Tourism development in transition economies: an evaluation of the development of tourism at a Black sea coastal destination during political and socio-economic transition.

Stoyanova-Bozhkova, S., 2011. Tourism development in transition economies: an evaluation of the development of tourism at a Black sea coastal destination during political and socio-economic transition. Doctorate Thesis (Doctorate). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

The present research addresses a gap in the academic literature on the transformation and development of coastal destinations in the transition economy of Bulgaria. It takes further the tradition in tourism studies that calls for the incorporation of the contextual change in the process of destination development. The purpose of this study was to determine whether, and in what ways, the nature of the socio-economic and political transition has influenced the processes of tourism development of a coastal tourism destination in the period 1989-2009 and if the tourism stakeholders have incorporated and implemented the principles of sustainability in the transformation and operation of the tourism sector, with the associated questions of why, why not, and how. In order to answer the research questions, a case study research was undertaken in the Varna-Balchik destination on Bulgaria‟s North Black Sea coast, which allowed the study of the whole spectrum of developmental processes in the period of transition. Data for the research was collected using a multi-method research approach with a combination of secondary data and primary data gathered using qualitative research techniques including a series of stakeholder interviews and observation. The semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with decision-makers, involved in tourism development in the destination studied at some time over the studied period (1989-2009), from the stakeholder groups at a local, regional and national level. This research employed the path-dependent path-creative approach to analyse the nature of transformation and conceptualise the forces which impact on tourism development on Bulgaria‟s North Black Sea coast. The research findings indicated that sustainability did not fit well into the rapidly changing CEE transition context. In spite of the increasing empowerment of the local communities and their attempts to achieve balanced development by implementing integrated and long-term planning, the primary data revealed growing concerns over the ineffectiveness of policy-making, the increasing urbanisation of the coastal strip and the competitiveness of Bulgaria‟s North Black Sea coast tourism offer. An analytical framework was developed based on the research findings to explain the specific development path(s) of the destination studied. It took into account the political (politicising), psychological (mentalities), institutional dimensions of transition (property rights, social networks and local empowerment), the role of the state (reduced state intervention) and the individual (human capital). Some of these themes (politicising and mentalities in particular) have been largely absent from previous research on tourism in transition and from the wider tourism studies.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctorate)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Subjects:Social Sciences > Tourism
Group:School of Tourism
ID Code:18828
Deposited By:Mrs Jill Burns
Deposited On:10 Nov 2011 10:53
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 15:50

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