Exploring Fijian's sense of place after exposure to tourism development

Deborah Kerstetter, Kelly Bricker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Tourism, Fiji's largest foreign exchange earner, is growing rapidly. Remote and less developed villages in Fiji's Yasawa archipelago are experiencing some of the greatest tourism growth and impacts on residents' sense of place. This paper uses photo elicitation to address the meanings that residents attach to their "place" (i.e. villages). Photo elicitation provides residents with a "visual voice" and gives researchers insights into the social or cultural characteristics of the village believed to be integral to sustainability. The results indicated that residents value the Fijian village and way of life, the culture and history associated with traditions, and also new technology and its impact on daily life. They also spoke of the importance of protecting the physical environment as central to the continued maintenance of their traditions and lifestyle as well as tourism. These findings would not have been apparent had traditional methods been used to capture the meanings of sense of place. They lend support for the notion that sense of place is multidimensional, and make evident factors that must be considered by planners and marketers in the development of sustainable products and services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-708
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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