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A realist approach to assessing pro-poor benefits from tourism in the Solomon Islands

conference contribution
posted on 2021-12-23, 00:17 authored by Sarah WarneSarah Warne, Michelle ThompsonMichelle Thompson
Tourism has been recognised as a tool for poverty alleviation for decades and continues to attract significant investment by governments and international development partners to increase economic growth within developing countries. Over time, programs and evaluation methods to contribute towards poverty alleviation have varied, and the extent to which communities have benefited continues to be debated. Through a mixed methods approach utilising inductive and deductive methods, this research analyses the effectiveness of the realist approach to assess the tourism industry’s contribution to poverty alleviation in developing countries. Forming part of this study, a survey and focus group will assist to capture stakeholders’ views on how tourism can benefit communities in the Solomon Islands. Realism is a philosophy that sits between positivism, a thing that exists in the real world which can be directly observed and facts can be derived from, and constructivism, referred to as being formed from observations and scrutinized through human senses and the human brain, (Pawson, 2006;Westhorpe, 2013). Deriving from Realism, the realist evaluation method has not previously been used in the Pacific to evaluate pro-poor tourism initiatives. Preliminary findings have demonstrated that the realist approach using context, mechanism and outcome combinations may be suitable for evaluating tourism in developing countries. Furthermore, evaluation processes may need to consider how the realist approach can be incorporated into future evaluation methodologies to enhance pro-poor benefits delivered to developing communities through tourism.



Jose P; Sigala M; Whitelaw P; Ye I

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Council for Australasian University Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE)

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Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Author Research Institute

  • Centre for Regional Economics and Supply Chain (RESC)

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

CAUTHE Conference (2021)

Parent Title

CAUTHE 2021: Transformations in Uncertain Times: Future Perfect in Tourism, Hospitality and Events: Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference, Online