In this paper, the concepts of economic cycles and tourism area life cycle (Butler, 1980, 2004) are combined to study the impact of institutional support for a destination management, development and rejuvenation strategy. Using case-based qualitative methodology and focus group interviews with key informants like town development officials, tourism directors and other salient supply side stakeholders, like recreation products providers and local theater representatives, the effect of cooperation among local institutions is examined for Abingdon, a small historic town located in the southwestern part of the state of Virginia, USA. In addition, secondary sources like documents related to comprehensive planning are studied to understand demand and supply side systems and future competitive advantage investment and resource commitment for town and tourism development. Findings indicate that collaborative and concerted efforts among local institutions can mitigate some of the effects of economic downturn cycles. Implications of cooperation and coordination efforts by development agencies are discussed and suggestions for tourism development in small towns are offered
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