Tourism and poverty: Perspectives and experiences of local residents in Cu Lao Cham MPA, Vietnam

Authors: NGUYEN HOANG*, Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University
Topics: Tourism Geography, Asia, Qualitative Research
Keywords: poverty alleviation; local perspectives, MPA, Cu Lao Cham, pro-poor tourism, Vietnam
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM
Room: Wilson A, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Although the tourism-poverty nexus has received increased attention, limited research considers the perspectives of people residing (with)in marine protected areas (MPAs). This research examines the views and experiences of local people in Cu Lao Cham MPA, Vietnam with regard to tourism and poverty alleviation. Participation observation and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 41 local people. Results suggest that most respondents are involved in tourism and fishery at the same time. Although tourism is perceived contributing significantly to respondents’ living conditions and to the local economy overall, it generates unequal benefit distribution and thus increases social conflicts. The challenges facing local people in participating in tourism include a lack of capital, market access, and local policies. This study argues that by attending to local people’s perspectives, the future approach of tourism-poverty alleviation may become clearer. It suggests that in the context of MPAs if the local livelihoods can be sustainably improved by tourism, the conservation purpose may be achieved successfully.

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