|dc.description.abstract||In the face of increasing numbers of disastrous events, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction emphasised strengthening of resources and capabilities for the least developed countries, small island developing states, and landlocked developing countries to reduce the risk of disasters and to recover after disasters have occurred. To sustain traditional mountain livelihoods of agriculture and animal husbandry, tourism is increasingly considered an avenue for economic diversification, income generation and employment opportunities. Although tourism, when managed sustainably has the potential to contribute to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and support to build disaster resilient communities, it has been always affected by natural disasters in all settings. In particular, mountainous tourism destinations are mostly affected by earthquakes and their cascading hazards. Nepal suffered a massive loss of lives and infrastructure when two devastating earthquakes of magnitude of 7.8 and 7.3 hit on April 25 and May 12, 2015, respectively. Tourism destinations in protected areas and their surrounding areas (mostly in mountain regions) where 60 percent of foreign tourists travel to engage in nature-based tourism and recreational activities were affected and Langtang National Park, located north of Nepal`s capital was no exception.
While multi-stakeholder participation and collaboration is related to effective and sustainable disaster recovery, participation of tourists, major stakeholders of the tourism industry in disaster recovery of a tourism destination, are not adequately addressed in disaster management related research literature. Therefore, this study aims to explore contributions by foreign tourists in post-disaster tourism destination recovery through a case study of Langtang.
This study used face to face and Skype interviews to conduct 46 semi-structured interviews (34 local residents, seven foreign tourists, one Nepali facilitator and four key informant interviews). The study findings show that substantial contributions by foreign tourists in addressing local people`s post-disaster recovery needs in a tourism destination were embedded in their mutual relationship and connection with host families of a community affected by a disaster. The four foreign tourists typologies: ‘active relation tourists’, ‘passive relation tourists’, ‘informal group tourists’, and ‘formal group tourists’ used three disaster aid contribution and distribution methods to meet local recovery needs: 1) direct contributions to recipients, 2) contributions facilitated by a medium or facilitator, and 3) contributions involving both a medium and facilitator. While contributions from foreign tourists alone are not sufficient to address reconstruction and recovery needs of all residents in a disaster-affected tourism destination, this study provides valuable insights into leadership roles of community-based organisations in securing a community voice to understand their local reconstruction and recovery needs and coordinating with foreign tourists and other stakeholders in supporting all local residents to meet those needs.
In a nutshell, diverse means of contribution used by foreign tourists embraced flexibility to achieve the urgent reconstruction and recovery needs through both an equality-based approach and an equity-based approach to aid distribution, which collectively complemented more than formal government led disaster recovery initiatives in a tourism destination. The study thus contributes to strengthening theories and practices based on place attachment and linked to the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework in terms of the role of tourism in disaster recovery.||en