Development in a world of disorder : tourism, COVID-19 and the adaptivity of South Pacific people

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Institute of Development Studies, Massey University
This research about the impacts of economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 on the wellbeing of tourism-dependent communities in the Pacific emerged from concerns shared by Dr Apisalome Movono and Professor Regina Scheyvens – tourism and development researchers in the Institute of Development Studies at Massey University. Both scholars had previously researched how tourism could contribute to sustainable development of communities in the Pacific and they felt compelled to now examine COVID-19’s effects on people who were highly reliant on tourism income. By Easter 2020, most international flights to the region had ceased and tens of thousands of tourism sector jobs were threatened. Anecdotally, the researchers had heard that some people were adapting quite well to life without international tourists by growing their own food and bartering, for example, but they were also aware of others who were really struggling. They thus started to design a research project that would allow them to understand the complex realities of the impacts of the pandemic on those people whose livelihoods were largely based on tourism, and how they were adapting. The focus was on communities in tourism-dependent areas, as other entities in the region were already running separate surveys on businesses impacted by the slowdown.
Tourism, Community development, Pacific Area, COVID-19, Economic aspects, Social aspects, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands