MA International Tourism and Hospitality Management
Critical issues in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry
Assessment n. 1
Student number: 3202161
Mailton Vasconcelos Pereira Jr.
1st November 2012
Social impact of Tourism:
The impact caused by large-scale hospitality developments in local communities:
Exemplified by “The Costa do Sauipe Resort”case.
According to Cooper (2001), planning is an important factor for any economic development that wants to achieve specific targets. The development of the tourism industry, being multi-sectorial, can cause serious environmental, social and economic damage. For this reason it requires a considerable plan to achieve success and sustainability.
The lack of partners makes it evenmore difficult to achieve the desired result: environmentally sustainable economic development. This study shows that planning is not everything, it is important also to respect the plan/”contract” with the local community and build partnerships to execute actions to avoid the emergence of the problems mentioned. Is also important to highlight positive actions to prepare the local community toreceive and absorb the benefits generated by the development. (COOPER 2001)
The social responsibility issue, related to the humanitarian questions has not been thoroughly studied, especially because tourism, known as a new and “clean” industry, is perceived to be able to grow and expand in a sustainable way. In other words, to promote economic development respecting the environment and socialequality. In this dilemma, the positive and negative impacts caused by a touristic development will result in the creation of new perspectives, resulting in promotion of the well being of the native population, according to the concept of sustainable development.
“Costa do Sauipe Resort” case:
One example (among many others) of a situation where heavy investments in tourism were done without aproper plan to involve the local community is “The Costa do Sauipe” development. It was built by The Odebrech property developers on the Coconut Coast in the northeast region of Brazil, 75 kilometres away from Salvador, the capital of Bahia state. It was built between 1996 and 2000 and employed 5000 people, directly and indirectly during its construction.
Five major hotel chains, amongst themMarriott, Sofitel, Renaissance and Superclubs Breezes plus 6 Bed and Breakfasts are located within 1.720.000 square metres (141.000 square metres of built area) and six kilometres of coast.
The number of accommodation units has increased since the development and at present time the area can accommodate up to 4000 guests who can enjoy on an “all inclusive” basis eighteen restaurants and choosebetween eighteen swimming pools and a golf club amongst other things. It´s the largest hotel complex in this sector in South America.
The responsible parties for the project attracted a lot of criticism by the media and other stakeholders specialized in and linked to tourism when it was initiated because of the way they behaved towards the native people. The local communities were exposed toand has been affected in many ways, due to the construction of the hotels. Amongst other factors they had high expectations with regards to the development being a new source of employment and income. These expectations, however, were not met and this resulted in a lot of pressure on the promoters of the resort.
The developers were faced with a difficult balancing act. On the one side thelocal/native community’s expectations for an improved life and on the other side the fact that the locally available labour was not skilled/trained. The majority of the local population were people who barely knew how to sign their names that lived in poor conditions, lacking proper sanitation and potable water.
The Social impact:
Firstly, the social impact - how they saw themselves in a...