Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Karla Phlypo

Abstract

Tourism, Barbados's primary industry, declined substantially from the outset of the 2008 global recession, triggering an economic slump in the local economy. The purpose of this exploratory study was to explore the views of 20 Barbadian tourism executives regarding the ability of community-based tourism (CBT) to resuscitate Barbados's tourism industry. The participants included 10 from the government and 10 from the business sector; all possessed knowledge of CBT and worked with tourism for at least 10 years. Arnstein's ladder of citizen participation constituted the conceptual framework of this study. Participants were recruited by snowball and purposive sampling. Data were collected using an interview guide with semistructured interview questions, an audio recorder, and interview notes. The collected data were coded and analyzed using thematic analysis, which involved collating the most cited codes into potential themes and developing thematic maps. The major themes that emerged from the data analysis of the private sector included the use of CBT as a means to solidify social relationships among locals and tourists and its ability to encourage repeat vacations. The major themes that materialized from interviewing the government workers included the need for the education of residents regarding the importance of their roles as stakeholder participants and the obligation by the relevant officials to stem any potential for criminal activity that could occur through CBT implementation. Repeated vacations through CBT could give rise to positive social change in the island by generating increased foreign currency injections and improving the social well-being of Barbadians and the Barbados economy.