Improving ecotourism knowledge with digital video and photography in Vanuatu‘s remote communities

Calderon, Erica Therese
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Southern New Hampshire University
Tourism in the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu has become a vital contributor to the national economy. Yet, the level of tourism growth in rural communities on the outer islands is considerably less than the urban capital city. The general Ni-Vanuatu population lacks the experience, knowledge and resources essential to operate effectively ecotourism businesses in their communities. This has resulted in their exclusion from actively participating in the national tourism market as entrepreneurs at the local level and in development and therefore as beneficiaries of the positive outcomes from a growing industry. This research explores how video and photograph technology can overcome remoteness, infrastructure and socio-economical disadvantages that limit rural residents‘ access to communication in the southern province of Vanuatu. It also examines how the technology can be utilized as a tool to improve the local population‘s knowledge of ecotourism and their capacity to participate in local ecotourism enterprise for improved quality of life. (Author abstract)