Mai, N. T. T., Rahtz, D. R., & Shultz, C. J. (2014). Tourism as Catalyst for Quality of Life in Transitioning Subsistence Marketplaces: Perspectives from Ha Long, Vietnam. Journal of Macromarketing, 34(1), 28–44. https://doi.org/10.1177/0276146713507281
Tourism is a potential catalyst for transforming subsistence marketplaces, and the quality of life (QOL) for people who live in them. The authors share findings from a study on tourism development in Ha Long, Vietnam, a community transitioning from central economic planning and a focus on heavy and extractive industries, to one that is increasingly dominated by tourism and the industries, goods and services that support it. The authors used multiple methods to gain insights into QOL in Ha Long; those methods included site observations, depth interviews and data collection via an instrument designed and developed by the authors that quantifies perceptions of the evolution of residents’ well-being, including anticipated QOL. Findings indicate that a large majority of citizen-stakeholders in Ha Long generally feel life-quality has improved because of policy changes and subsequent tourism development. Concern is growing, however, that some environmental and societal degradation has accompanied positive economic outcomes. Marketing and policy implications, and opportunities for further research are discussed – not only for Ha Long, but for other actual or hopeful transitioning subsistence marketplaces whose leaders see tourism as a catalyst from economic hardship and subsistence-living toward enhanced QOL.
Keywords: Vietnam, Ha Long, quality of life, marketing, macromarketing, subsistence marketplaces, tourism