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Session8 01 Frederick Thomas


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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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Session8 01 Frederick Thomas

  1. 1. Sustainable Tourism as a Tool for Employment and Reducing Poverty in SIDS Dr. Frédéric Thomas Associate Professor IREST/EIREST – University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  2. 2. ….but why do so-called “sustainable tourism projects” fail or succeed? Dr. Frédéric Thomas Associate Professor IREST/EIREST – University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  3. 3. Criticism of the “Pro-poor impact” of the tourism sector 1. Lack of efficiency of unrestrained economic growth to reduce poverty in parallel to the depletion of environmental resources (Woodward and Simms, 2006) 2. Lack of evidence demonstrating the tourism sector’s potential in terms of poverty alleviation (Goodwin 2006, Harrison and Schipani 2007, Scheyvens 2007, Plüss and Bakes 2002 cited in Scheyvens 2009) Tourism as a tool for poverty reduction?
  4. 4. Who are the poor? Poverty background for tourism workers based on the income per head in the household/family (Conway) Likelihood to come from a poor background (PI) Likelihood to be poor (3) Cons. estimate < national consumption poverty line < US$ 1.25 per person per day (<US$ 38 per month) < US$ 2 per person per day (<US$ 60 per month) Poverty headcount in commune / province of origin (very poor and poor or < US$ 1.25) Poverty headcount in commune / province of origin (near poor or < US$ 2) Monthly salary < National poverty line Monthly salary < US$ 1.25 Monthly salary < US$ 2 Lao (IFC) 15.74% 58.30% 79.80% 31.09% 61.60% 1.9% 22.26% 65.93% Mali (SNV) 79.5% 84.8% 94.9% 12.5% 75.9% 37.10% 41.40% 61.20%
  5. 5. Who are the poor? • Seychelles Household expenditures survey (2006-2007) – 18% of Seychelles inhabitants cannot meet basic caloric needs • National Bureau of Statistics (2013) – 39,3% of inhabitants of Seychelles are considered as poor (10$/day) • World Bank (2016) – 1,1% of inhabitants of Seychelles are considered as poor (1,9 $/day and 2,5% (3,1 $/Day)
  6. 6. Does the responsibility of projects’ failure or success lies primarily with development agencies or with local communities? 1. Too high requirements from national/international organizations to rapidly transform low-skilled or unskilled workers into entrepreneurs • The Complexity of Entrepreneurship • The introduction of new ‘forward-thinking’ concepts • The novelty that tourism represents • The complexity of local power structures 2. Lack of business capacities by implementing agencies / people So, why so-called “Sustainable tourism projects” are not making the difference?
  7. 7. Bazoulé – Burkina Faso A case study
  8. 8. • About 30km of Ouagadougou (4000 inhabitants) • Village known for its crocodiles’ pond (3 hectares) • About 2500 visitors per year including 50% of international tourists Bazoulé – The Site
  9. 9. Bazoulé – The project (1) Association du Développement Touristique de Bazoulé (ADTB) Comité de coopération de Belfort Ministère de la Culture, des Arts et du Tourisme Address local issues by the implementation of a tourism project 2006 Request for financial assistance to ST-EP
  10. 10. Bazoulé – The project (2) 3 bungalows with 3 beds, bathrooms and showers 3 bungalows with 2 beds, bathrooms and showers 6 bungalows with 2 beds only 1 bungalow with on bed only One restaurant Museum (musée des arts et des savoirs Mossi)
  11. 11. Conclusions conjointly made in 2010 by UEMOA officials (UNCTAD) 1. Started in 1999, the project was built without any business plan (An audit was made in 2010). 2. No tourism specialist on board 3. The proximity to Ouagadougou and the low standard of rooms makes that the occupancy rate for the bungalows is about 4% 4. In 2009/2010, 177 overnight stays for a turn over of €1,320 / Costs €1,450 (Initial investment for the accommodations = €38,000 / depreciation costs) Bazoulé – Project Analysis
  12. 12. • Tourism-led poverty reduction programme - Opportunity study guidelines by Caroline Ashley, Jonathan Mitchell and Anna Spenceley, ITC 2009 ( • Tourism Initiative Assessment Primary Data Checklist by Christine Jacquemin and Frederic Thomas, in progress in responsible tourism, vol. 4(1), 2016 • Community-based tourism: Sharing lessons and love with the new generation, Euro-Uni roadshow, Potjana Suansri and Peter Richards (2017) Recommendations