Enhanced wellbeing of Pacific Island peoples during the pandemic? A qualitative analysis using the Advanced Frangipani Framework





COVID-19 isolated island states from international tourism, which is a primary provider of employment and driver of economic development for the Pacific region. Most governments lacked the finances to provide sustained assistance to tourism businesses and workers, thus one might assume that these people’s wellbeing was very low during the pandemic: in fact, this research found the opposite. Utilising the Frangipani Framework of Wellbeing, a survey was utilised to investigate 6 dimensions of wellbeing in tourism-dependent communities in Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and Cook Islands during periods of border closures. Results found that while people faced financial struggles, their mental, social, physical, spiritual and environmental wellbeing had improved in many cases. Respondents indicated that they felt more connected to one another and their spiritual beliefs, were able to utilise communal resources to support their livelihoods, and that the pandemic provided a well-needed break for both themselves and the environment. This research demonstrates that people can successfully adapt and show resilience in the face of significant shocks and financial challenges if they have access to a range of cultural knowledge and systems, strong social connections and natural resources. 


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Author Biographies

Regina Scheyvens, Massey University

Regina Scheyvens is Professor of International Development at Massey University, New Zealand.

Apisalome Movono, Massey University

Senior lecturer in Development Studies at Massey University, New Zealand.

Jessie Auckram, Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington

Jessie Auckram is a postgraduate student in Psychology at Te Herenga Waka/Victoria University of Wellington and Research Assistant at Massey University.