Exploring the Poverty Reduction Potential of Social Marketing in Tourism Development

  • V. Dao Truong Tourism Research in Economic Environs & Society (TREES), North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Hoffmanstraat, Potchefstroom 2531
  • C. Michael Hall University of Canterbury
Keywords: Behavior Change, Poverty Alleviation, Social Marketing, Sustainable Tourism, Vietnam

Abstract

 

Although social marketing has been demonstrated to be an effective tool of behavior change in a variety of contexts, its poverty reduction potential in tourism development has captured limited research attention. This paper explores the potential contribution of social marketing to tourism-related poverty alleviation in Sapa, Vietnam. It does so by creating an understanding of how local residents perceive poverty, then exploring whether social marketing could be a potential solution in the case of Sapa. Through participant observations and semi-structured interviews, this study reveals that local people perceive poverty as a lack of rice and/or income and ascribe it to both internal and external factors. Local women often follow tourists to sell handicrafts, causing discomfort for tourists and driving them away from certain destinations. Insufficient capital and farming land are also identified as a critical barrier to poverty reduction. This study argues that by understanding the poor people’s perspectives on poverty, we can identify meaningful approaches to poverty alleviation. Thereby, social marketing can be one of the tools to bring the marginalized voice of poor people to the attention of decision-makers.

Author Biographies

V. Dao Truong, Tourism Research in Economic Environs & Society (TREES), North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Hoffmanstraat, Potchefstroom 2531
Dr. Van Dao Truong is a Post-doctoral fellow in the Tourism Research in Economic Environs & Society (TREES), North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Hoffmanstraat, Potchefstroom, South Africa and a Lecturer in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality National Economics University, Hanoi. He completed his PhD at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch in 2014.
C. Michael Hall, University of Canterbury
Michael is Professor, Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Docent, Department of Geography, University of Oulu, Finland; Visiting Professor, Linnaeus University School of Business and Economics, Kalmar, Sweden; and Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Published
2015-12-28
How to Cite
Truong, V. D. and Hall, C. M. (2015) “Exploring the Poverty Reduction Potential of Social Marketing in Tourism Development”, Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 8(2), pp. 125-142. doi: https://doi.org/10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.2-2.
Section
Current Research on Southeast Asia