Territorial Diagnosis of Ecotourism in Tunisian Mountain Protected Areas: Stakeholders, Positions and Power Relations

  •  Boughamoura Olfa    
  •  Samiha Khelifa    


Since the 2000s, projects and studies have been multiplied for the development of ecotourism in Tunisian protected areas. Despite these efforts, the Tunisian case faces several failures. As part of this study, we aim to provide elements of reflection on a contractual scheme for a sustainable territorial development plan by ecotourism, around mountain protected areas in Tunisia. For this reason, we adopted the strategic prospective analysis revealing and analyzing the relationships between the different actors involved in ecotourism in the protected area. A Matrix of Alliances, Conflicts, Tactics and Objectives among MACTOR actors was developed in a participatory way to analyze the actors' strategies. After doing a triangular analysis which consists in to an inventory of the projects and studies about the protected area of Ichkeul and Cape Negro-Jbel Chitana, semi-structured interviews with personals from different sectors, we invited the actors met on the field or mentioned in the projects in a workshop organized in partnership with the General Directorate of Forests in Tunis in order to identify the different categories of actors and analyze the balance of power between them. This analysis is done through a matrix notation system. Eight categories of actors have been identified: international cooperation, resource managers, politic policy etc. Thanks to the matrix notation systems, we have been able in a participative way to classify these eight categories of actors into four types: dominant actors, relay actors, autonomous actors and dominated actors. Thus, the MACTOR method allowed us to identify actors who played a role in the development of ecotourism projects in Tunisia and to be able to diagnose their balance of power. This allowed showing the multidisciplinarity and complexity of the sector as well as the strong influence of certain actors such as international cooperation and public decision-makers. To conclude, the MACTOR analysis of the ecotourism actors in the protected area of Ichkeul and Cap Negro-Jbel Chitana enters into a methodology of prospective territorial analysis in this area to understand the points that caused the failure of several experiments.

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