The implications of present tourism development strategies in New Zealand
Present tourism development strategies in New Zealand reflect the confidence of Government and private enterprise in the industry's capacity to contribute to the nation's economic growth. Fieldwork in Geraldine, Akaroa and Stewart Island was motivated by a concern for the social impacts of projected tourism growth upon small communities. However, an issues-oriented approach to social impact assessment revealed that communities are more concerned with the obstacles to, rather than the social impacts of, local tourism development. Tourism development continues in traditional tourist destinations to their apparent detriment. Development theories concerned with dominance/dependence relations in the world capitalist system provide an analytic framework to help explain patterns of tourism development in New Zealand. Effects of these patterns of development include socio-cultural and economic impacts in areas experiencing rapid growth; uneven allocation of tourism resources; inequitable distribution of costs and benefits, and under-employment of New Zealand's range of scenic and cultural attractions. This analysis has found that more information is required to assess the social desirability of present tourism development strategies. Alternative tourism strategies may be developed as a consequence. Assessment of the relative social desirability of development options, however, requires some concept of social welfare. Social welfare can be defined only by those whose welfare is being considered. Therefore, this analysis concludes that a participatory approach to tourism evaluation is necessary.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordstourism development; tourism economics; tourism impacts; social impact assessment; public participation; economic impacts; tourism trends; New Zealand; tourism evaluation
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