Community-based tourism resilience in response to COVID-19 in Brazil’s Kalunga Territory

Jennifer Thomsen, Renata Kika Bradford, Keith Bosak, João B. Lino, Lorena Brewster, André A. Cunha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Kalunga Territory, located in the Brazilian Cerrado in the state of Goias, is rich in biodiversity, and is home to 39 quilombola communities providing a unique opportunity for community-based tourism (CBT) that integrates the unique Kalunga history and culture with sustainable livelihoods. Yet, there is limited research in the resilience of CBT to disturbances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in a remote Territory that closed its borders. This study aims to better understand how the Kalunga responded and navigated challenges of COVID-19 and the key factors that influence the resilience of CBT. We conducted a series of workshops prior to the pandemic and qualitative semi-structured interviews with community leaders and community members involved in tourism after the pandemic had occurred. Through the application of Berkes and Seixas (2005) framework, this study’s findings highlight the importance of diversifying livelihoods and tourism experiences, community values and solidarity, integration of local knowledge and culture, and having a strong foundation for shared governance and decision-making. The paper concludes with key insights for enhancing the resilience of CBT in the Kalunga Territory and beyond such as learning from neighboring communities, the role of bridging organizations between local and national stakeholders, supporting a shared identity and vision, integrating traditional ecological knowledge and diverse perspectives, and reducing the dependency on only tourism for livelihoods.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism Geographies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Brazil
  • community
  • COVID
  • Kalunga
  • resilience
  • Tourism

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