| || || Kuilamu, Marika|
| || || Operationalising tourism carrying capacity assessment in Fiji : a case study of two resorts and three villages in Kadavu|
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Call No.: pac In Process
Copyright:40-60% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: In order to achieve sustainable tourism development, key stakeholders must understand the concept of carrying capacity and ensure that tourism resources in destinations are used within their acceptable limits. One way of achieving this is through the use of sustainability indicators. Indicators are used as tools to monitor tourism development and provide decision makers with key information relating to the management of tourism resources within a destination. How can sustainability indicators be used to determine if destinations have reached their carrying capacity? What indicators can be used to identify sustainable development? In what ways can strategies be developed to integrate the outcomes of sustainability monitoring so that development is more sustainable? This research examines the impact of tourism on the island of Kadavu. In particular, it looks at the economic, socio-cultural, and environmental practices currently prevailing in three villages and two resorts; the current perceptions of tourism prevailing in the communities being studied and how they are impacted by tourism and the current perceptions of tourists about Kadavu as a tourist destination. The research reveals that the three local communities are supportive of tourism. Tourism is seen as a provider of employment and a generator of income; it has improved their standard of living and has allowed them to see the value of their Godgiven resources. Many would like to see more tourists visiting the island. Tourists like Kadavu as a destination and feel that more tourists can visit the island without affecting the tourist experience. Tourists believe Kadavu should be kept in its present state and many indicated that they would return if they are given the opportunity. Resort and community practices reveal that they are below the carrying capacity level. However, awareness, capacity building and mentoring needs to be conducted. Environmentally friendly infrastructure needs to be put in place and daily practices need to be monitored so that problems are identified early and addressed so that tourism benefits are maximised and negative impacts are minimised. Overall, this study contributes to a greater understanding of sustainable tourism on small islands and how sustainability indicators can be used to operationalise tourism carrying capacity assessment in emerging small island destinations.