The word “Island” means pieces of any sub-continental land surrounded by water. Keys or cays are another word used for very small islands or islets. “Eyot” is the named referred to islands that are located in rivers and lakes. An “archipelago” is the name given for groups of geographically and geologically related islands.
Island and continents differs in terms of their natural environments, natural resources, and biodiversity. It also differs in terms of the type of biological support system, response to environmental changes, and the ability to recover from natural or ecological disasters.
As mentioned earlier, islands differ from mainland continents in terms of biodiversity. This can be seen from the odd collection of flora and fauna, which sometimes cannot be seen elsewhere.
Islands are categorized into two types in terms of geological formation, namely Oceanic and Continental, Oceanic islands being the ones which arise from the surface of the ocean whether by volcanic activity or coralline accumulation of sand and debris, Continental Islands are in contrary a part of the continental shelf which is separated from the main continent by water, these types of islands
Importance of islands as a tourism destination
Many of the island destinations are economically underdeveloped, and rich from natural unspoiled attractions, therefore making it an important asset in the global tourism market.
Due to their small size and limited resources, these destinations faces special challenges and obstacle in fulfilling economic benefit to the islands and its people. Sustainable management and appropriate development of these natural and environmental resources, in terms of tourism proves beneficial to the resident or host community.
Tourism plays a dominant role in the economic well-being of islands. Tourism earnings account for a significant proportion in their GDP, and they have an overwhelming reliance on tourism as a source of exports.
The fundamental aim of tourism development in Islands is to increase foreign exchange earnings to finance imports.
The large proportion of what is being earned through tourism leaves the economy almost instantaneously. In Island, tourism facilities are mostly enclave developments, and their effects on the domestic economy can sometimes be limited.
Tourism is an industry where careful planning is required so that it can be developed with the intention of sustaining it for the long term besides minimizing environmental damage. Tourism development has contributed to economic development in many of these Islands, but may not last forever.
GDP per capita
GDP per capita
Prominent island destinations as per continental regions
Africa is the world’s second-largest and second most-populous continent after Asia, covering 6% of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area.
The population of Africa roughly accounts to a billion people in 61 territories; it is about 14.72% of the world’s human population.
The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent has 54 sovereign states
Pemba is located in the Indian Ocean where it meets the eastern coast of Africa. It is an island forming part of the Zanzibar archipelago. It lies 50 kilometers east of mainland Tanzania. It is also known as ‘Al Jazeera Al Khadra’ (the green island, in Arabic.
Majority of the island consist of hills and are much more fertile compared to Zanzibar. Most of the land is dominated by small scale farming by the locals, and fewer large scale farming which produce huge revenue to the locals. The most abandoned cash producing crop is cloves; there are over 3 million clove trees in Pemba. Largest portion of export earnings also comes from cloves. Besides cloves the locals also produce rice, coconut, bananas¸ cassava and red beans.
Laidback, old- fashioned island and less developed compared to Zanzibar. Pemba is a magnificent Island with naturally unspoiled environment and culturally very intact. But it has limited beaches, and has a lot of mangrove vegetation. Fine reefs for diving, but lacks fish due to dynamiting.
Pemba is also well-known for its rich fishing grounds, due to high marine biodiversity. Between the island and the mainland of Tanzania, there is the deep 20 miles wide Pemba channel, which is one of the most commercial fishing grounds for game fishing on the East African coast.
Pemba is growing familiar as one of the leading island destinations in Africa due to its unique dive sites, with steep drop-offs, untouched coral and very abundant marine life.
As mentioned earlier the strong cultural base also provides a sole experience of old and laid back town life. The population consists of Swahili Muslim society in mostly rural small towns.
There are few tourist lodges located near the beaches, mostly high-end, and generally cut off from main roads and towns. For budget travelers there are other small guest houses/hotels of very low standard.”
Besides the outstanding beauty and unspoiled nature of Pemba, a concern arises about management of these attractions. There should be sustainable development to preserve the unspoiled beaches and diving spots.
São Tomé and Príncipe, Score: 66
Sao Tomeâ€š and Principe, is officially known as Democratic Republic of Sao Tomeâ€š and Principe. It is a Portuguese-speaking island nation located in western equator of the coast of Africa, alongside the Gulf of Guinea. Sao Tome and Principe consists of two islands which are called, Sao Tomeâ€š and Principe, located about 140 kilometers apart and about 250 and 225 kilometers respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon. Due to the small population, Sao Tome and Principe is also known as the two smallest countries in African in term of population size. Both of the islands are a part of an extinct volcanic range, which is known as Cameroon Volcanic Mountain Range.
The islands experience tropical climate at sea level, with an average yearly temperatures of about 27 degrees C and not more than 32 degrees C. With raising altitude the temperature decreased to average yearly temperature is 20 degree Celsius, with usually cooler night weather.
Annual rainfall changes from southwestern slopes to in the northern lowlands of these two islands. It is recorded that the rainy season starts usually from October and continues up to May. Sao Tome and Principe has a very high-potential destination for both natural and cultural resources. They have astonishingly untouched natural environment; with a touch of interesting culture and history. Sao Tome and Principe do not have a huge array of native animals, besides the Sao Tomeâ€š is known for a few endemic species such as Shrew and several bat species. The two islands are habitat to a variety of endemic flora and fauns. The two islands contain the world’s largest sunbird also known as the Giant Sunbird, Fiscal and also known for several giant species of Begonia. These flora and fauna cannot be found elsewhere making it uniquely different from other mainland continents. Nevertheless there are great threats including mass tourism developments, unsustainability and very weak or corrupt management of government policies and environmental protection that will protect the endemic species and unspoiled natural environment.
