Laucala Island & Water Struggle Articles Response

timer Asked: Feb 8th, 2019
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Question Description

I have two different paragraphs needed to de done (at least 300 words for each). And I provide you some examples of other students' writing. Hope that helps:)

1. There is an article in a fashion magazine that features an exclusive tourist resort on Laucala Island, Fiji (Francis 2017). The article is available online: What do you notice about this article? What issues does the article ignore or mention in passing? What questions do you have after reading this article? Please give it a 300-word response. There are some examples of what other students wrote.

Student 1:

After reading Jacquelyn Francis’ article, I was left wondering if she realizes the impact this tourist island has on the surrounding host islands and their resources. After this weeks’ readings, I can only assume that much Queensland and the small town of Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores, Indonesia, the water and many other resources are being allocated to this luxury island, rather than the small neighbouring islands that house the local residents.

I notice that Francis’ article sensationalizes a lot of the immunities that the hotel and island have. For example, “I reach the breathtaking outdoor glass infinity pool that’s now a social media sensation, thanks to visitors who post “belfies” (Yep!) on Instagram. It’s handy that Laucala has impeccable Wi-Fi service despite being in the absolute middle of nowhere” (Francis 2018). She frames this island as in Instagram opportunity, she even compares the room she is staying in with the sea and the surrounding environment to make her stay seem more authentic and even “Instagram-able”. She even pokes fun at her tour guide, saying “I spy my guide’s partly tummy underwater, popping out from his too-tight wetsuit” (Francis 2018). She makes him out to be part of the tourist experience as well, yet she does not even acknowledge the impact this island must have on the local community that her guide is a part of.Francis briefly mentions that when the island underwent a 5-year renovation, the local residents were move to the neighbouring island where 25 more villas were built. She does not mention the issue that the local community was physically moved away from the luxury island in order to make it more tourist friendly. Nor does she acknowledge that more villas had to be built in order to house the local community on another island and the impacts that must have on the local environment. Lastly, she praised the island for having “impeccable Wi-Fi despite being in the absolute middle of nowhere” (Francis 2018). I wonder what resources had to be interrupted in order to support the “impeccable Wi-Fi’ that Laucala is now home to?

Student 2:

Considering what we've learnt in class so far, it's clear to see that this article does in fact ignore some things that have been discussed in readings and lectures. In order to make this a luxurious spot for visitors, natural resources are used to mimic things and provide this comfortable and natural experience. For example, Francis' chandelier in her room is a "Jellyfish" where "the tentacles are made from local magi magi (woven coconut musks)" (Francis 2017). The interior designer introduced in this article even says herself that they "sourced unusual and funky designs for furniture...and if we were unable to source the right piece, we would draw it and have it made," (Francis 2017) showing that they want to provide this specific design so that their visitors can feel like they are surrounded by natural resources at all time. What Francis fails to mention is that this can be a problem, but simply comments on how it is beautiful and adds to the aesthetic.

Francis consequently has a large focus on the beauty and convenience of this island, rather than acknowledging the work and resources that it took, and continues to take, in order to make this a luxurious tourist spot. The focus on "instagrammable" features and that her electric cart was always found charged even when she forgot to do so, shows that these natural, beautiful, and exotic places are not so natural any longer, coming back to the inauthentic experiences that we continue to discuss throughout the course. They clearly have 400 workers for 72 visitors in order to keep up with the standards of the people who are coming. If people of this calibre are visiting, a luxury and highly mediated and performed experience is needed to keep them around. Overall, what was ignored here was the lands resources to make decorations, furniture, and energy for them, the amount of workers needed for this top quality experience, and the fact that "local residents were moved to the neighbouring island while 25 villas were built" (Francis 2017).

2. Veronika Strang and Stroma Cole both discuss struggles over water in the context of tourism, focusing on different locations respectively: Queensland in Australia (a developed or First World country) and the small town of Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores, Indonesia (a developing or Third World country).


1. What are the contributions of these two texts to the study of tourism?

2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these two texts? (To engage in some criticism…)

* Feel to focus on one of the two questions.

Articles: Stroma Cole

(If you cannot open the link, please tell me know. I can't find the link for Veronika's article, but you can know the basic ideas through other students' writing.)


Student 1

1) Both texts describe the impact tourism has on allocation of resources such as water. These two texts both articulate on the need for more water, and tensions that can arise among residents as a result of distribution and access. Understanding the importance of water allocation helps the study of tourism because it puts into perspective the extent of which resources are required to build infrastructure that supports the tourism industry. Moreover, one text described the situation in a developed country and another in a developing country, where both faced need for more water.

