The aim of the study is to examine the importance of tourism development in the region of Trou-aux-Biches whilst investigating the benefits and drawbacks of such a development.
Objectives of study
The objectives of the study are to
Assess the perceptions of inhabitants towards tourism development in the region.
Investigate the benefits and drawbacks of tourism development in the region.
Explore the transformation that the region and the locals have experienced during its tourism development phase.
To know to what extent the host community is involved in decision making concerning tourism development.
Contemporarily, tourism industry is a thriving industry and has become a boon for many countries, most especially for the developing countries that have no other reliable and alternative resources other than tourism. Tourism contributes drastically to the local economy, social and environmental aspects (quoted from?!!). Many local communities recognize that tourism can inspire change in social, cultural, economic and environmental dimensions, where tourism interests have had a close bond with the local people (Richards & Hall 2000, Beeton; 2006). Initially, the economic aspect is one of the most significant aspects which is affected by tourism as it acts as an export industry by generating revenues to the host country. A host nation will gain foreign exchange, which will contribute to improve the nation’s balance of payments (Liu and Var, 1986; Dogan, 1987, Gee et al, 1997)
Furthermore, improvements in the social area are equally of vital importance as it helps the locals to get employment in the tourism sector. Thus, it decreases unemployment by creating new job opportunities (Sheldon and Var, 1984). Consequently, the inhabitants also have a better standard of living and advanced income with the tourism activities. Moreover, environment as well plays a fundamental role in the tourism context. The environment is perhaps one of the most vital providers to the allure and magnetism of a destination. Picturesque spots, pleasant climates and distinctive landscape attributes have an essential impact in tourism development and the spatial circulation of tourism movement (Coccossis and Nijkamp, 1995). Increasing for tourism encourages new infrastructure investment (Inskeep, 1991), and communication and transport possibilities (Milman and Pizam, 1988).
However, if tourism is not well planned and managed, it may lead to negative impacts and reduce the efficiency of the positive ones. The benefits received from tourism development many not always be positive, but also has the prospective for negative outcomes at the local level (Lankford & Howard, 1994). Thus, it is usually believed that residents’ perceptions are of vital importance and they should be involved in the crucial planning and policy consideration of the successful tourism development.
Chapter 2: Literature review
This chapter provides a synopsis on tourism development and most specifically residents’ perceptions regarding tourism expansion in Mauritius. Many examples are based on the region of Trou-aux-Biches where the opinions of the residents have been taken into consideration. The literature review will be based on the following topics which are mainly: tourism development, tourism impacts, and residents’ perceptions towards tourism development.
Tourism is one of the largest growing industries in the world (Choi et al, 2008; United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 2009). Tourism has been a great help and a boon to many countries, most especially the developing countries or countries with no alternative resources other than tourism. However in recent years, a change has been observed in the behavior of tourists. Tourists are now getting more and more interested in destination whereby local cultural, ethnics, indigenous customs and the historical heritage have their own importance and where they are managed in a responsible manner. There is no doubt that tourism contributes significantly to major economic benefits of countries, especially in the case of Small Island Developing State (SIDS) countries like Mauritius. Nevertheless, several studies have also shown that tourism industry also contributes to environmental degradation and negative social and cultural impacts (Choi et al, 2008).
Nowadays, tourism is valued as an economic giant not only for developing countries but even for the developed countries worldwide (Chand et al, 2012). Tourism has been proved to be a means of economic growth and job creation in the local communities. The tourism sector does not only generate wealth but also enhance assess to fundamental services, for instance, infrastructures development, sanitation, telecommunication, transport and so forth. The residents’ support has a fundamental significance in the tourism development. If the residents do not approve of having tourists in their particular region, it can cause a huge chaos which can affect the whole community at large. That is why, the whole society needs to come together so that they can work for the benefits of their areas and hence, achieve heights. If seen closely, it is the people of the community itself that benefits enormously from the tourism development. Apart from the benefits mentioned above, they also come to learn about different cultures and languages; they become more confident and their communication skills get better. It also gives the people a real sense of pride and identity of their community.
