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Special Issue "Sustainable Island Tourism"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2021) | Viewed by 10867

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Stephen Royle
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland, UK
Interests: Islands, Geography, Tourism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tourism has become of major economic and, therefore, social and environmental significance to islands around the world. Tourism does not just provide employment; its adoption usefully sidesteps some common island problems. Visitors boost demand, assisting economies of scale for everything from goods to transport services. A tourist economy is not constrained by the limitations of on-island capacities: tourists bring money from elsewhere and spend it on goods and services whilst on the island. Some goods may even be brought in on the very planes or ships that deliver the visitors, and thus the island might just be the stage on which transactions are performed. To the tourist, the fact that islands sit apart engenders mystery and romance, positive feelings, and even paradisical associations. ‘Paradise’ and ‘island’ are words put together even in inappropriate settings, as with newspaper headlines in 2011, when 69 young people were slaughtered on the ‘paradise island’ of Utøya in a cold Norwegian lake. ‘Treasure island’ is another common phrase; how fortunate that Robert Louis Stevenson changed the novel’s original title from ‘The sea cook’. ‘The man who loved islands’ could be a tag applied to more than just D.H. Lawrence’s hero, and it is significant that when that man abandoned his first island, there were plans to turn it into a tourist resort.

Islands seek tourists, and tourists value islands, in seemingly a perfect symbiosis. However, there are tensions within such a relationship. Tourism, particularly mass tourism, can become a burden to both the environment and society. Islands are bounded, many being without wilderness or frontier regions, and the development of tourist facilities might require the sacrifice of limited, perhaps cherished, open space, or pre-existing land uses might succumb to tourist demands. Tourists need water and power, and they produce wastes, from packaging to sewage; thus, bounded island systems might struggle to provide the utilities or cope with the waste. Island cultures, perhaps including language and social traditions, might be challenged by a deluge of visitors, some of whom might not conform to local norms through disinclination or ignorance. Issues of sustainability relating to tourism’s impact on fragile insular systems may (or may not) be eased by ecotourism. Another aspect of sustainability relates to islands striving to hold on to their share of the tourism market in what is a fickle industry; fashions for destinations readily change. Tourism to islands, as elsewhere, can also be affected by strife and by economic downturns, such as the financial crisis of 2008 and now that caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This Special Issue of Sustainability seeks to explore sustainable tourism within island settings. Papers are invited that cover sustainable island tourism in general or theoretical terms or that deal with aspects of the issue relating to specific island settings.

Dr. Stephen Royle
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • island
  • tourism
  • sustainability

