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Title: Warm versus cold water island tourism : a review of policy implications
Authors: Baldacchino, Godfrey
Keywords: Island state
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
Citation: Island Studies Journal. 2006, Vol.1(2), p. 183-200
Abstract: Not sun, sea, sand but ice, isolation, indigenous people: the critical exploration of extreme tourism in cold water locations has barely started. Cold water island locations tend to have harsh, pristine and fragile natural environments, characterized by wide open spaces. They become contexts for an exceptional and expensive form of vigorous, outdoor, adventure or cultural tourism, and direct encounters with nature. The nature and practices of the tourism industry suggest a more sustainable form of island tourism, very different from what is experienced on the warm, tropical and exotic island stereotype. This paper critically reviews some of the salient contrasts between the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ versions of island tourism. It discusses how, on many ‘cold water’ island locations, sound strategic management, limited civilian ‘buy in’, low populations and an absence of pluralism in political life, can conspire with climate and relative inaccessibility to limit tourism to a small scale, lowimpact industry with a relatively high, locally-retained value added. Some ‘warm water’ islands are trying to follow this model for tourism development, with mixed results.
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