Stakeholder Perspectives on how Tourism Development is undertaken in Waterloo Region
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Serious academic enquiry for the tourism sector may appear inconsequential, but the business of tourism is complex and fragmented. Tourism is a multi-disciplinary phenomenon facilitating research from a number of different angles and providing many services requiring partnership between public and private collaboration towards delivering an effective tourism sector. Waterloo Regional Council declared its aspiration for Waterloo Region to be a destination of choice. However, there has been no research conducted to understand the viability of this aspiration. Thus, this research understands from a stakeholder perspective how tourism development is being undertaken in the Region. This will provide a preliminary understanding on tourism development in the context of economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. The joint use of two theoretical frameworks helped to identify and manage divergent perspectives of sixteen stakeholders who provided the primary data for this research. The data revealed three major themes through a changing lens that first considers the role of tourism as an effective vehicle of development. This meets with change due to limitations and uncertainties due to constraints that lead to conflicts between stakeholders responsible for its development. Findings reveal that stakeholders confront numerous fundamental challenges, which provide constraints and bottlenecks for tourism development in the Region. This research understands the need for leadership, strategy and effective collaboration between all stakeholders as vital for tourism development.