|Reference : Do local Authorities Face the Dutch Way of Consuming the Ardennes ?|
|Scientific congresses and symposiums : Paper published in a book|
|Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Human geography & demography|
|Do local Authorities Face the Dutch Way of Consuming the Ardennes ?|
|Schmitz, Serge [Université de Liège - ULg > Département de géographie > Géographie rurale >]|
|The sustainability of Rural Systems : Local and Global Challenges and Opportunities|
|School of Geography and Archaeology, National University of Ireland Galway|
|The sustainability of Rural Systems : Local and Global Challenges and Opportunities, 19th Annual Conference of the IGU Comission on the Sustainability of Rural System|
|1-7 August 2011|
|International Geographical Union, Commission on the Sustainability of Rural System, National University of Ireland Galway|
|[en] Community based tourism ; Ardennes ; Governance ; Networking|
|[en] One theoretical recommendation to develop sustainable rural tourism is to base its development on the local resources. This should embed the tourist activity to the local society, avoid an easy delocalisation, and help to brand the destination. The Belgian Ardennes is a close recreation spot to Dutch people. The paper examines the local resources that attract Dutch tourists and the way how regional and local authorities deal with this tourist development. Based on key actors’ interviews and on in depth analysis of the promotional material produced both by authorities and commercial companies, the paper underlines seven ways to sell and to
consume the Ardennes. Due to the lack of entrepreneurship by locals and because the Dutch tourism enterprises know better the Dutch tourists, these enterprises hold a large share of the tourist activities in the Ardennes. These Dutch investments change the destination as well as the local identity. While at the beginning, the Dutch companies developed a tourism based on nature and rural landscape, they diversified their activities up to offland tourism and the “disneyfication” of the places. If this Belgian case study follows more or less the well known “life cycle tourist destination”, the originality of the paper is to stress the difficulties and the opportunities of authorities to regulate tourism development and to maintain the quality of local resources.
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