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«Homestay programme as potential tool for sustainable tourism development? Case study of Kiangan, Philippines Beleidsrapport Aantal woorden: 22 871 ...»

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Homestay programme as potential tool for

sustainable tourism development?

Case study of Kiangan, Philippines


Aantal woorden:

22 871



PROMOTOR: PROF. Bernard Mazijn ACADEMIEJAAR 2013 – 2014 Acknowledgements Conducting research in a complete strange country and culture is not without concerns.

Without the warm help and support of various individuals, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this process as much as I did now. As such, I would like to start with some words of gratitude.

First of all, I would like to thank my supervisor, Prof. Bernard Mazijn, for his constructive advice and generous feedback throughout the course of my dissertation activities. Dr. Mina Gabor, who functioned as my local supervisor in the Philippines, was another valuable actor in the process of this dissertation. Her widespread knowledge and experiences had an extensive impact on this report. Moreover, I would like to express my gratitude towards her acquaintances – Eric, Miguel, Mani, Jhen and Rodge – for the warm contact.

Furthermore, I would like to thank the inhabitants and homestay members of Kiangan. Their unconditional cooperation, various discussions and interviews were very important to conduct this research successfully. I especially like to express my gratitude to the homestay families that hosted me during my field research. They showed me the boundless Filipino hospitality and made me experience the genuine Ifugao culture. A special thanks to Masah, Jhon, Kevin, Lally and Arnold for the numerous enjoyable and motivating moments. This research wouldn’t have been the same without you.

Thank you Marietta Hangdaan for the logistic support and the various interesting and pleasant conversations. I hope you found the peace and rest you deserve.

Finally, I would like to thank my Belgian supporters. My C&D friends, family, ladies of Twuvus, you encouraged me during both my field trip and the writing process of this report.

Thank you Bert Celie for motivating and supporting me over and over again.


Emma Achten Ghent, 29 November 2013 Table of Contents Table of Contents

List of tables

List of figures


Executive summary


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Research objectives

Chapter 3: Context & Framework

3.1 Tourism as tool for development

3.1.1 International setting

3.1.2 Impact of tourism

3.2 Homestay programme

3.2.1 Definition

3.2.2 Homestay opportunities

3.2.3 Homestay challenges

3.2.4 Philippine context

3.3 Conclusion

Chapter 4: Methodology

4.1 Research focus

4.2 Data collection

4.3 Remarks and considerations

–  –  –

5.1 Kiangan as case study

5.1.1 Area study and brief history

5.1.2 Community profile of Kiangan

5.1.3 Tourism situation Kiangan

5.2 Homestay association of Kiangan

5.2.1 Background

5.2.2 Current functioning

Participants’ perception on Kiangan Homestay Association

5.3 5.3.1 Positive impacts of the homestay programme

5.3.2 Negative impacts of the homestay programme

5.4 Conclusion

Chapter 6: Conclusions & Recommendations


Appendix I – Overview of interviewees

Appendix II – Questionnaire homestay participants

Appendix III – Philippine New Homestay Programme

Appendix IV – Sectoral Planning Workshop

–  –  –

Table 1 - Internal and external challenges for homestay programmes

Table 2 - Population and demographic profile

Table 3 - Tourist arrivals of 2012 for the 11 communities in the province of Ifugao;

partitioned on foreign & domestic travelers and balikbayan

Table 4 - Overview of tourist attractions in Kiangan

Table 5 - DOT accredited homestay owners in Kiangan.

–  –  –

Figure 1 - International tourist arrivals, 1995 - 2012 (in millions).

Figure 2 - Seals of official DOT Homestay accreditation.

Figure 3 - Map of the Philippines

Figure 4 - Municipality of Kiangan with its 14 barangays.

Figure 5 – Welcome sign to the community of Kiangan.

Figure 6 - Tourist arrivals for province of Ifugao from 2001-2012.

Figure 7 - Logo of Kiangan Homestay Association.

Figure 8 - Red spitting on roads and pavements due to the chewing of moma.

–  –  –

PNHP Philippine New Homestay Programme PROCESS Participatory Research, Organization of Communities and Education towards Struggle for Self-reliance (NGO Bohol) PRRM Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement RCE Regional Centre of Expertise SITMo Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement TRIP Tourism Road Improvement Prioritisation UNEP United Nations Environment Programme UNU United Nations University UNWTO United Nations World Travel Organisation

–  –  –

Kiangan, a small village in the northern part of the Philippines, was recently elected as pilot study for the government’s new homestay programme. The Kiangan Homestay Association (KIHA) is hence presented as leading authority to numerous other communities. Due to this position, and as no preceding research has been conducted on the impact of homestay initiatives in the Philippines, the analysis of the KIHA deems highly interesting and timely.

This dissertation focuses on the influences the KIHA exerts on the local community and its individual households. Research evaluates whether homestays can be considered as tools for sustainable tourism development from participants’ point of view. Furthermore, the most prominent objectives of homestay initiatives – revenue creation and enhanced development – are examined.

A qualitative research methodology was applied to obtain a better and deeper understanding of the homestay project in Kiangan. Thorough analysis revealed ambiguous results concerning the impact of this initiative on the local community. Both positive and negative aspects were found, considering both economic, environmental and social facets. To account homestays as a tool for sustainable tourism development, this ambiguousness needs to be alternated towards the beneficial side as much as possible.

Recommendations are formulated to increase the sustainability of the KIHA. Gradual development is deemed crucial for the sustainable growth of Kiangan’s tourism industry.

