Tourism and its relationship to community development in Chamarel, Mauritius

Prang, Davina (2016) Tourism and its relationship to community development in Chamarel, Mauritius. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


This study focuses on the Creole village of Chamarel in the south of Mauritius. It examines trends in Mauritian tourism and how this has changed to include ecologically sensitive areas. It will discuss the historical context of Mauritius and the relevance of a plural society to tourism, with a particular focus on the representation of Mauritian culture, the Creole identity and the relevance of this to community development.

The research explores community tourism in Chamarel, utilising a multifaceted qualitative approach involving an ethnographic investigation intertwined with data from other techniques. Data was collected from semi-structured interviews, participant observation, casual conversations, narratives, social events and netnographic sources. The data was expanded over a ten year period to identify patterns and themes in community tourism during 2004 to 2014.

This multifaceted approach represents a new methodology for the study of Mauritian tourism. There has been a significant change in Chamarel to cater for ecotourism and community tourism. The findings shed light on community participation. This is achieved through the analysis of Government reports and development plans. The range of sources used enables a very rich, multi-perspectival account of community tourism through ‘native eyes.’

The research suggests that interpretations of being Mauritian take on new meanings through the development of community tourism and reveals that ethnicity amongst other factors influenced the success of development in Chamarel.

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