Sustainable Tourism in Island Destinations
Sustainable Tourism in Island Destinations
Graci, Sonya and Dodds, Rachel
By Jessica Sam
Published in 2010, Sustainable Tourism in Island Destinations by Sonya Graci and Rachel Dodds is the fourth title in the Earthscan series following Slow Travel and Tourism, Tourism and Poverty Reduction and Tourism Development and the Environment: Beyond Sustainability? This book extensively overviews and critically explores the relationship between tourism, development and the environment of islands reflecting contemporary economic, socio-cultural and political contexts. S. Graci is an Assistant Professor at Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada while R. Dodds is an Associate Professor at the same institution. The authors’ use several of their very own island project works that provide innovative discussion and practical management structures to explore the development role of tourism in relation to the impacts of the environment and their potential overexploitation threats. The authors’ provide eight well-chosen illustrative case studies to focus on innovative discussions regarding issues of sustainability on island tourism destinations, they include sub-jurisdiction islands such as Moose Factory, Canada; Cayos Cochinos, Honduras; St. Kitts; Calvia, Mallorca, Spain; Chumbe, Tanzania; Koh Phi Phi, Thailand; Gili Trawangan, Indonesia; and Sanya, China. The hard-covered book looks very bright appealing, although the photographs inside are black and white, which unfortunately does not catch the reader’s attention, the graphs and diagrams are very illustrative and descriptive which helps the reader understand the context.
The book is divided into four parts; Sustainability in island destinations; Challenges to achieving sustainability in island destinations; Successes of achieving sustainability in island destinations; and Synthesis, containing three to four chapters in each part. The eight case studies are provided in Part 2 and Part 3 to discuss the challenges and successes of achieving sustainability in island destinations. With these case studies, readers will benefit from descriptive case studies rather than the theoretical or prescriptive discussion.
Part 1: Sustainability in Island Destinations includes Chapters 1 – 3 highlighting the framework of the book as a whole outlining the historical growth and the need for sustainable tourism in island destinations. Many of the discussions within this book involve the life cycle model at the beginning of each case study, which is a useful tool to evaluate the life cycle stage of destinations. A brief description of overall impacts and issues islands face are also overviewed in this chapter to grab the readers understanding of what they will be focusing on.
Challenges to achieving sustainability in island destinations is outlined and discussed in detail in Part 2 followed by four illustrative case-studies to support the negative impacts of tourism development in island destinations. This Part contains Chapters 4 – 8 and each chapter covers one case study, earlier listed, as real-life examples. In the view of Sanya, Hainan, China, as an ‘eco-province’ and claiming themselves as an island that manages its environment, Graci and Dodds proves them otherwise, discussing and listing the weakness of the island tourism development due to lack of environmental awareness among key stakeholders supporting their discussions their own project photographs. Graci and Dodds use the similar approach in discussing the other case studies such as the lack of consideration for the local community building community capacity in Cayos, Cochinos Islands, Honduras; inadequate planning and overdevelopment in Koh Phi Phi and also what happens when the focus is on economic returns rather than social and environmental wee-being; and lack of long-term planning and unoriginality, copying other destinations in St. Kitts leading to lack of competitiveness and potentially failing economy. These challenges and impediments due to infrastructure in island destinations impacts from development that does not incorporate sustainability.
Other than challenges, there are also island destinations that succeed in achieving tourism sustainability and is discussed in Part 3 which contains Chapters 9 – 10.these chapters identifies innovative, practical initiatives to move the agenda forward. Graci and Dodds has chosen a number of island examples worldwide which have demonstrate innovative initiatives. They include collaborative multi-stakeholder partnerships in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia; implementing a multi-stakeholder policy in Calvia, Mallorca, Spain; good demonstration of strong leadership and partnership and long-term vision for conservation through tourism in Chumbe Island, Tanzania; and finally putting community-based tourism into practice in Moose factory Island, Ontario. Graci and Dodds discuss and explain how these island are successful in overcoming challenges of achieving sustainability in island destinations which is useful for readers to understand by relating real-life examples and comparing each island from each other of their challenges and successes.
The concluding Part of the book is the Synthesis, which outlines innovative initiatives that islands can use to help overcome challenges of sustainability. Leadership, collaborative partnerships, building community capacity, implementing a cohesive policy strategy and continuous improvement are discussed further in Chapter 14. As well as Chapter 15 discusses the future and the way forward by overviewing the key elements for achieving sustainable tourism development relating back to the case studies in the book. The authors’ conclude with ideas for further research and study and also offers a section of additional resources that may be useful for students, managers and planners in islands which is great for readers to keep in mind and take the opportunity to study.
Overall, this book is an exceptional resource for students, managers and planners who are studying or interested in tourism worldwide. Highlighting the challenges and successful, innovative initiatives to achieving sustainable tourism management with the use of case studies the authors’ provided for each chapter were great real-life examples and the fact it was from their own experiences and project works. A great feature of this book is that the overview of Part 1 outlines the main important key points and descriptions of the whole book which helps readers to understand and read deeper if they are interested instead of flicking through pages finding what they are looking for. The additional resources section is very ideal and a great part of the book providing excellent source of information that can be taken to a proactive approach in sustainable tourism development. Personally would highly recommend.