Exploring the potential impacts of tourism development on social and ecological change in the Solomon Islands

Diedrich, Amy, and Aswani, Shankar (2016) Exploring the potential impacts of tourism development on social and ecological change in the Solomon Islands. Ambio, 45 (7). pp. 808-818.

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Pacific Island communities may be vulnerable to negative impacts of economic development, which is often considered a strategy for reducing vulnerability to environmental change. Studies that evaluate potential impacts of economic development in isolated communities may be inaccurate to only focus on asking people to anticipate impacts of phenomena they have had minimal exposure to. We used an open-ended approach to evaluate how communities in the Solomon Islands perceived change, and used this information to anticipate potential impacts of the government's plans to develop tourism. Our results showed mostly negative expectations of change, particularly socio-cultural, which was perceived as being driven by diminishing social capital, foreign influence, and economic development. Despite minimal exposure, locals supported tourism and had more positive expectations of change associated with this activity. Our findings emphasize the need for locally appropriate planning to ensure intended positive impacts of tourism and other forms of economic development.

Item ID: 43812
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1654-7209
Keywords: impacts of change, economic development, social impacts, perceptions, tourism, Solomon Islands, Melanesia
Funders: Pacific Adaptation Strategy Assistance Program, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Australian Government (PASAP)
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2016 22:49
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410499 Environmental management not elsewhere classified @ 20%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440608 Recreation, leisure and tourism geography @ 40%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4518 Pacific Peoples society and community > 451805 Pacific Peoples community and regional development @ 40%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 60%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 20%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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