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‘Development in a world of disorder: Tourism, COVID-19 and the adaptivity of South Pacific people’

21 October @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Development Studies Programme Seminar Series 2020

‘Development in a world of disorder: Tourism, COVID-19 and the adaptivity of South Pacific people’
– Professor Regina Scheyvens and Dr Apisalome Movono, Development Studies, Massey University

This presentation will share preliminary findings from a survey and interviews conducted between June and September 2020 in tourism-dependent communities across Fiji, Samoa, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

The purpose of the research was to determine how Pacific peoples were reacting and adapting to the massive slowdown of tourism caused by COVID-19. Understanding the complex and adaptive nature of Pacific Island communities is a growing yet relatively unexplored area in the context of tourism. Tourism development and its disturbance by COVID-19 have influenced shifts within the relationships and processes occurring within Pacific communities, leading to a range of socio-cultural and economic changes. In particular, the cessation of tourism operations in established tourism areas has created shifts in livelihood approaches, behaviours, and how people interact with and relate to their social, cultural and natural environment.

Just as our research participants have had to adapt to a dramatic change in circumstances with the earnings of many households being reduced by 50-75 per cent, as researchers we had to adapt to our inability to travel to collect data. We will explain the methods employed including recruitment of 6 research associates based in the countries of interest, and embedding technology within the social context, to show how we were able to gather useful data. Our presentation will argue that although COVID-19 has had far-reaching socio-economic consequences, such shocks also harness complex responses within Pacific communities, creating changes and interventions that have enabled many people to effectively adapt and respond to the pandemic.


21 October
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:




Massey University

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