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Session1 03 Madina Regnault Keynote


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• Presentation made at the Sustainable Tourism in Small Island Developing States conference, 23-24 November 2017, Seychelles. A partnership of the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation, IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group, University of Seychelles, Paris Tourism Sorbonne (IREST), and Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

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Session1 03 Madina Regnault Keynote

  1. 1. Social Responsibility and Sustainable Tourism in SIDS • Dr. Madina REGNAULT • Head of Department, Department of Tourism & Cultural Heritage, Unisey, Seychelles
  2. 2. Tourism -> 10% of the World GDP and support 284 million jobs, equivalent to 1 in 11 jobs in the global economy (2016 WTTC Annual Economic Reports) Sustainable Tourism -> an holistic approach : Environmental Economical Socio-cultural SIDS -> VULNERABILITY Introduction
  3. 3. Streets of La Havana, after Hurricane Irma, September 2017
  4. 4. What are the main social issues that SIDS are facing regarding tourism development (I) and whose stakeholders are involved in the field of sustainable tourism in SIDS (II)?
  5. 5. I- SIDS Social Main Issues and Tourism Challenges
  6. 6. A- The Touristification of SIDS Paradise Island Resort & Spa, Maldives Bora Bora, French Polynesia Tourism Imaginary of ‘the islands’ Many small islands are seen as a paradise : social construction Tourists wants to “escape from their mundane life” (Urry 2002) Touristic “bubble” Creating enclaves Confronting different worlds -> inequalities
  7. 7. Marina Bay Sands in Singapore Over one million guests each year Many difference of contexts between SIDS Different types of touristification Depending of the level of development - Difference of infrastructures - Difference of capacity building Different sustainability issues
  8. 8. B- Environmental Impacts of Tourism in SIDS Examples (among others) of consequences of tourism development : mangrove forests and seagrass meadows have been removed in order to create open beaches for tourists, tourist developments such as piers and other structures have been built directly on top of coral reefs the increasing numbers of tourists on the beaches have been destroyed and disturbed nesting sites for endangered marine turtles development of cruise tourism in SIDS -> The lack of adequate port reception facilities for solid waste, especially in many SIDS, as well as the frequent lack of garbage storing facilities on board SIDS issues in waste management in general
  9. 9. Thilafushi: the "Rubbish Island" in Malé, Maldives A single tourist in Maldives produces 3.5kg of garbage a day, twice as much as someone from Malé and five times more than anyone from the rest of the Maldives archipelago.
  10. 10. Solutions ? Facilitate responsible management of natural resources Avoiding mass tourism in SIDS (dangerous for the environment but also regarding socio-cultural impacts).
  11. 11. C- Cultural Impacts of Tourism Boom in SIDS Folklorisation of identities “Staging Authenticity” (MacCannell, 1973) Tourists want to see “backstage”, not what is touristified or commodified Cultural Heritage is one of the fields that could/should be developed through Sustainable Tourism : opportunities for new markets Cultural Intangible Tourism -> more Experiential and Creative Tourism (the tourist as an actor) Staging Authenticity : The Polynesian cliché
  12. 12. Cultural Tangible Tourism The UNESCO SIDS Programme develops World Heritage activities 34 World Heritage Sites in the SIDS -> 21 are Cultural Sites and 2 are both natural and cultural Sites promoted not per-se but for the symbolic power they have High recognition of sites symbolizing a sensitive past -> Importance of slavery in Indian ocean and Caribbean Transforming the stigma into a cultural and touristic wealth Sites representing the cultural hybridity of the SIDS Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, Saint Kitts and Nevis Aapravasi Ghat in Mauricius
  13. 13. Ambivalent relation to Tourism : “Tourism developments constitute a major risk for potential negative impact on the property and have to be strictly regulated, and where approved carefully designed and evaluated by Heritage Impact Assessments following the ICOMOS Guidance for world cultural heritage properties (2011).“ Levuka Historical Port Town in Fiji, UNESCO Website
  14. 14. II-Sustainable Tourism in SIDS: A Multi-Scale Social Responsibility
  15. 15. A - The International Recognition of SIDS Specificities in Term of Sustainability 1992 : The SIDS were first recognized as a distinct group of developing countries at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development 2005 : International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, Mauritius 2013 : Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in Islands, Reunion Island 2014 : Third International Conference on SIDS, Samoa
  16. 16. B- Governmental Involvements and Responsibilities Various levels of involvements and actions : Identifying capacities and set a national plan to promote sustainable tourism Passing legislation to promote sustainable tourism Giving guidance to tourism industry stakeholders Implementing sustainable tourism practices Initiating Awareness Campaigns Creating Sustainable Tourism labels
  17. 17. C- The Private Actors from the Tourism Industry Challenges depending on the type of establishments and the type of “touristic experience” that is promoted = depending on the type of niche tourism
  18. 18. D- Tourists’ Awareness 1999: UNWTO, Global Code of Ethics for Tourism by tourists 2005 : a more user-friendly text and format of the leaflet “The Responsible Tourist and Traveller” was prepared by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. 2017 : On the occasion of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, preparation of the "Tips for a Responsible Traveller" brochure. ---- Tourists = Constant need to live new experiences
  19. 19. E – Involvement of Local Communities COMMUNITY BENEFITS : Control remaining in the community Long term viability of economic activities Environmental Quality Natural and Cultural Heritage Promotion and Protection Cultural Viability How facilitate community’s involvement ?
  20. 20. Conclusion “ Sustainable tourism in SIDS will require a change in mentality of all stakeholders in tourism development and management. It is thus essential that awareness campaigns and educational programmes be developed to reach the various stakeholders“ (UNWTO-UNEP International Conference on Sustainable Tourism in Small Island Developing States and other Islands, in Lanzarote, 1998) All the decisions and actions are interconnected
  21. 21. SIDS are depending of tourism Instrumentalisation of tourism Tourism is a powerful weapon that could be use against some governments : boycott of touristic destination From a Top-Down to a Bottom-Up Approach Tourists and individuals are the new deciders - > Importance of social media The power to change everything is on everyone hands, especially is SIDS