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Is tourism the beginning or the end? Livelihoods of Georgian mountain people at stake


Salukvadze, Gvantsa; Backhaus, Norman (2020). Is tourism the beginning or the end? Livelihoods of Georgian mountain people at stake. Mountain Research and Development, 40(1):R28-R36.

Abstract

This study is an attempt toempirically understand thetransformation of rootedlivelihoods after the arrival oftourism in the GreaterCaucasus. A case-specificmethodology combiningqualitative and geographicinformation methods enabled us to identify 4 types of tourism-ledlivelihood change: (1) expanding nonagricultural activities;(2) reducing agricultural activities; (3) developing agritourismactivities; and (4) increasing agricultural activities. Broad spatialcoverage ensured that the data collected were representative. Thefindings indicate that although tourism growth has increased theneed for supplementary services, only a few local residents havemanaged to develop tourism-related nonagricultural activities. Weargue that mountain residents see opportunities from tourismmainly in agriculture and hosting tourists. However, relatively fewof them actually expanded their agricultural activities in responseto tourism’s increased demand for agricultural products, as severalbarriers (lack of human resources, modern technology, andfinances) hindered other residents from taking this opportunity. Asour study reveals, households with traditional livelihoods mostoften replaced their agricultural activities, investing all theirresources in developing tourism-related livelihoods instead. Otherscreated added value from their integrated agriculture- and tourism-based livelihoods by providing visitors with locally made products.In addition to these findings on trends in livelihood changes, thestudy also provides an understanding of households’ economicpriorities. We hope the new insights surrounding tourism-ledlivelihood shifts will spark a debate on how people cope with therapid spread of tourism in the Georgian mountains.

Abstract

This study is an attempt toempirically understand thetransformation of rootedlivelihoods after the arrival oftourism in the GreaterCaucasus. A case-specificmethodology combiningqualitative and geographicinformation methods enabled us to identify 4 types of tourism-ledlivelihood change: (1) expanding nonagricultural activities;(2) reducing agricultural activities; (3) developing agritourismactivities; and (4) increasing agricultural activities. Broad spatialcoverage ensured that the data collected were representative. Thefindings indicate that although tourism growth has increased theneed for supplementary services, only a few local residents havemanaged to develop tourism-related nonagricultural activities. Weargue that mountain residents see opportunities from tourismmainly in agriculture and hosting tourists. However, relatively fewof them actually expanded their agricultural activities in responseto tourism’s increased demand for agricultural products, as severalbarriers (lack of human resources, modern technology, andfinances) hindered other residents from taking this opportunity. Asour study reveals, households with traditional livelihoods mostoften replaced their agricultural activities, investing all theirresources in developing tourism-related livelihoods instead. Otherscreated added value from their integrated agriculture- and tourism-based livelihoods by providing visitors with locally made products.In addition to these findings on trends in livelihood changes, thestudy also provides an understanding of households’ economicpriorities. We hope the new insights surrounding tourism-ledlivelihood shifts will spark a debate on how people cope with therapid spread of tourism in the Georgian mountains.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Development, General Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry
Language:English
Date:8 December 2020
Deposited On:10 Dec 2020 13:13
Last Modified:10 Dec 2020 13:13
Publisher:International Mountain Society
ISSN:0276-4741
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1659/mrd-journal-d-19-00078.1

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