Assessing home inn contributions to sustainable tourism development in Dali and Heshun Ancient Towns, Southwestern China
Sustainable tourism has been promoted around the world as a means to improve community development and reduce the negative impacts of tourism development. Although there are many approaches for residents to be involved in tourism development, operating home inns is an important means for residents to participate in the tourism industry in developing countries because it does not require a big investment to develop a home inn. However, few scholars have studied the contributions of home inns towards the sustainable development of tourism within a developing country context. This research attempted to explore the contribution of home inns towards sustainable tourism development in rural China (in terms of reduced poverty and increased quality of life). It conducted a comparative case study of home inns in two Ancient Towns that differed in terms of level of tourism development and socio-demographic characteristics. The purpose of this study was to understand whether community involvement, especially by local residents (disenfranchised ethnic minorities), in operating home inns in the rural areas of Yunnan province facilitated the sustainable development of tourism. This study will help local tourism officials and industry practitioners better understand how best to further develop tourism both sustainably and equitably in a developing country context.