Stakeholder, Tourism

Azizan Marzuki, Iain Hay, Gareth Butler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


The term “stakeholder” was first coined by Stanford Research Institute in a 1963 internal memorandum to mean “those groups without whose support the organization would cease to exist.” By 1983, this definition was revised to [an] “identifiable group or individual who can affect the achievement of an organization’s objectives or who is affected by the achievement of an organization’s objectives” (Freeman and Reed 1983: 89, 91).

In the tourism literature, stakeholders are typically framed as the “groups or individuals who are associated with tourism development initiatives and therefore can affect or are affected by the decisions and activities of those initiatives” (Waligo et al. 2013: 343). Major groups include tourists, residents, nongovernment organizations, and private and public sectors, each with different and internally diverse interests, needs, and expectations.

Depending on the nature and extent of their connection with an organization or tourism initiative, stakeholders may be subdivided into different conceptual and applied groups. Primary stakeholders are those who require continuing participation and are deemed essential to the success of an initiative, whereas secondary stakeholders are those who may influence or affect an initiative but are not vital to its success. However, the boundary between who is and is not a stakeholder is imprecise: a stakeholder in one place or time may be not be the same in another situation, while others may only maintain peripheral or informal connections. For example, the notion of a destination “community” has become increasingly dynamic due to the blurring of long-term residents, temporary residents (including seasonal workers), as well as second home tourists (Dredge and Jamal 2013).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Tourism
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-01669-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-01669-6
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2023


  • Stakeholder
  • Tourism


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