WIT Press


A Qualified Reading Of The Impact Of Tourism On Island Areas: The Role Of Local Populations In Visits To Tourist Locations And Perception Of Their Environmental Quality

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/ISLANDS120061

Volume

166

Pages

17

Page Range

63 - 79

Published

2012

Size

1,499 kb

Author(s)

C. Blondy, L. Vacher & D. Vye

Abstract

Island tourism is often studied through the prism of the negative impact on the environment and island societies, so creating a divide between tourists and local societies. Although there is no question that tourism has consequences for the environment, generally speaking, it is developing in regions which value environmental quality. This is particularly true of the Île de Ré, a symbolic place for tourism in France. However, the environment crystallises tensions evident in the discourses coming from the various players in this territory. As on other islands, the Ré beaches enjoy a favoured position within the tourism system, being central to tourist practices, particularly during the summer season. It is therefore our intention to qualify the impact of tourism on island areas through the example of visitors to the Île de Ré beaches. This study is founded on data from the Tourism and Leisure Practices Observatory. Analysis of the profiles and practices of those using the Ré beaches demonstrates the need to qualify the impact on the environment. Moreover, tourists are not alone in impacting on the environment. Cross-analysis of visitor numbers and factors influencing the choice of beaches reveals that visits are recurrent and regular since the beaches are perceived as being of high quality and in proximity to the place of residence of friends or family. Thus, the divide created between tourists and local society is brought into question since the latter, generally behind claims of excessive visitor numbers, helps to boost flows by welcoming friends and family. Keywords: tourism, island, impact, environmental quality, beach, visitor numbers, practices, perception, local society.

Keywords

Keywords: tourism, island, impact, environmental quality, beach, visitor numbers, practices, perception, local society