Building Negotiated Agreement: The Emergence of Community Based Tourism in Floreana (Galapagos Islands)


"Community Based Tourism (CBT) is a polysemic term referring to local involvement in the planning, development, and management of tourism. While there is no direct correspondence between CBT and positive economic and conservation outcomes, CBT is a frame widely used to reconcile tourism development with social-environmental goals. Building upon the case of the island community of Floreana, within the Galápagos National Park (GNP) in Ecuador (where tourism activities have introduced major environmental problems), this paper analyzes the emergence of CBT as part of multi-level processes of institutional crafting. Efforts to develop a new model of tourism management in Galápagos, strongly shaped by a particular community, offer a quasi-experimental case of rule-crafting aimed at developing a participatory, multi-level governance system. Our approach integrates ethnographic fieldwork and discourse analysis with the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework to identify key elements associated with the process of implementing CBT. We discuss three points of broader relevance: the inter-dependence of regional and local levels, the importance of considering worldviews and the intended outcomes envisioned by different actors, and the importance of coherence in rule-crafting (across levels and types of rules) defining control and regulation of CBT development and of tourism operations."



Galapagos, rules and norms, community based tourism, institutional analysis