Contextualizing the complexities of managing alternative tourism at the community-level: A case study of a nordic eco-village

Prince S, Ioannides D. Contextualizing the complexities of managing alternative tourism at the community-level: A case study of a nordic eco-village. Tourism Management. 2017;60(June):348-356. DOI

To shed light on the complexities of fostering sustainability through alternative tourism, we explore the managerial contradictions and difficulties that arise as alternative tourism is developed in the name of sustainability at Sólheimar eco-village in Iceland. Following a focused ethnographic approach, we establish that those behind the management of volunteers, students and other guests regularly struggle to coordinate these respective groups in a manner that balances economic objectives with those relating to the environment and social equity. This is because limited human resources and strategic knowledge exist to fulfill all the host community’s goals through alternative tourism. The findings reveal the need to conceptualize alternative tourism as a forum for discussion between host and guest over the complexities of generating sustainable development. This highlights the need for knowledge transmission over matters such as conflict resolution, critical reflection and cultural communication associated with the tourist experience at the community.