What is Island Tourism? What are the key factors while planning an Island Resort?
Islands have always been attractive places for tourists to visit. Island’s appeal to the tourists may relate to the feeling of remoteness or seclusion that one can get on an Island. Island tourism helps to relieve the pressure off the mainland to some extent. As the scope for major industrial activities are limited in islands, tourism may offer the right opening for overall island development. Activity oriented tourism is also becoming highly popular and island have tremendous potential to develop such tourism.
The development of island tourism has several constraints. An island resort does not have the ability to handle large number of tourists due to fragile environment, limited resources like availability of drinking water, power mode of transportation and other facilities etc.
Another significant feature relates to local attitudes and deceptiveness to tourists which are critical features and most critical factors on small islands. Island people should be given more participatory role which will lead to better local integration and coordination. Some attention has to be given to training in tourism and for upgrading existing skills of local population so that they may mix up with them warmly and attend to them in friendly way. Socio-cultural impacts of tourism have to be closely monitored because of the relative isolation and traditional nature of the local population.
The following are some of the factors to be kept in mind while planning island tourism.
- Geographical characteristics.
- Historical, cultural, social, legal factors.
- Environmental constraints assessment of carrying capacity.
- Development of infrastructure i.e. type of accommodation and food, mode of transportation to within and between islands, waste disposal system, availability of drinking water, power and sports and leisure facilities.
- Facilities for communication and other recreation activities etc.