Even though tourism is beneficial in many levels, particularly economy, nonetheless, there are some strings attached to it. Tourism inexorably brings with it cultural and environmental degradation. For this reason, many tourism organization or hotels itself are taking initiatives to go green, that is, the latter are going towards sustainable development for a better future.
2.2 Tourism development in Mauritius:
Tourism has come out as a chief development industry in many countries and Mauritius is no exception. “This means that an increasing proportion of the world’s population is dependent upon the continuing growth of tourism for employment and income.”(Faulkner and Tideswell, 1997). Mauritius being a small island in the Indian Ocean has been able to make recognition of itself in the tourism world and is considered today as one of the best and appreciated destinations in the world. The tourism industry in Mauritius adds up to 11 % and has been a crucial aspect in the overall expansion of Mauritius (Stephen Moores, 2012). Tourists love the island because of its tropical climate, natural and man-made appeals but mostly because of its exquisite beaches and lagoons and its cultural diversity.
Mauritius has made a reputation for outstanding service in the tourism industry. Since the beginning of tourism in the island which was in 1970, this industry has been expanding accordingly, hence increasing from 18,000 in 1970, to 103,000 in 1977 and then to 656,450 in 2000 (Mauritius Attractions, 2013). After a decade, which is in August 2011, the numbers of tourists increased to 925,000 which is something spectacular in itself for the country (AXYS Stockbrocking Ltd, 2012). The numbers are already reaching 1 million visitors which was the prime purpose of the government. Though tourism is still the third pillar of the economy of Mauritius just after the manufacturing and agricultural sector, it is contributing significantly on the economy and has been also being a chief aspect in the development in Mauritius in general.
Furthermore, the main market of tourists’ arrival in Mauritius is the European, chiefly from France and the Great Britain. “The nearby Reunion French Territory is the most important short haul source market accounting for about 13% of total tourist arrivals” (Mauritius Attractions, 2013). It is followed by South Africa, Germany, India, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, China and Russia (Wikipedia, 2012). During the recent years, there has been a drastic change in the arrival of tourists from the Republic of China as the government decided to diversify the market due to the financial crisis in Europe (Wikipedia, 2012). There has been a 5 % decline in the arrivals of tourists from Europe due to the economic downturn (Central Statistics Office, 2012). Although there has been a slight decrease from the tourists coming from Europe, the tourism revenue attained 30 billion for the period of January to September which in itself is quite enormous despite going through such struggle (Defi Media, 2011). Nevertheless, in 2012 the Bank of Mauritius expected an increase in the tourism revenue from 42.8 billion to 43.2 billion Mauritius rupees thanks to higher arrivals (Bank of Mauritius, 2012).
However, now Mauritius is making a huge attempt to expand new markets so that it can attract diverse type of tourists. “Our tourist industry is extremely eurocentric and, given what’s happening in Europe, we are suffering big-time,” says Gilbert Espitalier- Noël, director of Espitalier Noël Ltd (ENL), a dynamic business group in Mauritius. After seeing one of Mauritius’ main competitors that is Maldives drawing interest in China tourists, hence Mauritius is also trying to do the same. Mauritius is also trying to pull attention on other markets like Russia and India (Stephen Moores, 2012). “But with many west European countries in recession, a decline of 6 percent in European tourists to 279,643 -still around two-thirds of arrivals – was partly offset by an increase of 16.7 percent in visitor numbers from Asia to 51,353”, Statistics Mauritius said.
2.3 Tourism and the local community
One of the most essential aspects of tourism is that it takes into consideration the ambitions and opinions of the local or host communities. Tourism can make a destination popular and well liked if they are welcomed in a good manner and well treated in that particular locality. When a community is implicated in one way or another in the tourism development in a region, it gives them a sense of being a part of this industry.
