Amenity migration to the global south: Implications for community development Academic Article uri icon


  • Despite a growing trend of migration to countries in the global South fueled by their natural amenities (i.e., natural amenity migration), research on this topic has predominantly been conducted in the global North. This is problematic given the notable socioeconomic, attitudinal, and behavioral differences between amenity migrants (often urbanites from developed countries) and local people (often rural residents of developing countries). Grounded in community field theory, this study begins to fill this gap in the literature by increasing our understanding of the ways in which local residents and amenity migrants interact in the amenity-rich community of Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica. We found that linguistic, cultural, and spatial barriers (real and perceived) created a social climate in which the interaction between local residents and amenity migrants was primarily based on mundane interactions and did not lead to social integration. This proved to be a hindrance to the creation of the community field, which led to a lack of joint planning and participation in activities and projects that sought to improve the overall living conditions in the community. Explanations of these findings and the implications of such a divide are offered. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

author list (cited authors)

  • Matarrita-Cascante, D., & Stocks, G.

citation count

  • 28

publication date

  • October 2013