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Can tourism deliver peace through Corporate and Sustainable Responsibility practices? The case of Kenya and Haiti
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Can tourism deliver peace through Corporate and Sustainable Responsibility practices? The case of Kenya and Haiti

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Sustainable development refers to environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects; not just mitigating negative impacts but pro-actively engaging with these areas with the full range of …

Sustainable development refers to environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects; not just mitigating negative impacts but pro-actively engaging with these areas with the full range of stakeholders, through a focus on corporate and sustainable responsibility initiatives. Given the high levels of mistrust in Haitian and Kenyan societies, this paper examines CSR initiatives in the tourism sector which could engage citizen diplomacy and increase transparency.

Not many academic papers have been adventurous enough to associate tourism development in black countries with other topics like peace, CSR, transparency and population engagement particularly in destinations like Kenya and Haiti where corruption and unequal distribution of wealth are almost part of the tradition. This paper contributes to the body of meta-literature by focusing on tourism as an economic activity can contribute to the reconciliation of the different classes but more importantly transcend the conception of the government being the oppressor.

Starting with some key concepts analysis, this article adopts a progressive approach successively presenting the studied destinations and then a comparative analysis. It seeks the answers one key question: To what extent CSR practices in tourism can bring peace in Kenya and Haiti? The objective is to discover if the impacts of CSR practices are the same in Kenya (the starting point) and Haiti (the extension point). In other words, is there any kind of dilution of the impacts of CSR practices the further you get from the starting point?

Methodologically, this article builds on academic critical literature on CSR practices and tourism development. This study is going to adopt a comparative and inductive approach.

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  • 1. printed by www.postersession.com Peace through Tourism  Peace through tourism gaining ground  Tourism can contribute to knowledge of foreign places, empathy and interaction with other people and tolerance (Salazar, 2006).  Lack of evidence of benefits such as impacts on the poor and precise circumstances under which tourism can promote peace  Tourism may serve as a vehicle for terrorism, colonialism, invasion of culture and consumption of local resources Two streams of thought  Tourism is a way forward for economic growth, poverty reduction and conveyor of peace.  Economic growth and poverty reduction lead to tourism development in a one way direction only (Dupont, 2004) Dupont, L. (2010) Co integration et causalite entre developpement touristique, croissance economique et reduction de la pauvrete: Cas de Haiti. [electronic version]. Retrieved August 28, 2013, from : http://etudescaribeeennes.revues.org/3780 Holden, A. (2013). Tourismpoverty and development.. Abingdon: Routledge Lovelock and Lovelock (2013) Salazar, N.B. (2006). Building a ‘Culture of Peace’ through Tourism: Reflexive and analytical notes and queries. Universitas Humanistica, 62, pp. 319 – 333. Séraphin , H. and Butler, C. (2013). Impacts of the slave trade on the service industry in Kenya and Haiti: The case of the Tourism and Hospitality sector, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 11, (1), 71-89 Visser, W. (2011).Visser, W. (2011). The Age of Responsibility: CSR 2.0 and the new DNA of Business. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Williamson, C.R. (2012). Dignity and Development. Journal of Socio-Economics, 41, (6), pp. 763 – 771.  If a Host:Visitor exchange takes place on an equitable platform where the host’s local knowledge of culture, environment and skills are engaged, the stereotype rooted in the legacy of the slave trade can be broken down.  An endogenous feedback mechanism takes place, positively impacting informal and formal institutions.  Sustainable tourism, C&SR, entrepreneurship and trust are all vital ingredients to fostering a positive position of peace. Accelerates Peace Tourism Accelerates PeacePeace Negative position: Absence of war, violence Positive position: Influences of transparency, material and physical well being, culture, education and stewardship of the environment promoting peace on a local, regional, national and global level Tourism Tourism begins with the construction of a world outlook that renders the world ‘tourable’ (Salazar, 2006). Provides a space where local, national and transnational organisations, communities and individuals exert various degrees of agency and control over discursive imaginaries. Tourism in developing countries (Haiti and Kenya) Many third world countries have chosen the tourism industry as a central development strategy. Tourists from wealthy countries would lead to economic advancement in the poor host countries. Binding growth of a third world country to affluence of Europe and N. America when it is the forces behind that affluence that maintains underdevelopment status quo of Haiti and Kenya too simplistic. Roots of poverty a complex interaction of historical, contemporary political and economic processes which have progressively linked countries into a situation of unequal dependencies and market systems leading to a sizeable minority being excluded and falling into deepening poverty (Holden, 2013). Tourism and peace The way people interact and integrate can lead to institutional change (Williamson 2012). Institutions are endogenous with feedback mechanisms and informal institutions can affect development by impacting both entrepreneurial dignity and formal institutions (Williamson, 2012). Both Haiti and Kenya have a strong legacy left by the slave trade in terms of mistrust (Séraphin and Butler, 2013) Can C&SR initiatives engaging citizen diplomacy and increasing transparency deliver peace in Haiti and Kenya? Is there a one-way, two-way or no relationship between tourism through C&SR, citizen diplomacy initiatives and peace? C&SR in Tourism Responsible tourism contributes to shape C&SR. It commits a tourism company to operating in an ethical way that takes society and the environment into account (Lovelock & Lovelock, 2013). INTRODUCTION KEY CONCEPT ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS RESULTS / FINDINGS CONCLUSIONS REFERENCES PROFILES OF KENYA AND HAITI Kenya Haiti A strong legacy left by slavery of mistrust. √ √ Problematic Host:Visitor relationship Mzungu Blanc Poor development indicators Poverty (% of population) 45.9% 78% Life expectancy at birth 57 62 Rural access to water 52% 51% GNI per capita $840 $760 Unemployment 40% 40.6% % of population 24 and under 63% 57% C&SR to date ad hoc philanthropic or environmental √ Unknown C&SR lacks citizen diplomacy and transparency initiatives √ Unknown Tourism large contributor to GDP √ √ Tourism has been negatively affected by political instability and insecurity √ √ To what extent can tourism through CSR bring peace between locals and visitors in Kenya and Haiti and transcend the concept of oppressive government? To what extent can tourism through CSR bring peace between locals and visitors in Kenya and Haiti and transcend the concept of oppressive government?

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