As the tourism industry grows, more infrastructure and services (ex. recreational) are required to support the additional population. Drawing on a last week’s reading, I remember it was mentioned that in the Caribbean for example, tourists require three times more water than locals (Chambers, 2010, 71). Similarly, if this amount were applied to countries with decreased access to clean water, it results in the local population not having enough. In addition, in Indonesia, the prices of water was mentioned. Prices of water vary based on the quantity purchased. Mediators in the tourism industry, such as hotel management are able to purchase large quantities of water to support the tourists accessing their services. Whereas, for locals who do not require as much the prices of water are higher. Increased prices may not be affordable when coupled with increased costs of living, especially in context of rural communities.

The tourism industry exerts its dominance in politics, influencing important decision making regarding allocation of resources (Strang, 2010, 32). Urban sprawls which contain many hotels are provided with more water, resulting in less water allocated to other sectors such as agriculture. In both articles, the need for water to increase irrigation and production is evident in the agricultural sector. Field of work which corresponds heavily with their self-identity is also evident, as farmers have a strong emotional connection with land which is also prioritized for material productivity. If less water is provided to farmers, it impacts their material productivity and wealth. As mentioned before, allocation of water causes tension between different groups. In relation to the study of tourism, which aims to understand different social groups, it can be hindered if there is large tensions in communities. Moreover, increased tourism means that more food is required to feed tourists, which will be exported from different places, impacting the economy. In Cole’s paper, it was mentioned that those that are less educated are less likely to work in tourism, resulting in diminished representation in the government and so, the decisions made by the government may not reflect their needs. This furthers the social divide in communities. Strang claimed, “water is the substance that links humans to each other and environments.” (Strang, 2010, 40) Water problems mentioned in both texts, is a powerful subject that impacts the population as a whole and the environment in many ways.

student 2

1) These two texts detailing the struggles over water in both developed and developing countries contribute quite a bit to the study of tourism because it allows us to see that tourism is not just a black and white industry but instead encompasses issues that need to be overcome before the industry can be perfect. The struggles over water is a universal issue over control and access, no matter where you are in the world.

In Storma Cole's article we saw that there was a great divide of control not only between tourists and locals but between women as well. This allows us to see the unequal access and opportunities of water that are rooted in gendered divisions of labor (Cole 2017, 15). Further expressing that there isn't always constant access to water leading women to stress over it; where men in Labuan would not share this burden but would come to expect the constant access to water (Cole 2017, 19) . Likewise there is still a divide between how much the tourist companies and tourist will use compared to how much the locals will come to use. This third world country, is another example of issues experienced daily. For example; in Jamaica which is considered a Third World Country, there are certain areas and towns that will experience many of what is experienced in Labuan Bajo. This allowed for me to have a greater understanding of how an issue like this can affect tourism as a whole. This is shown because if there isn't enough water access to support the current local population, then how can they possible supply for tourists as well?

In Veronika Strang's article many of the same issues are highlighted with the main difference being that it is in the context of a developed country, Australia. They too experience this great divide between local use and tourist use, however in a more sophisticated sense. In Queensland there are 2 main rivers that supply to farmers and eventually the urban cities: Mitchell River and Brisbane River (Strang 2010, 31). Their main issue lies around who should control these waters. One side is the agriculture and farming side that seeks to have control over water because it supports their livelihood and the other is the recreational water users that seek to enjoy swimming, fishing, boating, etc (Strang 2010,33) . This proves to show that both places don't always view tourism as positive for everyone and seeks to express that each country would have similar yet slightly altered issues to overcome before they can have a fair industry. Do you think that both locations have a fair advantage to overcoming these issues in a timely manner?

Tutor Answer

School: UIUC


1. Part One
2. Part Two

Running head: RESPONSE




Part One

In an honest opinion, the article, in this case, can only be described as being superficial
from my point of view. In this instance, Francis is only interested in the good parts of the
Laucala and in that way ignores the sacrifice that comes with having such kind of beauty. Take,
for instance, in the process of making Laucala the dream destination for tourist there were many
natural resources that were exploited and this must have had a negative impact on the
surrounding areas. So in a sense, putting a huge focus on the beauty of the place is as equal as
being oblivious of other negativ...

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awesome work thanks

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