Moreover, the locals usually are at high advantage of the tourism development occurring in their particular regions. Tourism has been a blessing in disguise for many residents and has brought a radical change in their lives. With the advent of this industry, the lives of people or the country at large has transformed to a great extent, whether it is the economy, job creation, standard of living, infrastructures, foster peace and stability among others. Tourism has helped Mauritius extensively on the economic level at such a time when the country’s other sectors were going through bad phases. Not only the coastal regions are at benefits of the tourist development in their regions but even region like Arsenal which is found in the North of Mauritius, is benefitting of this industry. The village has quite a number of shops and shopping malls where tourists come in masses to do shopping. Hence, it can be seen that tourism helps in almost all the medium and small ventures of the country.
These days community-based tourism (give proper definition of community-based tourism!) is gaining esteem worldwide as an alternative to mass tourism. This new kind of tourism supports a connection with the local residents and the experimentation of diverse sensations. Community based tourism is thus regarded as a means to enhance community development, cultural heritage and conservation. It should also be used to deal with poverty (Equation, 2008). The chief advantages of Community based tourism (CBT) are observed to create jobs, alleviate poverty, pride and satisfaction, community capacity building, revenue for preserving and upgrading the cultural sites. . If community based tourism is well planned and done through the whole community, it can bring on great economic benefits to the community itself. Ultimately, local communities are the chief reasons that enable tourists to discover local habitats, wildlife and celebrate and respect traditional cultures, rituals and wisdoms.
However, community-based tourism is not a cure and cannot be seen as the only solution but it can be used as a powerful tool to achieve areas development (Telfer & Sharpley; 2008). Nevertheless, any community based tourism practices will not be fruitful unless it is carry out in a responsible manner. Community based tourism practices in Mauritius are very limited but exist in Mauritius. One example where community based tourism has been practiced is when there was the construction of Le Trou Aux Biches Hotel, whereby major benefits were provided to the inhabitants such as job creation, new health centre, new post office, new police station and better infrastructure. However, even throughout this practice there were some constraints such as poor marketing access. It is important to highlight that twenty three people, being inhabitants of the locality were unaware of the facilities and benefits that the project were bringing. Those twenty people even objected that an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) license be issued for this project. It was later on after clearing all confusion that finally this project was finally accepted by the whole community. Hence, in this case it can clearly be concluded that a good communication system is important between the development organization and the community.
2.4: The roles of stakeholders in tourism development
“Tourist friendly destination is a concept that provides satisfaction by fulfilling tourists’ wants and needs through the maximization aspects of space, activity and products sans interference and or problems, beginning from a tourist’s place of origin all way to the desired tourism destination” (Anuar, Ahmad, Jusoh & Hussain, 2012). A thriving tourism development relies hugely on exceptional collaboration and communication between all stakeholders engaged in the tourism scheme. Hence, tourism is a complicated social structure.
Stakeholders are any individual or groups who can affect or is affected by the success of an organization’s goals (Freeman, R.E, 1984). Stakeholders can easily influence or be influenced or affected by the organization’s deeds, aims and strategies. Moreover, the stakeholders in the tourism sectors are: residents, local companies, employees, media, or is competitors, government, business organizations, tourists, activists and last but not least, tourism developers. The figure below shows a tourism stakeholder map adapted by Freeman.
Full-size image (10 K)
Fig1: Tourism Stakeholder Map- Adapted from Freeman (Freeman 1984:55)
Besides, it is imperative to include all stakeholders, and most predominantly the stakeholders, in the developing process of tourism. A tourism venture cannot thrive without their supports. Stakeholders in a tourist destination refer tourists (as demand), industries (as the supplier) and last of all, hosts like the local community and the environment (Pavlovich, 2003). In a study by Ritchie and Crotch (2003), “stakeholders in tourism destinations are classified as suppliers and supporting industries, marketing intermediaries and facilitators, members of the public and local as well as foreign customers”.
