Geographies of tourism and place in Micronesia: the 'sleeping lady' awakes

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Title: Geographies of tourism and place in Micronesia: the 'sleeping lady' awakes
Author: Ringer, Gregory D., 1951-
Abstract: Tourism has grown to become the dominant service industry in the world in the 21st Century and a common prescription for funding sustainable community development throughout the East Asia-Pacific region. Certainly, there can be no denial of tourism’s potential to provide meaningful economic alternatives for indigenous residents. However, the marketing of rural communities and island nations as tourist attractions may also transfigure the dynamic historically and socially-constructed landscapes of the destination through the reformation of local identities and cultural patterns of behaviour. To encourage a proactive approach to tourism, planning must therefore be sensitive to the social morphology of the destination community and the intersect with tourist activities. To encourage such a process, this paper adopts a geographic perspective to examine the qualitative effects of ecotourism on the Micronesian island of Kosrae as it moves from a subsistence-based, conservative, patriarchal society to a tourism destination in the global economy. In this manner, the cognitive perceptions and practised lifestyles of residents and visitors and the recreational space of the destination are distinguished from the inhabited place of local people, and the social structure, meaning, and cohesion of Kosraean culture more meaningfully clarified.
Date: 2004-04

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