Loading Events

Royal Anthropological Institute / Development Studies Association Tourism Research Seminars: Theme – Mass Tourism


The Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic (EVDE) and its Unexpected Effects on Tourism in The Gambia and Sierra Leone

Dr Marina Novelli, University of Brighton

Monday 21 March at 5.30 pm


Over the past 20 years, the perception of tourism as an effective contributor to socio-economic development in the developing world in general and in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in particular has propagated. Tourism as a provider for poverty alleviation and towards the achievement of the UN MDGs and more recently towards the UNSDGs has increasingly become a well-traversed subject. Readers have become familiar with the paradoxes, complexities and inequalities of tourism in relation to development, wealth creation, growth, redistribution, governance and ‘hosts-guests’ relationships.

In an era of fluctuating tourist arrivals at global level, the growth of tourism in SSA requires deeper consideration in terms of its inconsistent and questionable implications at local level. In this talk, Marina will share results from research conducted on the effects of the EVDE outbreak on the established mass tourism sector of The Gambia and the developing one of Sierra Leone.

She will offer reflections on the paradox associated with the fact that, while, despite no EVDE cases recorded, Gambian mass tourism suffered from what she refers to as the ‘EVDE induced tourism crisis’ (overall 40% decrease in tourism arrivals in 2014/15 season overall), in Sierra Leone evidence of the sector’s resilience emerged as an unexpected outcome of the demand for accommodation and travel services by emergency workers.

The unexpected effects of the EVDE outbreak in the two destinations will be at the centre of her overview, as while in The Gambia the lack of preparedness brought mass tourism ‘on its knees’, in Sierra Leone, evidence of private sectors’ resilience emerged.


Marina is Professor of Tourism and International Development at the Centre for Sport, Tourism and Leisure Studies, University of Brighton.  She is an expert in the field of international tourism policy, planning and development.  She has advised on numerous international cooperation and research assignments funded by International Development Organisations (IDOs) such as: the World Bank, the UN, the EU, The Commonwealth Secretariat as well as National Ministries, Tourism Boards, Regional Development Agencies and Third Sector Organisations.

Her international reputation is associated with the concept of niche tourism as an alternative to mass tourism – Novelli, M. ed. (2005) Niche tourism: contemporary issues, trends and cases.  Oxford: Elsevier, and with her extensive applied research on tourism and development in Sub-Saharan Africa, also recently published in Novelli, M., (2016) Tourism and Development in sub-Sahara Africa: Contemporary Issues and Local Realities, Oxford: Routledge.
As Professor in Tourism and International Development at the University of Brighton (UK), she leads the research cluster on Policy, Practice and Development at the Centre of Sport, Tourism and Leisure Studies (CoSTaLS), an affiliate member of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). She sees her mission as generating new knowledge on ways in which tourism can play a key role in sustainable development by stimulating local economies, conserving the environment, developing peoples and changing lives.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to http://novelli.eventbrite.co.uk