The most vital thing to bear in mind is to take the consideration of the locals as they can easily damage the tourism destination by opposing to the decisions made by the topmost stakeholders. To begin with, the role of the government is a fundamental one as they are in charge in setting policies and legislative structures in the industry. Government involvement may be essential so as to help in decreasing poverty and also to enhance the involvement of tourism to socio-economic development. The main aim why governments should devise a tourism development strategy is initially to regulate and handle the negative areas of the tourism industry, mainly the negative social and environmental effects. (give examples to what government has contributed to tourism in Mauritius)
2.5: Residents’ attitudes towards tourism development
It has been broadly known that tourism development is a mixed blessing for host communities. Mathieson et al (1982) defines the host community as the inhabitants of the destination area and it is their attitudes which will lead to the success of the tourism industry. Tourism development does not only make profits but it also inflicts costs (Jafari, 2001). Attitudes are described as the mind-set of an individual towards values (Allport 1966, p. 24) and as “an enduring predisposition towards a particular aspect of one’s environment” (McDougall & Munro 1987, p. 87). They are put together upon the perceptions and ideas of reality, but are directly linked to intensely held principles and ethics. Based on this insight of attitudes, researchers understood that residents’ attitudes regarding tourism are not merely the evidences of residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts, but the results of interaction between residents’ perceptions and the factors affecting their attitudes (Lankford et al. 1994).
Moreover, tourism brings considerable social, economic and environmental impacts to local communities and the surrounding areas (Weaver et al, 2002). The nature and magnitude of these impacts have been a major concern for planners, community leaders and social scientists for several decades. Residents’ attitude toward tourism development is a much acknowledged research topic and in the last few decades, many researches have been conducted in this field. Hence, the emergence of several tourism impacts studies and ways to measure residents’ attitudes came into surface. The researchers began to use several resident attitude related attributes to outline perceived tourism impacts by the residents. In this decade, many researchers like Chen (2000), Andriotis (2005), Choi et al (2005), and Wang et al (2008) have studied different aspects of resident attitudes toward tourism.
Furthermore, Chen (2000) investigated loyalty to tourism from an urban perspective in Virginia and three dimensions were used which were benefits, impacts and equity. A twenty seven attitude scale and three dimensions consisting of benefits, impacts and equity were used for this study (Mc Cool et al, 1994). It was found that the residents were likely to agree that first tourism attracts more spending and investment in the community economy; secondly tourism encourages a variety of cultural activities by the local population, thirdly, the overall benefits outweigh the negative impacts and last but not least, tourism provides many worthwhile employment opportunities (Chen, 2000). The results imply that urban residents were apt to believe that tourism creates benefits for their communities from both economic and cultural perspectives. Moreover, respondents were likely to have endorsing attitudes toward the tourism development surrounding their community. Besides, it was found that faithful and devoted residents felt that total tourism benefits should surpass the negative influences whereas the non faithful locals were more alarming about the traffic congestion and land pricing.
As far as Wang et al (2008) studies are concerned, the latter made an investigation from a rural perception. The key structure used in the study is the social theory exchange (Ap 1992) and it was carried out in Washington, North Carolina. The social exchange for this study uses the concept of sociology and psychology known as ‘A Tourism Impact Attitude Scale (Lankford et al, 1994). The perceived personal advantages were subsequently considered and it was found that residents’ perceptions of personal advantages from tourism were intensely attached with their approach toward the tourism industry in a positive way. In the demographic outline where the genders were segmented, it was noticed that male respondents perceived less benefits associated with downturn improvement and occupations linked to arts and cultural features than their female counterparts. For this reason, additional segmentation was carried down with respect to the demographic profile.
As far as Andriotis (2005) is concerned he also carried out a survey on the perceptions of the local people in Crete and their preferences for the tourism growth. In this survey, the perceptions of tourism growth were assessed in three Cretan community groups. To begin with, there were residents who generally rely on tourism employments, followed by non dependent residents and lastly tourism business people. It was found that all of the three groups showed a high degree of optimistic approach toward tourism and tourism development, although if there was some difference of judgments for the types of tourists, kind of facilities and actions deemed helpful for the island.
