Next Article in Journal
Trans-Disciplinary Education for Sustainable Marine and Coastal Management: A Case Study in Taiwan
Previous Article in Journal
Human Factors in Green Office Building Design: The Impact of Workplace Green Features on Health Perceptions in High-Rise High-Density Asian Cities
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1093; doi:10.3390/su8111093

Sustainable Development or Eco-Collapse: Lessons for Tourism and Development from Easter Island

Department of Economics, University of Chile, Diagonal Paraguay 257, Office 1506, Santiago 8330015, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcus Stephenson
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 15 September 2016 / Accepted: 12 October 2016 / Published: 26 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3491 KB, uploaded 26 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

While tourism brings many benefits to islands, it can also cause negative effects, especially when tourism development is a disorganised process, with significant environmental impacts. This has been the case of Easter Island: the recent, uncontrolled growth in tourist numbers together with social and political tensions, are signs of a socioeconomic process pursuing development that has neglected the institutional, environmental, social, and economic imperatives of sustainability for tourism management. The study initially presents the environmental impacts of tourism growth, including waste disposal and management issues, problems with sewage system, threats to water quality, and biodiversity loss. Next, using data from in situ fieldwork, interviews and surveys, it focuses on residents’ perceptions regarding environmental consequences of the vast tourism growth, as well as on the serious governance issues that Easter Island is currently facing and that complicate even further its sustainable development. Overall, our results indicate that—while acknowledging the negative impacts that uncontrolled tourism development has brought to the island and the need for it to become more sustainable—residents are in favour of tourism since it is the island’s main source of income and employment. The paper draws lessons for islands involved in the “development-through-tourism” model regarding the difficulties these islands will face in attaining their goals if they are not able to build and implement cooperative agreements among stakeholders to properly manage the common-pool resources involved. This is a warning sign for islands that enthusiastically promote tourism without implementing sound sustainability criteria to guide the management of their tourism sector. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable development of islands; sustainable tourism; residents’ perceptions; Easter Island; Chile; environmental degradation; sustainability governance; tourism management sustainable development of islands; sustainable tourism; residents’ perceptions; Easter Island; Chile; environmental degradation; sustainability governance; tourism management
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Figueroa B., E.; Rotarou, E.S. Sustainable Development or Eco-Collapse: Lessons for Tourism and Development from Easter Island. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1093.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top