Increased visitation rates are expected to further impact ecosystems and local communities depending on them to generate income from tourism. We measure how different sustainable tourism management options of such areas in ways that respect the concept of vanua, the Fijian understanding of the connectiveness of the natural environment, humans and traditions, are perceived by a representative sample of potential visitors of the UK population. We then consider some plausible management options and how these may impact welfare. Results show that prospective UK respondents are willing to donate approximately £73 for a management option that enforces medium restrictions by local communities to enter coastal and marine areas in Fiji, so that vanua is respected. A management option that instead denies access to local communities is not seen favourably by prospective UK visitors to Fiji. In terms of time preference, UK respondents, in particular those with previous experiences of tropical areas, prefer environmental projects that restore and protect coastal and marine ecosystems to be completed as soon as possible. Our findings seem to support the introduction of more sustainable and community-based management practices in Fiji as they appear to increase welfare of visitors respecting local traditions and customs, as long as some access is provided to tourists. Donations from tourists or a change in tourism management from a traditional to a more sustainable practice may support the sustainable development of the local coastal communities in Fiji.
- School of Environmental Sciences - Senior Research Fellow
- Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE) - Member
- Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas - Member
Person: Research & Analogous, Research Group Member, Research Centre Member