004) Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A Guidebook, Madrid: WTO.
Yuksel F, Bramwell B, Yuksel A (1999) Stakeholder interviews and tourism planning at Pamukkale, Turkey. Tourism Management 20(3): 351–360. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhou LQ, Huang ZH (2004) Sustainable development of rural tourism in China: Challenges and policies. Economic Geography 4: 35. Google Scholar


  • sustainable tourism
  • rural tourism
  • stakeholder participation
  • stakeholder theory
  • the Mournes
  • Northern Ireland


Dive into the research topics of 'Stakeholder collaboration: A means to the success of rural tourism destinations? A critical evaluation of the existence of stakeholder collaboration within the Mournes, Northern Ireland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this