The cases of Indonesia and Vanuatu are a stark reminder that formalised customary land tenure does not necessarily provide a strong defence against transnational land deals; in fact, these legal frameworks can become enablers of land grabbing when farmers are forced into distress sales or leases (as in the case of Bali) and when customary land owners cannot use their land as collateral but can only valorise it in monetary terms by putting it on the foreign-dominated long-term lease market (as in the case of Vanuatu). Residential tourism development and transnational land investments in Costa Rica and Mauritius — incentivised by these countries’ investor-friendly governments — have induced a rapid ‘foreignisation of space’ (cf. Zoomers, 2010) where autochthonous residents feel like aliens in their own country. In all four cases, natural resources, such as freshwater, near-shore fisheries and mangroves that have played a pivotal role in local livelihoods, become increasingly enclosed by rapid resort development for temporary visitors and residential tourists (cf. Góssling et al., 2012; Tourism Concern, 2012; Becken, 2014; LaVanchy, 2017). The impacts are often gendered, with women particularly affected. Some communities in Bali, Indonesia and in Guanacaste, Costa Rica have resisted these developments, yet with mixed success rates.
The next chapter will examine various cases of opportunistic disaster capitalism in the aftermath of major disaster events, whereby tourism developers and local governments often collude to turn ‘crisis into opportunity’, make use of the ‘blank slate’ left behind by the disaster and force disaster-affected communities off their land. The case studies are chosen from Honduras, Thailand, Haiti and the Philippines.
70 Corporate resort development
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