Volume 13:

Resilience of ecotourism communities in the South Pacific

12 February – 01:00 pm Suva, Fiji

Some small communities in the South Pacific have embraced ecotourism to develop livelihoods that leverage the fragile environmental resources that surround them, and the charismatic culture that defines them. The competitive and vertically integrated nature of international tourism has made it very difficult for small ecotourism communities to be successful; and the current pandemic has brought tremendous strain on local health and livelihoods as well as barriers for direct engagement with tourists. Consequently, the purpose of this webinar is to bring light into how the pandemic is affecting small ecotourism communities in the South pacific, and to explore possible strategies for their recovery.
This webinar will begin with brief presentations from two communities to help participants better grasp the impacts of the pandemic in their lives and their ecotourism livelihoods. Government and industry leaders, and academics will react to the community presentations to suggest engaged research ideas and policy and business strategies that can assist such communities in a path towards recovery.

                                 11th Feb@20:00 /NewYork.                     11th Feb@18:00 Salt Lake.                   01:00 GMT.                    12th Feb@10:00 Tokyo. 

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Duarte B. Morais
Duarte B. Morais​​ -  Moderator

Duarte B. Morais

Morais is an Associate Professor of Sustainable Tourism and a Tourism Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University. He is also the lead in(ve)stigator of People-First Tourism Lab, a participatory action research collective started at NC State and now involving researchers and community development partners globally (P1tLab.ncsu.edu). Morais supports small communities and microentrepreneurs across the State of North Carolina and internationally. Morais integrates the insight and energy of an increasingly rich team of scholars in disciplines ranging from Cultural Anthropology, Humanitarian Engineering, Social Business, Community Psychology, Design, and Computer Science. His disciplinary home is Social-psychology and through this lens he investigates how tourism microentrepreneurship is developed and how it may affect host communities ability to harness economic opportunity in their own terms.

Bricker photo 1
Kelly Bricker -  Moderator

Kelly Bricker

Kelly S. Bricker, PhD, Professor and Director of PRT

The primary focus of my research program is to understand the complex and varied nature of sustainability within nature-based tourism and recreation. Specifically, I conduct social science research in an attempt to comprehend the relationship between socio-economic, environmental, and cultural management and development factors which support or negate positive impacts within varying contexts (i.e., local/global) and environments.  In recognition of my work, I have been asked to turn research results into books/chapters, present at events nationally and internationally at meetings, deliver keynotes internationally, and several national/regional conferences, and serve on editorial boards of different journals over the course of my academic career.  Focused on sustainable tourism and natural resource management, I’ve developed a new online course on sustainable tourism and protected area management; developed a course in sustainable tourism, and teach a learning abroad course on sustainability in small island nations (Fiji).  In addition, I attract graduate students interested in these complex topics, which has enhanced many opportunities for research in these areas.  Finally, the focus of my service is directly tied to research and teaching, international and locally. I have served as a visiting scholar international, have leadership roles in the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Central Wasatch Commission, and the GCSC on campus.

Marita Manley
Marita Manley - Panelist

Marita Manley

Marita Manley is a Director at Talanoa Treks and Talanoa Consulting and is a resource economist by background. She has worked in Fiji across agriculture and forestry policy, food security, climate resilience, enterprise development, agribusiness research and sustainable tourism for over 15 years. She is a co-founder of Talanoa Treks, a social enterprise working in partnership with four interior communities in Fiji, the current secretary to the Duavata Sustainable Tourism Collective and management council member of NatureFiji-MareqetiViti. She believes that the current situation represents an opportunity to reset tourism in the region to ensure that it better meets the needs and priorities of communities in Fiji and strengthens cultural heritage and environmental conservation, but that operators in this segment of the market are in real danger of not surviving the current crisis without support.

Patricia Bibi
Patricia Bibi​​ -  Panelist

Patricia Bibi

Ilisapeci Matatolu
Ilisapeci Matalolu -  Panelist

Ilisapeci Matalolu

Ilisapeci Matalolu is an indigenous Fijian pracademic at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of the South Pacific. Ms. Matatolu previously worked for Tourism Fiji in Australia and the United States of America. She is currently pursuing her doctoral thesis at the University of the South Pacific, her research interests include indigenous tourism and Quality of Life, Tourism microentrepreneurship, and tourism and the indigenous feminist perspective.

Apisalome Movono
Apisalome Movono -  Panelist

Apisalome Movono

Apisalome Movono, PhD, joined Massey University at the start of 2020 after ten years serving in various positions at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji. Movono pursued a doctoral degree at Griffith University in Australia. His research draws on postmodernist techniques and seeks to improve our understanding of resilience, sustainable livelihoods, climate change, and tourism development amongst Pacific island communities. He is currently a member of the Development Studies team at Massey University, New Zealand, as a Senior Lecturer.

volume 13


  • Welcome remarks

    Duarte B. Morais

  • Moderator

    Kelly Bricker

  • Microentrepreneurial/community perspectives

    Patricia Bibi & Marita Manley

  • Academic/industry perspectives

    Ilisapeci Matatolu & Apisalome Movono

  • Cultural break

    [screening of “River of Eden”]

  • Discussion

    Panelists and participants

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