The tourism-disaster-conflict nexus: Insights from Southeast Asia and the South Pacific Event as iCalendar

(Development Studies, School of Social Sciences)

22 September 2017

2 - 3pm

Venue: Pat Hanan Room, CLL Building (207-501)

Professor Andreas Neef | Development Studies 

Tourism crises In Southeast Asia and the South Pacific have been regularly precipitated by natural disasters, as exemplified by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that devastated many coastal tourist destinations or the recent cyclones Pam and Winston that ravaged small island countries in the South Pacific. At the same time, the tourism industry has often been assigned a pivotal role in the reconstruction and recovery efforts. Prospective tourists have been lured into supporting post-disaster rehabilitation simply through visiting disaster-affected areas. Yet prioritising the tourism sector in the recovery process may have unintended consequences: less touristic areas that have been severely affected by the disaster may receive less humanitarian relief support. Disaster recovery processes in the tourism industry can also be highly uneven, as multinational hotel chains tend to recover more swiftly and increase both their market share and their control over important resources. Insecure customary land rights of ethnic minority groups and indigenous people may be prone to exploitation by opportunistic tourist operators in the aftermath of a disaster. In this talk, I will present first findings from a collaborative and comparative research project that investigates the interface of tourism, disaster and conflict in Fiji, Vanuatu and Thailand.

Andreas Neef is Professor in Development Studies at the University of Auckland. His current research focuses on natural resource governance with particular emphasis on the ethics and politics of land grabbing, development-induced displacement, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and post-disaster response and recovery in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.


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