Governance offers valuable guidelines to steer and direct destinations. Recent tourism governance research has explored the role of multiple actors in governing destinations but has not comprehensively investigated the underlying collaborative governance (CG) processes such as face-to-face dialogue, trust-building, shared understanding, or supporting factors such as institutional setting or leadership. The objectives of this paper are to determine the drivers and barriers of CG in a community-oriented destination in South Tyrol (Italy). This aims to reveal the processes that drive collaboration between stakeholders. For this reason, the paper builds on a qualitative case study with 20 semi-structured interviews with key informants. The results highlight that destination leadership is an essential driver of CG. However, several barriers to CG emerged. First, the findings show that institutional transformation led to a lack of trust and increased insecurity. Second, the inclusion of salient actors such as residents in the decision-making and implementation phase is scarce. Third, our findings highlight that a shared understanding of future development directions is missing between stakeholders. The contribution of this paper is a refined assessment of CG in tourism with special attention to the role of leadership and institutional settings. The derived implications target the role of leadership to foster the development of a shared understanding and to embark on a collaborative learning process that provides visible and tangible outcomes in turbulent times.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited