Trace E. Gale

Date of Graduation


Document Type



Development. Livelihood. Sustainability. Tourism. The post-positivistic approach of this study helped to illuminate the complexity that underscores these four simple words. It helped to fill knowledge gaps through exploration of the lived experience of tourism-based livelihoods within the Aysen region of southern Chile. With an understanding of this lived experience, the identification of more feasible and meaningful development interventions and policies becomes more likely. Results were organized around seven key areas of focus: (1) shaping factors for tourism-based livelihoods, (2) how tourism-based livelihood strategies added meaning, (3) the role that alternative forms of tourism played, (4) tourism livelihood tactics, (5) participant definitions of success, (6) success factors, and (7) vulnerability. This study contributed to emerging theory in a variety of areas including development geography, development theory, tourism development theory, and rural livelihoods studies. It supported the need for better theoretical integration between development and tourism science, by demonstrating the potential for integration of livelihoods approaches to inform tourism research and practice, in a meaningful manner. Based on the findings of this research and a reintegration of relevant literature, a Sustainable Tourism Based Livelihood Framework (STBLF) was presented which can assist researchers and practitioners with future exploration. Additional implications of this research included the potential for tourism to be an exchange agent for social learning; tourism as a catalyst for transboundary amenity migration, and tourism livelihoods as vehicles of transferable human capacity. These areas warranted additional exploration. This study will interest individuals, communities, government agencies, NGOs, and specific projects with an interest in the potential of tourism to be a tool for livelihood sustainability and development within the Aysen region of Chile. Results of this study are not generalizable. The ability to transfer implications of this study beyond the sixteen cases of interest will depend on similarity of context and fit between cases in question.