In addition, there has been a different type of residents’ attitude which is known as Cohort Analytical Approach. This study concentrates upon the transformations in residents’ attitudes toward tourism over a period of time and the study was done by Huh et al (2007). A seven years periods
Tourism is now particularly recognized as a foremost economic contributor in many destinations around the world, increasing value for foreign exchange but is also support for the export businesses and social, environmental and historical resources support and protection. As so many industries, tourism industry has also displayed a rapid growth and has become an international industry. Certain growths are communication technologies, comfort, speed, capacity and price on transport vehicles (Ceken et al., 2008). Costs of tourism and economic advantages reach practically everybody in an area in one way or another. Our quality of life of our citizens is impacted by the tourism economy that we have. (Barry Armstrong, 2004). Tourism impacts can boost an economy’s through various positive economic impacts. Nevertheless, it can also have some negative outcomes that can cause a downfall to a country’s economy.
Positive economic tourism impacts:
Today, tourism is one of the largest industries and offers the most economic revenue. Hence, various countries worldwide attach significance to this industry. In addition, tourism industry is a significant industry for developing, less developed and island countries such as Mauritius itself or Cyprus for instance, as it expands economic growth, foreign currency input, income and employment. These countries, principally island countries see tourism as an economic rescuer and knight in a shining armor and also an opportunity for growth. In other words, tourism offers imperative contributions for development in the country, as tourism is an element of development strategy (Ozbey, 2002). Tourism industry’s extensive involvements to national economy are a known reality. For this very reason, developed and developing countries have attached enormous significance to tourism (Ozturk and Yazicioglu, 2002). Its excessive development and growth rates, considerable amounts of foreign currency inflows, infrastructure improvement, and beginning of new organization and educational experience vigorously affect several sectors of economy, which positively contribute to the economic and social growth of the country as a whole (Mirbabayev et al, no year). A sector such as travel and tourism cannot fail to have influence on the cultures, people and most significantly the economies of destination regions or countries. Furthermore, it is most frequently the positive economic impacts that convince companies or businesses, governments and individuals to get engage with the tourism expansion in the first place.
The largely highly developed western countries, such as Austria, Switzerland and France have gathered a big deal of their economic and social welfare on profits from tourism (Mirbabayev et al, no year). The tourism industry has the aptitude to provide a range of positive impacts, the most vital of which are: increased domestic income and foreign currency, increased employment, improved infrastructures, carrying capacity, improved standard of living, purchasing power increases when the income increases, goodwill of a country increases, community based tourism and so forth.
Tourism’s aptitude to create jobs is one of the chief motives why governments support its expansion. According to a current statistic, tourism provides about 10 % of the worldwide income and provides employment for almost one tenth of the world’s workforce (Mirbabayev et al, no year). As employment, in the year 2009, 1.2 million citizens worked in only Spa tourism in the world (turizmden.com, 2009).When evaluate with creating jobs in the manufacturing sector, service sector employments in tourism is perceived as a comparatively cheap and easy means of making employments accessible, given that the associated start-up expenses are generally lower. Tourism does not only create direct employments but it also creates indirect employments. The direct employments in tourism takes place in areas, for instance, hotels, transport operators, travel agencies, tour guides, government divisions and so forth. While for the indirect employments, there is banking, transport companies, construction and street vendors, For example, in Trou- aux- Biches, there are many salespersons who sell their products on the beaches and many craft markets are also available around in the coastal areas. Through the means of direct and indirect employments, tourism enhances the common purchasing power of ordinary citizens.
Economic multiplier effect:
Tourism not only generates employment in the tertiary sector but it also supports development in the primary and secondary sector of the industry. It is known as the multiplier effect which simply means how many times money spent by a tourist flows or circulates through a country’s economy. The direct economic impacts are those that take place at the front line of the tourism enterprise. Therefore, when tourists spend their money in hotels, restaurants, transportation and communication services and retail outlets, for example, this will create direct income, output, government revenue and employment effects, as well as requiring some direct imports of goods and services. (Fletcher, J.E, 1993) As for indirect one, for example, when tourists spend their money in a restaurant, thus the restaurant will use some of the money it obtains on food and beverages, transports, heating among others. The hotel in Trou-aux-Biches, for instance, buys vegetables from the local farmers who may use some of the money on clothes or fertilizers. The demand of the local goods and products rise as tourist often buy souvenirs and meals which enhances secondary employment. The multiplier effect carries on until the money is ultimately leaks from the economy through imports, which is the purchasing of goods from other countries.