Currently the influx of visitors is limited, but as Kiangan is gradually increasing its efforts to become one of the tourism hotspots in the area, the safeguarding of the sustainability of this growth is quintessential. The KIHA needs to set out a thorough planning in assistance with the municipal government. Moreover, internal agreements among the KIHA-members need to be set out to guarantee an optimal functioning. Distinct policy guidelines are highly important.

Furthermore, important questions need to be addressed, such as whether the KIHA is a cornerstone in Kiangan’s sustainable tourism development or only a temporary solution until the arrival of private investors. Acknowledging these recommendations, the KIHA is considered an interesting source of income and development for the community, as revenue creating activities in Kiangan are highly limited.


Kiangan, een klein dorp in het noorden van de Filipijnen, was recent geselecteerd als pilootproject voor het nieuwe homestay programma van de nationale overheid. De ‘Kiangan Homestay Association’ (KIHA) wordt aldus als toonaangevend beschouwd voor talloze gelijkaardige projecten. Door deze positie, en aangezien tot op heden geen onderzoek werd gevoerd naar de impact van homestay initiatieven in de Filippijnen, is de analyse van de KIHA interessant en actueel. Deze thesis focust op de invloed die de KIHA uitoefent op de lokale bevolking en individuele huishoudens. Onderzoek gaat na of homestays – vanuit het standpunt van de participanten – leiden tot een duurzame ontwikkeling van de toerisme sector. Bovendien worden de voornaamste doelstellingen van homestay initiatieven, winstcreatie en het stimuleren van ontwikkeling, onderzocht.

Een kwalitatieve onderzoeksopstelling werd gehanteerd om het homestay project in Kiangan te bestuderen. Grondige analyse onthulde een ambigue impact van dit initiatief op de lokale bevolking. Zowel positieve als negatieve aspecten kwamen aan het licht op economisch, ecologisch en sociaal vlak. Vooraleer homestays kunnen aangewend worden als projecten ter promotie van duurzame toerisme, moet deze ambiguïteit naar de positieve zijde omgebogen worden.

Aanbevelingen worden geformuleerd om de duurzaamheid van de KIHA te verhogen.

Graduele ontwikkelingen zijn essentieel om een duurzame groei van de toerisme sector in Kiangan te vrijwaren. Momenteel is de instroom van toeristen beperkt, maar Kiangan drijft zijn inspanning gestaag op om de toeristische trekpleister van de omgeving te worden. Het beogen van een duurzame groei is aldus essentieel. Een sterk uitgewerkte planning met duidelijke beleidslijnen is hierbij noodzakelijk. Bovendien zijn interne afspraken noodzakelijk om een optimale werking van het KIHA te garanderen. Voorts moeten enkele belangrijke vragen beantwoord worden, zoals of de KIHA een hoeksteen is van de duurzame toerisme ontwikkelingen in Kiangan, of enkel een tijdelijke oplossing vormt tot de komst van private investeerders. Rekening houdende met deze aanbevelingen is de KIHA een interessante bron van inkomsten voor de gemeenschap, aangezien de input van financiële middelen beperkt is in Kiangan.

–  –  –

Chapter 1: Introduction “The strong and sustained rise of tourism activity over the past few decades is one of the most remarkable economic, social and cultural phenomena of our time” (Dabour, 2003, p. 1). As the tourism sector can be considered an important driving force of economic development (Organisation of American States, 2000), many developing countries recently ranked tourism high in their national sustainable development (Dabour, 2003). One of the countries actively stimulating its tourism industry is the Philippines. The notable goal to increase the amount of visitors with 27% by 20161 highlights the government’s efforts. As the Department of Tourism (DOT) is currently focusing on revitalizing its commitments towards homestays, a thorough analysis of this tourism phenomenon is deemed interesting.

This dissertation evaluates the Kiangan Homestay Association (KIHA), a community initiative situated in one of the 11 communities of Ifugao province, the Philippines. As this initiative was elected in September 2013 as showcase under the new national homestay programme, an analysis of the programme’s influence on the participants deemed highly interesting and timely. This study covers a critical analysis of the social, economic and environmental aspects associated with the homestay programme and tourism in general.

Chapter 2 gives an overview of this project’s objectives and approaches.

In the theoretical framework, both positive and negative aspects of the international tourism sector are highlighted. Due to the stimulating effect tourism exerts on national and local economies, “tourism development has become an important target for most governments, especially for developing countries” (Samimi and Sadeghi, 2011, p. 1). Hence, the application of tourism as poverty eradication tool is explained. Homestay programmes have been a successful tool to increase tourism visitation and broaden accommodation options in poorer rural communities, especially in South-East Asia (ABV, 2013; Tourism Office Kiangan, 1 The Philippine government sets out its objective to host 45.5 million visitors by 2016, an additional 12.5 million compared to 2011. The stakeholders’ vision is formulated “to become the ‘must experience’ destination in Asia” (National Tourism Development Plan, 2011).

–  –  –

2012). The general opportunities and challenges of this concept are clarified and subsequently is focused on the Philippine homestay context.

A qualitative research methodology was applied to analyse the impact of the homestay association of Kiangan. The modus operandi is set out with a brief focus on the research process of this field study. The method of data collection and processing is discussed into detail in chapter 4. In order to analyse the findings of this research in a correct daylight, some remarks and considerations on the applied methodology are noted.

The results of this study are discussed in chapter 5. Kiangan as case study is briefly described by presenting an overview of the community’s geographical positioning, history and community profile. A critical analysis of the homestay association and its current functioning form the core of this dissertation. Participant’s and community members’ opinions are discussed and analysed. Finally, general conclusions are derived from the discussed results.

Encountered difficulties of the Kiangan Homestay Association are evaluated, which leads to some points of attention for the KIHA, the Local Government Unit (LGU), and the DOT.

Recommendations are made towards the project’s future.

–  –  –

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