Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Recreation, Parks and Tourism Resources

Committee Chair

Chad D Pierskalla


Due to its limited scale, sustainable tourism in less developed countries remains a difficult case to study. However, even though these operations are challenged in capacity and financial strength, their efforts and results are worth recognition and consideration. This study evaluates the sustainable tourism organization known as CBT Kochkor, a locally managed and staffed organization whose mission is to assist rural citizens in the post-Soviet country of Kyrgyzstan during its transition to a free market economy. Created under the tenets of sustainable tourism, CBT Kochkor provides income generation opportunities through community employment while minimally affecting the resource's natural environment and indigenous cultures. This study will evaluate CBT Kochkor through semi-structured open-ended interviews with CBT community members in the village of Kochkor, to develop an organizational history of CBT Kochkor and determine their progress towards their sustainable tourism goals. Based on the findings of this study, CBT Kochkor's status, in relation to binding and bridging social capital, is provided in light of current sustainable tourism criteria.;From these criteria, recommendations for program capacity development are provided in correlation to structural and ecological program development. Intended as a developmental resource for CBT Kochkor, this study will also provide researchers, rural communities, NGOs with an analytical tool for small-scale program assessment. Implications are also raised concerning the difficulties of evaluating a small-scale tourism due to small sample sizes. Because sustainable tourism in less developed countries rarely exists on a large scale, the theories utilized in this study require further application to small-scale sustainable tourism organizations in a variety of less developed countries. Questions that arose from this study in relation to further use of this model are (1) is measuring community participation a valid meter for the y-axis? (2) How accurate does the community participation model relate to the capacity elements of a tourism area lifecycle curve? (3) If an organization places off the curve in the results, are there better methods for CBT Kochkor to reorient itself? Based on the study's findings, the following areas merit further research: (1) the salience of this method for a larger study or with sustainable tourism organizations in other less developed countries, (2) methods to validate the accuracy of community participation levels, and (3) a contrast and comparison of ecotourism concepts between the West and the former Soviet Union.