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Article

Island Tourism-Based Sustainable Development at a Crossroads: Facing the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Department of Economics, School of Economics and Business, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8330015, Chile
2
Center of Environmental and Resource Economics, School of Economics and Business, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8330015, Chile
3
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Science, Universidad San Sebastián, Santiago 7500000, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen Royle
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10081; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810081
Received: 21 July 2021 / Revised: 27 August 2021 / Accepted: 3 September 2021 / Published: 9 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Island Tourism)
Tourism is often seen as the ‘golden ticket’ for the development of many islands. The current COVID-19 pandemic, however, has ground global tourism to a halt. In particular, islands that depend heavily on tourist inflows—including mass-tourism islands, and small island developing states (SIDS)—have seen their revenues diminish significantly, and poverty rates increasing. Some alternative-tourism islands have fared better, as they have focused on providing personalized, nature-based experiences to mostly domestic tourists. This article focuses on the experiences of mass-tourism islands, SIDS, and alternative-tourism islands during the COVID-19 pandemic, and offers possible post-pandemic scenarios, as well as recommendations for sustainable island tourism development. Although the pandemic has largely had a negative impact on the tourism sector, this is a unique opportunity for many islands to review the paradigm of tourism development. In this newly emerging world, and under a still very uncertain future scenario, the quadriptych of sustainability is more important than ever. Responsible governance and management of islands’ natural resources and their tourism activities, addressing climate change impacts, the diversification of islands’ economies, and the promotion of innovative and personalized tourist experiences are all necessary steps towards increasing islands’ resilience in case of future economic downturn or health- and environment-related crises. View Full-Text
Keywords: mass-tourism islands; alternative-tourism islands; small island development states (SIDS); sustainability; COVID-19 pandemic mass-tourism islands; alternative-tourism islands; small island development states (SIDS); sustainability; COVID-19 pandemic
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MDPI and ACS Style

Figueroa B., E.; Rotarou, E.S. Island Tourism-Based Sustainable Development at a Crossroads: Facing the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sustainability 2021, 13, 10081. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810081

AMA Style

Figueroa B. E, Rotarou ES. Island Tourism-Based Sustainable Development at a Crossroads: Facing the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sustainability. 2021; 13(18):10081. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810081

Chicago/Turabian Style

Figueroa B., Eugenio, and Elena S. Rotarou 2021. "Island Tourism-Based Sustainable Development at a Crossroads: Facing the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic" Sustainability 13, no. 18: 10081. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810081

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