The Pacific Realm:
The south Pacific is not the idyllic paradise of the movies or the tourist brochures. In general they lack industrial development, and poverty is more the rule than the exception.
Prior to colonization, the peoples of the Pacific Realm lived by subsistence agriculture, fishing, and some gathering. These ways of life still exist, but colonization has also brought commercial and plantation agriculture, commercial fishing, mining on a few islands, and military establishments.
Hobbs and Salter in their textbook Essentials of World Regional Geography (1998) have identified four categories of development occurring in the Pacific Realm:
- countries and colonies with minerials
- colonies supported by military activities
- US: Guam, American Samoa
- France: French Polynesia [pafrcou]
- Fiji: plantation sugar [pafijcou]
- Cook Islands: self governing territory in free association with New Zealand developing an industrial economy based on labor intensive clothing manufacturing. [pacoocou]
We should also add that there is a rapidly growing tourism industry with most tourist coming from the United States and from Japan.