Tourism, Land Tenure and Poverty Alleviation in Fiji
Source: Tourism Geographies, Volume 14, Number 1, 1 February 2012 , pp. 1-25(25)
Abstract:Tourism has been proposed as a sustainable livelihood option for indigenous communities all around the world. In many of these communities poverty rates are high, and assets such as land may be held communally rather than by individuals. This raises the question, seldom discussed in the pro-poor tourism or tourism and development literature, of whether high rates of communal landownership are, in fact, conducive to sustainable and equitable participation of communities in the tourism industry. The authors examined this question using a case study of Fiji, the most successful tourism destination in the Pacific Islands and a country where 87 percent of land is still under communal tenure. Semi-structured interviews with government, private sector and community representatives revealed that the country has a legislative and policy framework through which landowning communities have experienced real benefits in deals negotiated with tourism developers. However, there exists wider tension between the desire to bring benefits to communities, enabling communities to have greater ownership and control over tourism, and a focus on pursuing conventional growth-orientated strategies. There is a clear need for tourism researchers to pay greater attention to communal land tenure systems and the ways in which they offer both impediments, and opportunities, for development and poverty alleviation.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-02-01