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Crossroads of Ecotourism Dependency, Food Security and a Global Pandemic in Galápagos, Ecuador
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13094; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313094 - 26 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 567
Abstract
International esteem for Galápagos’ natural wonders and the democratization of travel have contributed to a 300% increase in annual tourist entries to the archipelago from 2000 (68,989) to 2018 (275,817). The attendant spike in tourism-related anthropogenic impact coupled with deficient infrastructure development has [...] Read more.
International esteem for Galápagos’ natural wonders and the democratization of travel have contributed to a 300% increase in annual tourist entries to the archipelago from 2000 (68,989) to 2018 (275,817). The attendant spike in tourism-related anthropogenic impact coupled with deficient infrastructure development has put the archipelago’s natural capital and carrying capacity at risk. The complex nature of Galápagos’ food insecurity is linked to the archipelago’s geographic isolation, its diminishing agricultural workforce, international tourists’ demand for recognizable food, and a lack of investment in sustainable and innovative agricultural futures. Food security is key to the long-term well-being of Galapagueños, who sustain Galápagos’ tourism industry. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the vulnerability of human systems in Galápagos, especially the fragility of Galápagos’ ecotourism dependency. Galapagueños’ struggle to endure the tourism sector’s slow rebound following the 2020 travel restrictions points to an urgent need to implement food security measures as an indispensable component of the archipelago’s long-term sustainability plan. This article presents ethnographic data to discuss the tourism sector’s impact on local food systems, Galapagueños’ right to food sovereignty, efforts to increase agricultural production, and why strengthening institutional partnerships is vital to Galápagos’ food self-sufficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Island Tourism)
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Article
A Study on the Current Impact on Island Tourism Development under COVID-19 Epidemic Environment and Infection Risk: A Case Study of Penghu
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10711; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910711 - 27 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 776
Abstract
The present study examined the impact on island tourism development during the COVID-19 epidemic environment and infection risk by using Penghu as a case study. Using a mixed re-search methodology, 534 questionnaires were collected and analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics 22.0 for Windows [...] Read more.
The present study examined the impact on island tourism development during the COVID-19 epidemic environment and infection risk by using Penghu as a case study. Using a mixed re-search methodology, 534 questionnaires were collected and analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics 22.0 for Windows statistical software with statistical tests and t-tests. The views of scholars, experts, residents, and tourists on the questionnaire results were then compiled and finally examined by multivariate validation analysis. The results showed that different stakeholders maintained different perspectives on a number of economic, social, and environmental issues in the epidemic environment with risks of infection. Residents considered that the preservation of marine culture and the lack of resting and parking facilities for tourists are the issues that need to be improved in the development of Penghu tourism. Visitors believe that improving littering, vessel mooring space, pollution from heavy oil discharges, landscape and historic site protection, surface litter and pollution in the harbor, marine habitat, heavy oil spills, tourist litter, and threats from invasive species will help attract tourists to visit and spend money. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Island Tourism)
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Article
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 - 09 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1183
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Island Tourism)
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Article
Tourism-Related Loans as a Driver of a Small Island Economy: A Case of Northern Cyprus
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9508; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179508 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 721
Abstract
Although the literature on the contribution of tourism to economic expansion vis-à-vis the tourism-led growth hypothesis has been widely explored, so far, limited attention has been paid to the specificity of the role of tourism-related loans or financial inducement in economic growth. This [...] Read more.
Although the literature on the contribution of tourism to economic expansion vis-à-vis the tourism-led growth hypothesis has been widely explored, so far, limited attention has been paid to the specificity of the role of tourism-related loans or financial inducement in economic growth. This paper examines the short-run and long-run relationships between bank loan disbursements to the tourism sector and economic growth in Northern Cyprus. We structurally derive empirical equations for co-integration and error-correction models by extending the original Solow growth model, applying a cointegration approach that is strengthened by the autoregressive distributed lag and Granger causality approaches to reveal important findings. The empirical findings suggest unidirectional causality from loans disbursed to the tourism sector to economic growth in Northern Cyprus for the period under study. Additionally, we show that tourism-related loans and human and technological advancement all spur economic growth in the short- and long-run. These findings’ main policy implication is that long-term complementary policies in the domestic banking system can increase the access to financial sources for tourism enterprises and, consequently, promote tourism-led economic growth, especially in small tourism-dependent economies where capital sources are scarce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Island Tourism)
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Article
Tourism and Counterurbanization in a Low-Amenity Peripheral Island: A Longitudinal Study at Yakushima Island in Kagoshima, Japan
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8822; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168822 - 06 Aug 2021
Viewed by 742
Abstract
This research explored the long-term relation between tourism development and counterurbanization in a remote island in Japan, as the longevity of in-migrants’ role in low-amenity tourism destinations has been questioned. Using data collected over 10 years at Yakushima Island, the study investigated the [...] Read more.
This research explored the long-term relation between tourism development and counterurbanization in a remote island in Japan, as the longevity of in-migrants’ role in low-amenity tourism destinations has been questioned. Using data collected over 10 years at Yakushima Island, the study investigated the island’s population trend, in-migrants’ motivation for relocation, their contributions to tourism, and the lives on the island. The results showed that the trend of population growth differed among Yakushima’s 24 villages likely because of accessibility, proximity to tourism attractions, the weather, and housing availability. Yakushima’s natural environment was the key factor in in-migrants’ migration choice. Encounters and connections with people on the island were found to be another important factor. In-migrants introduced ecotours as an innovation in the 1990s, and thereafter, many in-migrants moved to Yakushima with high aspirations of becoming tour guides. Tourism stagnated starting in 2008, and some in-migrants began moving out of the island. Despite the overall downward trend of tourism, an increase in international tourists created a niche market before the COVID-19 pandemic, attracting foreign in-migrants as tourism entrepreneurs in recent years. Similar to the main driver for Japanese in-migrants’ relocation, nature was also the main motivation for international tourists’ relocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Island Tourism)
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Article
Groundwater, Graves and Golf: Layers of Heritage Tourism on a Fiji Resort Island
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 5863; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13115863 - 23 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 887
Abstract
While island resorts in the South Pacific are primarily marketed as sun, sea and sand destinations, cultural dimensions value-add to and diversify the product for mixed audiences. Resort developments require, at minimum, the compliance with legally mandated environmental standards and adherence to national [...] Read more.
While island resorts in the South Pacific are primarily marketed as sun, sea and sand destinations, cultural dimensions value-add to and diversify the product for mixed audiences. Resort developments require, at minimum, the compliance with legally mandated environmental standards and adherence to national employment legislation. Socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable tourism concepts should exceed mandated environmental standards and be characterised by a close involvement with and respect for the expectations of local host communities who may hold land and/or traditional usufruct rights. But do resort developments comply? Using an example of a resort established on free-hold land during the pioneering days of resort development in Fiji, the aim of this paper is to provide a deliberation of the tension between organic resort development and sustainable tourism on private land. It will show that, where cultural and environmental planning controls were absent, development not only could progress unfettered but also that changes to tourism philosophies are not necessarily reflected in changes to a resort. The island of Malolo Lailai (Viti Levu, Fiji) has a rich and multi-layered history and heritage (Fijian, European and Chinese plantations, resort development) that provides an opportunity to value-add to the tourist experience. In reality, however, the ongoing resort development extinguishes past histories in favour of a post-occupation, twentieth-century colonial settler narrative, where heritage sites are merely allowed to co-exist provided they do not impact on resort development objectives. It demonstrates that, in the absence of external regulatory controls, the resort owner’s philosophy dominates and shapes the tourist experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Island Tourism)
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Article
Tourism, Transport and Climate Change: The Carbon Footprint of International Air Traffic on Islands
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1795; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041795 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2659
Abstract
Many small islands base their economy on tourism. This activity, based to a large extent on the movement of millions of people by air transport, depends on the use of fossil fuels and, therefore, generates a large amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. [...] Read more.
Many small islands base their economy on tourism. This activity, based to a large extent on the movement of millions of people by air transport, depends on the use of fossil fuels and, therefore, generates a large amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this work, these emissions are evaluated by means of various carbon calculators, taking the Canary Islands as an example, which is one of the most highly developed tourist archipelagos in the world. The result is that more than 6.4 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 are produced per year exclusively due to the massive transport of tourists over an average distance of more than 3000 km. The relative weight of these emissions is of such magnitude that they are equivalent to more than 50% of the total amount produced by the socioeconomic activity of the archipelago. Although, individually, it is travelers from Russia and Nordic countries who generate the highest carbon footprint due to their greater traveling distance, the British and German tourists account for the greatest weight in the total, with two-thirds of emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Island Tourism)
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Review

