| || || Kado, Milicent|
| || || Tourism and poverty alleviation in Fiji : examining the impact of Coral Coast tourism on village livelihoods : the case of the villages of Namatakula and Votualailai |
Author: Kado, Milicent
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Tourism -- Social aspects -- Fiji -- Coral Coast, Tourism -- Economic aspects -- Fiji -- Coral Coast, Sustainable development -- Fiji -- Coral Coast
Call No.: Pac G 155 .F5 K33 2007
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Tourism and poverty alleviation have been at the forefront of the international tourism agenda since the early 1990s. As antithetical as the terms appear, the World Tourism Organisation has expressed its determination that tourism, apart from its commercial objectives, can be an important catalyst for economic growth in developing nations, and in doing so, effectively bring people out of the poverty trap. In stating its commitment toward poverty alleviation, the tourism industry has implicated itself in the goal toward satisfying the United Nations primary Millennium Development objective: the eradication of abject poverty and hunger worldwide. However the notion of tourism and poverty alleviation has taken time to be meaningfully absorbed into the agenda of tourism development and national strategic plans. This is in part due to the relative newness of the objective coupled with the fact that implementing development and philanthropic aims within an essentially commercial framework, itself driven by private sector operators and international competitiveness is not obvious. Nevertheless, the dawn of the new millennium has seen a growth in the tourism industry’s awareness of environmental issues, the need to (iv) conserve cultural and indigenous knowledge and a degree of empathy toward host community development issues. These trends have not occurred in isolation but in line with general international development trends which have sought to be cognisant of man’s sociological and environmental concerns in the quest for sustainable solutions to global problems. As an introduction to this study, the theoretical constructs of development and tourism theory and the extent to which the two are linked are explored. In terms of the Pacific region, trends in the last ten years have indicated that tourism earnings have increased substantially reflecting growing international travel due to decreasing travel costs, easier access to travel information and significant changes in all-round tourist preferences. In light of the significant role played by the tourism industry within the Fiji islands, particularly evident in the past decade during which the sector has been a significant generator of economic growth, this study examines the extent to which the effects of the industry are felt at Fiji’s grassroots level : the village community. The impact of rural based tourism developments on two Fijian villages are analysed from a livelihoods perspective. The fieldwork approach was largely people-centred and involved the perspectives of different stakeholders in Fiji. As seen in the conclusion, the results of the study serve to substantiate widely held assumptions that tourism in Fiji not only produces economic benefits at a macro level including total foreign exchange earnings, investment and employment but is also seen to substantially benefit the lives of local community residents. This relationship implies very strongly that in the face of repeated political instability in Fiji, the survival of the tourism industry is crucial in terms of sustaining the livelihoods of many rural communities and preventing them from slipping into poverty.