Skip to main content

The political economy of dive tourism: precarity at the periphery in Malaysia

Hampton, Mark P., Jeyacheya, Julia, Lee, Donna (2018) The political economy of dive tourism: precarity at the periphery in Malaysia. Tourism Geographies: An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment, 20 (1). pp. 107-126. ISSN 1461-6688. E-ISSN 1470-1340. (doi:10.1080/14616688.2017.1357141) (KAR id:62220)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (416kB)
Official URL


Using a critical political economy approach and the concept of labour precarity, the international dive tourism industry in Sabah, Malaysia and its workers’ vulnerabilities are interrogated. Fieldwork data highlights dive tourism’s socio-economic impacts and the precarity of labour within the international tourism sector and also critiques it as a development strategy for a peripheral region. The paper challenges the optimistic views of labour precarity found in the existing political economy literature. Rather than identifying labour empowerment, evidence demonstrates significant worker vulnerability, uncertainty, and contingency - especially among ethnic minorities - resulting from Malaysia’s state-led rentier economy.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/14616688.2017.1357141
Projects: [UNSPECIFIED] The developmental impacts of international dive tourism in Malaysia: sustainable growth or drowning in development
Uncontrolled keywords: precarity; rentier state; labour; communities; Malaysia; Borneo
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions and public administrations (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Human Ecology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > International Business and Strategy
Depositing User: Mark Hampton
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2017 15:05 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2020 04:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Hampton, Mark P.:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year