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Gouvernance et management local des villes et communes touristiques : le cas français

Année de publication2003
Auteur(s)Françoise Gerbaux
Co-auteursEmmanuelle MARCELPOIL, Cemagref, Grenoble
This publication deals with the evolution of management know-how in French resorts, and mainly in alpine ski-resorts. Many uncertainties which currently affect ski-resorts are related to difficulties in local management. Tourist operators have to adapt themselves to an always changing market. Among them, the cultural and professional variety is high, especially in term of economic capacities, competencies, level of cooperation within the ski-resort system, etc.. Moreover the involvement level and modes of the local population in tourist development are very unequal. Taking into account these contextual elements, the publication underlines the relevancy of the notion of governance to analyse the social and political relations within instable touristic localities. The authors underline the following elements: - Local management, and governance in particular, do not only on depend on “quantitative” indicators, as the density of population, the number of various public service offices, increase or reduction in the number of employment, etc. Then, the touristic and economic performance of a local community does not guarantee its total dynamism, and does not preserve it from deep uncertainties. - The understanding and the activation of the socio-economic potentials of local development must integrate more “qualitative” information, especially about networks and interpersonal relations working at a local level. - These complex relations (formal and abstract) are thus dealing with the local political game (with its own temporalities but a major influence on governance however), with financial aspects, and with patrimonial strategies (land or estate patrimony). - On this subject, attention must be kept on the influence of “family clans” on the land management. A too strong attitude contributes to exclude the newcomers, by limiting their installation capacity due to the impossibility to buy a plot, a house or a shop. All things considered, the paper stresses the hard but necessary construction of a “collective actor”, composed of public and private actors (local people, ski-resort managers, local public authorities, etc.), bounded by a common minimum reference frame, a common minimum sense of place. Moreover, the concentration of local actors increases their capacity of negotiation, and first, their capacity to provoke local governance. Their position in local governance processes is consequently stronger and their legitimacy is reinforced. Finally, although this article is based on the example of ski-resorts, it appears that three components must be taken into account for setting-up local governance processes in rural and touristic localities : genesis and history of the place, its development, its territorial basis.
Communication pour les Rencontres internationales Démocratie et Management local - Québec, 20-23 mai 2003, 11p.