Thanks to its pandemic-induced pause, travel & tourism has an opportunity to reinvent itself to better serve the aspirations of destination communities, according to Apisalome Movono, Regina Scheyvens, and Sophie Auckram. The Massey University researchers draw on their ongoing study of five Pacific Island states to argue why the industry should be more attuned to hosts’ interests. It’s a “Good Tourism” Insight.
A lot of the small island developing states in the Pacific — like those in the Caribbean, and Atlantic and Indian Oceans — are heavily reliant on tourism as it contributes to a significant amount of their GDP. The Cook Islands, for example, generates 85% of its GDP from tourism, and in Vanuatu, tourism accounts for one in every three jobs. Fiji alone has to date lost USD 2 billion in GDP due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a huge dent in the budget of a country of less than 1 million people.
Major shocks like cyclones regularly disrupt tourism, but COVID-19 has completely stopped international tourism in much of the Pacific. While island resorts in some parts of the world re-opened early to tourists, with governments gambling on balancing health and economic risks, tourism-dependent Pacific states such as Samoa and Cook Islands have kept their borders closed. More travel ‘lanes’ or ‘corridors’ have been opening in Fiji and Vanuatu, allowing a trickle of international visitors.
Many Pacific peoples have thus faced ... For the full "GT" Insight, please visit https://goodtourismblog.com/2021/03/what-do-the-people-want-reimagining-pacific-island-travel-tourism/