Tourism and civil disturbances: an evaluation of recovery strategies in Fiji 1987-2000

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King, Brian and Berno, Tracy (2002) Tourism and civil disturbances: an evaluation of recovery strategies in Fiji 1987-2000. Journal of hospitality and tourism management, 9 (1). pp. 46-60. ISSN 1447-6770


Fiji experienced two coups in 1987 and another in 2000. These events had a negative impact on the tourism industry and led to the implementation of "crisis action plans". This paper examines the different recovery strategies that were adopted in 1987 and 2000 with particular emphasis on communications. Tourism changed significantly during the intervening period and the circumstances of the coups were different. This has prompted the use of a different range of tactics in 2000. A number of key differences are identified. The media played a greater role in providing coverage of the 2000 coup with the Internet and Fijilivel site in particular disseminating up-to-the-minute information about the happenings in Fiji. Given that tourism flourishes in a climate of positive imagery, the communication of negative and threatening images has been particularly confronting for the tourism industry. In 2000 the coup was particularly prolonged because of the approach adopted by the hostage-takers. Whereas the 1987 coup was over quickly thereby allowing the tourism industry to focus on its recovery strategy, the 2000 hostage crisis extended over a period of two months. In these circumstances it was difficult for the industry to rally quickly. Land ownership has emerged as a major issue and the rhetoric of the coup leaders about indigenous land-rights spilt over into disputes over resort-based tourism. The 2000 coup led to a number of hostage-taking incidents in prominents tourist resorts, most notably Turtle Island which had recently won the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Award for the Pacific region and was previously seen as epitomising Fiji's top boutique resorts.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Hospitality Tourism and Marketing
Keywords Fiji, tourism, recovery strategies, crisis, media and communication
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