Tourist sector perceptions of natural hazards in Vanuatu and the implications for a small island developing state

Kirstie Méheux*, El Parker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tourism is a popular catalyst for socio-economic development in many small island developing states (SIDS). However, exposure to damaging natural hazards in these nations exacerbates the tourism industry's intrinsic vulnerabilities. The reliance of SIDS on the income-multiplying benefits of tourism make the sustainability of the industry imperative, but the vulnerability of tourism to natural hazards endangers this sustainability. The perception of natural hazards held by tourism managers may influence the adoption of appropriate mitigation and preparedness measures and thus, decrease vulnerability and increase sustainability. Accordingly, this paper presents the method and findings of a pilot study into the accuracy of natural hazard perceptions held by members of the tourism industry in Tanna, an island in the South West Pacific SIDS of Vanuatu. The study finds that perceptions are generally accurate within the industry. However, there is scope for improvement in the prevalence of accurate perceptions. It is recommended that this be achieved through the development and implementation of a comprehensive natural hazards awareness strategy, details of the format and structure of such a strategy are detailed within.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-85
Number of pages17
JournalTourism Management
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

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