Ageing in Rural Tourism Destinations
Whilst ageing is not a new phenomenon, the current increase in ageing demographics worldwide raises some general issues of health and well-being, accessibility to and the provision of services and infrastructure to sustain the best quality of life for the elderly. This is particularly pertinent in areas that are increasingly popular with tourists, as opportunities or conflicts may arise. This project addresses the challenge of aging in rural tourism destinations. Through international comparative case studies in China and Australia, the project will explore the need for strategic planning that targets the elderly and tourism. The main goal is to identify the health and well-being co-benefits to the elderly that could be derived from tourism, and produce a new responsive urban and social planning model that will inform evidence based decision making.
This research is conducted by A/Prof Kaine Dupre and A/Prof Anne Roiko
Tourism and Peace
The global tourism industry is concerned about safety and security for tourism, and key players such as the World Travel and Tourism Council highlight the industry’s recognition of the important nexus between tourism and peace. Prof Susanne Becken and Prof Fabrizio Carmignani have researched the relationship between tourism and peace, in particular they examined the hypothesis of whether a larger inflow of tourists makes conflict less likely. The focus of their research was on the impact of tourism on the probability of civil conflict. The research will be published shortly in Annals of Tourism Research with the title “Does tourism lead to peace?”. Here is the abstract.
Abstract: Tourism is often heralded as a force for peace, however, empirical research to confirm this suggestion is scant. To address this gap, this research integrates several datasets on conflict and tourism to examine whether a larger inflow of tourists makes civil conflict less likely. Several theoretical arguments of the role of tourism alongside other peace determining factors are presented. These inform the development of a probit model, and several specifications, that tests the hypothesis based on data from 126 countries and for the years from 1995 to 2010. The findings provide strong evidence that increasing tourism arrivals have a stabilising effect and increase the chance of peace. Implications for tourism and its role in the process of development are discussed.
Leadership in Sustainable Tourism Education for Economic Growth and Women’s Empowerment in Cambodia
Tourism is a major source of income and engine of economic growth in Cambodia where it is the country’s second largest industry. In 2014, about 4.5 million foreigners visited Cambodia (generating US$2.7 billion). Tourism poses challenges that often outweigh the benefits such as income leakages, dislocation of local communities for the purpose of resort development, environmental degradation and human trafficking, affecting in particular women and children.
The solution to such problems is sought in advancing approaches to tourism that contribute to sustainable development. Initiatives in community-based, agri-tourism and eco-tourism have the potential of providing an income to rural population (in particular women), diversifying income opportunities from agriculture and diffusing the rural exodus to the city. Such initiatives are deemed successful only if supported by key stakeholders including government, private sector organisations and institutes of higher education. This project aims to initiate dialogue and collaboration among key stakeholders through intensive training delivered by academics and tourism professionals, exposure to effective policies, best practices and expert advice in order to advance education in sustainable and inclusive form of tourism development.
This project is an initiative by Professor Heidi Dahles and Dr Sothy Khieng (CDRI) and part of a collaborative effort with prominent Cambodian stakeholders among which the relevant government bodies and the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
Business resilience in times of growth and crisis: The local tourism sector of Yogyakarta
Incidents of natural disaster, economic recession and internal turmoil pose major challenges to local tourism in developing countries. To address such challenges, this article investigates how small-scale tourism businesses in particular respond to crises and what resources these businesses employ to build resilience in a unpredictable business environment.
The data underlying this project have been generated in a longitudinal study of small-scale businesses in the non-star-rated accommodation sector in the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Based on a qualitative study comprising ethnographic methods, the research reveals that local tourism businesses show remarkable resilience during a decade of crisis affecting the Indonesian tourism industry. This resilience has to be understood in terms of its embeddedness in a package of livelihood strategies.
This ongoing project is an initiative by Professor Heidi Dahles and Dr Titi Susilowati Prabawa, Christian University Satya Wacana. The project is a collaborative effort with Christian University Satya Wacana.
The role of stakeholders in maintaining sustainable tourism development at Labuan Bajo, Indonesia
Labuan Bajo, located in Nusa Tenggara Timur, is a home of the Komodo dragons, the world’s rarest and largest lizards. The presence of this unique species make Komodo Island a World Heritage Site. While the central government is trying to catch this momentum by developing Labuan Bajo as an international tourist attraction, problems arise because of lacking local readiness to host visitors and cope with the rapid changes that large visitor numbers bring about.
Sustainability in Labuan Bajo’s tourism development becomes a crucial issue. This research investigates the challenges that local people facing due to rapid tourism growth. Particular attention will be paid to the diverging roles of stakeholders in tourism development in Labuan Bajo and the relationship management employed by stakeholders to maintain sustainability in tourism development.
This research is conducted by Mr Aldi Lasso and supervised by Professor Heidi Dahles, Dr Peter Woods and Dr Titi Susilowati Prabawa.
Na Irevurevu. Exploits, Resilience and Tourism Development in Vatuolalai Village, Coral Coast, Fiji.
It is suggested that once development begins in an area, its Social and Ecological Systems (SES) endure varying patterns and extent of change. Such changes depend on the livelihoods activities of people as well as the adaptive and reflexive capacities of the SES components. Since tourism development in Fiji relies largely on indigenous land, customary marine resources, culture and indigenous Fijian communities to function, indigenous people are by default, major stakeholders.
As a result, indigenous Fijian communities are exposed to many opportunities and challenges that require understanding and proper management. This research is an attempt at improving understanding of indigenous Fijian SES, their links to livelihoods activities and the adaptivity of communities. Essentially it endeavours to shed light on if and how the people of Vatuolalai village recognize, exploit and create opportunities that arise as a result of development and participation in tourism. This research will review the literature on tourism development, sustainable livelihoods, resilience and tourism in Fiji, highlight significant gaps and raise the key questions that will guide this empirical research. This study will employ ethnographic techniques, use localized paradigms and utilize a bundle of predominantly qualitative methods that are tailored specifically to suit the indigenous Fijian context. Ultimately this research will shed light on the experiences, adaptivity and the resilience of villagers in the hope of contributing to knowledge and offering directions for the integrative planning of indigenous Fijian communities in the area of tourism development.
This research is conducted by Mr. Api Movono and supervised by Professor Heidi Dahles and Professor Susanne Becken. The project is a collaborative effort with the University of the South Pacific.
Effectiveness of regional organisations in achieving development-related policy objectives through sustainable tourism: Evidence from Samoa
Tourism’s capacity to contribute to international development-related policy objectives, particularly in relation to the contemporary global agenda expressed in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), remains an incipient field of study and one that has hitherto not been sufficiently informed by comparative policy analysis. This thesis will identify the development-related policies of South Pacific regional organisations which are directly and indirectly involved in supporting the tourism sector in Samoa, and evaluate their effectiveness in achieving those goals.
The investigation will identify, review and develop synergies between three areas of research that are seldom bought together in scholarly publications, namely international development, tourism within the development paradigm and policy and planning for tourism.
This research is conducted by Mr Steve Noakes and supervised by Professor David Weaver and Associate Professor Laura Lawton.