Increased foreign currency and domestic income:
The travel and tourism sector produces revenues and wealth for local councils, private individuals, businesses, voluntary bodies and national governments-from the modest income earned by a couple running a bed and breakfast business in Trou-aux-Biches to the millions of rupees generated by the Beachcomber resorts in the region and the billions of pounds earned from tourism by many countries around the world. At global level, money that tourists spend in a country can play significant role to its balance of payments, for instance, the flows of money into and out of a country. Moreover, tourism contributes to the economy as foreign currency contribution and employment (Ozbey, 2002). Many developing countries are going towards tourism industry as a way of boosting their foreign exchange and hence, spending the money they obtain from tourism to improve education, health and social facilities. Mauritius’ foreign exchange increased to 3046.30 USD Million in December of 2012 from 2990.70 USD Million in November of 2012 (Bank of Mauritius, 2013). Tourism also brings in huge amount of foreign currency for an LEDC (less economically developed country). One of the recurring themes of the twentieth century has been that poor countries have not often found that they do not have enough foreign currency to import the raw materials that they need. For example, Tanzania suffered from a severe balance of payment deficit, so much so, that it simply couldn’t afford to import enough oil to industrialize. What tourism does is bring in foreign currency, which allows LEDCs to import machinery, in order for them to industrialize and commence economic development. Foreign earnings have also been used in this way in Kenya, where $400 million a year in foreign currency comes in, to buy the products and services necessary for development (EssayWriter.Co.UK, 2005)
Besides, tourism speeds up infrastructure and superstructure development. Infrastructure works are water, electricity, roads, communication, transportation and so forth. Superstructure works are accommodations, restaurants, entertainment centers among others. Many countries work to meet the world benchmarks with such infrastructures and superstructure works. For example, in the year 2005, a second airplane was built in Antalya airport where a lot of investments were spent for transportation and telecommunication and hence, Antalya exerted to seize the world standards (Turizm ve Otelcilik Portali, 2009). Another example is the residents also benefit from infrastructure and superstructure facilities, several services such as police, fire brigade, health services (Ozturk and Yazicioglu, 2002). For instance the region of Trou-aux-Biches has seen a major transformation with the new development of roads, renovation of police station, facilities such as a modern dispensary, post office and a bank. It all happened because the tourism industry is flourishing in the region. Same applies for the expansion of the Sir Seewoosagur International Airport where the government is spending billions of money with the intention to accommodate more numbers of tourists. Hence in a way through tourism industry, the country is seeing great transformation which is in a positive way. It is good to remember that infrastructure and superstructure works prepared by giving significance to environment form great costs in the beginning, but these works will revolve as long-term income for future (Aslan and Aktas, 1994).
Negative economic impacts:
Positive socio-cultural impacts
Tourism has several of socio-cultural impacts. This means that social constitution; the cultures and traditions can be influenced, altered, or even totally substituted due to tourism. These socio-cultural impacts are hospitality, culture (art, religions, and historical remains), education and custom and traditions (Kiliç, 2003). There is a strong connection between tourism and culture. For instance, it boosts attributes of local activities such as festival, art and folklore (Ozbey, 2002), supports to safeguard cultural and historical sites. Each and every of these aspects can actually create chaos in people’s holiday. Most particularly, historical treasures, ethnography and archaeological museums in Turkey can be taken as an example (Kiliç, 2003). For example, Istanbul links tourists with its cultural and historical appeals and due to its several attributes, it obtained “2010 Culture Capital of Europe” title.
Furthermore, in order to enhance the tourism industry, enormous capital is spent to protect and conserve the local heritage, to enhance infrastructures, to offer better local facilities which in turn creates better education system, enhanced leisure facilities, and hence a superior standard of living of the local people. The inhabitants become more knowledgeable as they interact with tourists with different languages. Tourism gives appreciation opportunity existence of several cultures to tourists who learn these cult
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