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Purpose: This chapter illustrates the collaborative strategies used by a rural village and community to counteract the rapid decline in economic and social activity in tourism that occurred during and after the recession in Ireland.
Design/methodology/approach: A review of literature focuses on collaborative strategies evident within a rural context, and considers benefits, challenges, inter and intra- relationships including ties, structure and communication. Motivational factors relating to social and economic need are also discussed. The case study is set in context with a brief review of the Irish economic environment, rural policy and rural tourism.
Findings: In a community rich in tourism resources, the economic recession provided an impetus to collaborate, pulling the community and resources together with a view to re-invigorating a tourist destination. Present goals of the collaborative process include the need to regain economic residential value, employment, pride of place and information sharing. These have shifted from the primarily social and altruistic motivations that spurred initial involvement by the community to help each other out of the recession and together contribute to increase rural and community capital.
Research limitations/implications: The short duration of the case study of three years and of the efficient response of the community need to be tested to evaluate whether sustainable transformational collaboration has occurred.
Social implications: In tackling the economic downturn, increased significance should be given to small rural community units to focus on developing internal social capacity which should be established before extraneous links are explored and developed.
Originality/Value: Economic need in developing rural tourism requires social and community engagement.
Gorman, C. and Mottiar, Z. (2015) Economic Recession as a Catalyst to Increased Collaboration in Rural Tourism. Book chapter from Collaboration in Tourism Businesses and Destinations: A Handbook, Emerald, 2015.