Socio-cultural impacts of visiting friends and relatives on host communities: A Samoan case study 2010

Taufatofua, R. G. and Craig-Smith, S. (2010). Socio-cultural impacts of visiting friends and relatives on host communities: A Samoan case study 2010. In: First International Conference on Islands and Sustainability, Brac, Croatia, (). 19 - 21 April 2010.

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Author Taufatofua, R. G.
Craig-Smith, S.
Title of paper Socio-cultural impacts of visiting friends and relatives on host communities: A Samoan case study 2010
Conference name First International Conference on Islands and Sustainability
Conference location Brac, Croatia
Conference dates 19 - 21 April 2010
Publication Year 2010
Sub-type Oral presentation
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
This paper considers and compares the key impacts of the VFR traveler and the holiday tourist on the socio-cultural fabric of Pacific Island communities. Research was undertaken in the island nation of Samoa. A socio-cultural capital approach provided recognition of the dynamic natures of the communities considered.
The VFR traveler is a particularly important yet largely under-estimated visitor segment in many small Pacific islands where VFR travelers comprise a considerable percentage of visitors. In Samoa the VFR traveller segment makes up approximately 29 percent of total visitors, slightly behind the holiday sector (around 33 percent) (CBS, 2007). Earnings from VFR travellers (US$7.7 million) are higher than holiday tourists (US$5.7 million) Central Bank of Samoa [1].
Socio-cultural and economic impacts can be significant on host communities, particularly as the VFR traveler can slip beneath the cultural barrier separating the local resident from the tourist/traveler. The current research suggested that VFR travellers were considered to impact the socio-cultural fabric in not dissimilar ways to the holiday tourist. However the host respondents accorded less concern to the VFR traveller impact than they did to holiday tourists. Impacts were considered positive in many instances, enhanced by the importance of this traveller segment to the economy through overseas remittances.
Elements impacted showed a variance in strength of impact and the interrelationships by traveller type. For example, respondents considered that reciprocity was impacted more so by VFR travellers, changing the nature of reciprocity from an intrinsic value to a more extrinsic value based on monetary exchanges. Results of this research offer a glimpse into ways the socio-cultural fabric inherently operates particular resilience mechanisms to protect its integrity from undesirable external influences, yet embraces the more favorable influences. This research identifies that holiday and VFR tourism in Samoa does impact the socio-cultural fabric in a myriad of ways, some positive and others negative.
Keyword Socio-cultural resilience
Social and cultural capital
Visiting friends and relatives
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: UQ Business School Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 20 Oct 2011, 14:21:24 EST by Rosemary Taufatofua on behalf of School of Tourism