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Review
Influences of Climate Change on Tourism Development in Small Pacific Island States
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4223; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084223 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2032
Abstract
Tourism-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a central driver of anthropogenic climate change. At the same time, climate change has both direct and indirect impacts on tourism, varying from damages of tourist assets due to extreme weather events, to losses of [...] Read more.
Tourism-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a central driver of anthropogenic climate change. At the same time, climate change has both direct and indirect impacts on tourism, varying from damages of tourist assets due to extreme weather events, to losses of biodiversity. Small island developing states (SIDS) heavily depend on international tourism as a source of revenue and income. Therefore, much could be gained by assessing the vulnerability of the SIDS tourism sector and by identifying measures that may assist these islands in their sustainable adaptation efforts. Against this background, this interdisciplinary paper provides a review of tourism development and the implications of its emissions on the global climate, linked with observed and projected influences of climate change in the Pacific region, to explain the growing vulnerability of the overall sector, with a particular focus on SIDS tourism. A description of the effects of COVID-19 on international tourism and its consequences for SIDS complement the analysis. Case studies of two Pacific islands present some evidence of current climate impacts, underscoring the multiple risks small island nations and their tourism sectors face. The paper concludes by stating that some measures may be prioritized by decision-makers, so as to increase the resilience of a transforming tourism sector in SIDS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Island Tourism)
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