After the cyclone: why relying on tourism isn’t in Vanuatu’s interests

Joseph Martin Cheer

    Research output: Other contributionOther


    Cyclone Pam has left an indelible mark on the landscape and psyche in Vanuatu. And the famed resilience of the country’s ni-Vanuatu people has been severely tested. Apart from rebuilding, attention should swiftly shift to how the country’s economy can be made more resilient in the event of future crises.

    Vanuatu is deemed one of the world’s happiest countries while conversely it is considered the most vulnerable because of exposure to natural disasters.

    One of Vanuatu’s biggest challenges is how to handle the sharp decline in tourism. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that in 2013 tourism’s total contribution to GDP (including wider effects) was 64.8%, generating 55.4% of total employment.

    The call for tourists to return is understandable and Cyclone Pam is a reminder of the acute vulnerability of tourism-dependent economies. This is not to say that tourism should be wound back. Instead, the call is for policymakers and key aid donors like Australia and New Zealand to urgently consider how Vanuatu can move beyond a disproportionate dependence on tourism.
    Original languageEnglish
    TypeThe Conversation
    Media of outputOnline Media
    PublisherThe Conversation
    Number of pages2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2015

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