The Mediterranean Sea separates Europe and Africa. The land enclosed from east to west about 4000 km. Mediterranean Sea plays very important for trading and business hub back in history and today most of the neighboring countries are tourist attractions. Most of the countries had its own uniqueness and quality of history to share to the world. Many Civilizations starts here including Greek Empire, Roman Empire and also Turkey. The tourist industry in Mediterranean is one of the highly developed in the world. Most of the income generated from Tourism industry. Resorts, Hotels, Restaurant, tourist attraction and also historical places is one of the major reason tourist visited Mediterranean countries. In Mediterranean regions, Tourism brings huge economic benefits however; increasing the number of visitors can damage the environment.
The sea is part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as completely separate body of water. Mediterranean covers area of 2.5 million Km (970 000 sq mi) but its connected to the Atlantic is only 14 km (8.7 mi) wide. The maximum depth of Mediterranean region is 5,267 m (17,280 ft, The Mediterranean sea is connected to the Atlantic Ocean at the Strait of Gibraltar, and it is linked to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean (by the Suez Canal), and the Black Sea (at the Dardanelles and Sea of Marmara). The main subdivisions of the Mediterranean Sea are the Adriatic, Aegean, Ionian, and Tyrrhenian seas which collectively form a coastline extending 46,000km, which runs through 22 countries, it is important to mention that this area is highly polluted.
Countries neighboring Mediterranean,
Hydra Island, Greece
Hydra Island is located between the Saronic and Argolis Gulf. It is in the center of town of the whole island, is built architecturally around the port. Hydra Island is a second smaller island sitting offshore on the east coast from the main island. Hydra Island is also known as cosmopolitan and magnificent island combined which offers tranquility and relaxation, in addition the island offers entertainment all day long and intensive night life. The fact that Hydra has a unique beauty in its architecture and its landscape, taken together with its proximity to Athens and its important historical interest, have gradually raised the island to the level of an international tourist center.
The discovery of Hydra Island is by group of artists such as Leonard Cohen and Axel Jensen. Hydra Island also famous of its historical role during the Greek Revolution. Apart from the historical side, beach area is the most famous attraction with unique atmosphere.
There is a lot of activity tourist can do in Hydra Island such as beaches activity, architecture, museums, villages shopping, churches, and festivals.
“A good example of a small island that preserves local heritage and fisherman activities. It appeals mainly to those who want to discover the traditional and authentic essence of the Greek way of life.”
“Continually under the onslaught of tourists. It has weathered these pressures in a proactive manner and remains competitive.”
“Hydra takes preservation seriously and has maintained a village scale and architectural forms that feel very authentic. Since no cars are allowed, the island has retained its original streetscape. Easy to access by ferry from Piraeus, so it’s tremendously popular and has a thriving nightlife. Most of the hotels are small, thankfully.
South America is the southern continent of America. It is situated in the western hemisphere and mostly in the southern hemisphere with relatively small portion in the northern hemisphere. The geography of South America contains many diverse regions and climates. The South American continent also includes various islands, most of which belong to the countries on the continent. South America nations that border the Caribbean Sea including Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
The Chiloéâ€š archipelago is surrounded by a pristine seascape, which is further enhanced by preserved and protected Valdivian forests and a number of historic towns and wooden churches, in which 16 of them are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, relatively rural and unspoiled, several historic fishing villages are also present. Accommodation are also available however, they are mostly small hotels or bed-and-breakfast properties.
Architectural structure and style are rich with mythological animals and spirits. The design consists its own meaning and very pure back then. Most of the tourists enjoy visiting Chiloe because of its uniqueness. Chiloe is the second largest island in South America.
Local markets produces are mackerel, sardines and anchovies used to feed farmed salmon are dangerously overdrawn.
Last and foremost, the Chiloe Island is proud to be its own, historical, sandy beaches and received high number of tourist every year especially for honeymooners or couples.
North and Western Europe islands
Although unknown for tourism, these islands provide an excellent tourism retreat, however, falling under European constitution and supervision these islands had a chance to be sustainably developed so as to meet the tourist’s expectations as well as provide a development opportunity for the natives of these islands, as these islands are located above 38 longitudinal degrees north of the equator, providing an ice cold weather and lower number of tourists, thus preventing it from the problem of mass tourism, however, Cruise tourists growth in some of these islands might threaten the natural habitat from the mass tourism problem, below are too examples of these islands;
Azores Islands, Portugal.
Consisting of nine main islands and maintaining a rate of 84 according to the National Geographic islands rating, the Azores islands are located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, 600 KM from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, the islands history involves sporadic settling of over 200 years, as each of the nine islands provide a unique example of culture, dialect, cuisine and traditions considerably varying from island to another. The main industries of the islands are: agriculture, dairy farming (for cheese and butter products primarily), minor livestock ranching, fishing and tourism, which is becoming the major service activity in the region. Apart from that, the government of the Azores is responsible for employing a large percentage of population directly or indirectly in many aspects of the service and tertiary sectors.
Being it a non- beach destination as opposed to most of the islands of the world, it is not susceptible to mass tourism, the temperate climate in this island hinders the flow of the tourists, however, it offer the visitor a wonderful scenery of green volcanic mountains and picturesque towns which remain unspoiled. Cultural richness, remoteness and Whale sighting can be considered the highlights for the islands to offer for the visitor.
An island nation located in the North Atlantic, this island is rated at 80 according to National Geographic islands of the world rating.
The island known for its vibrant and yet extreme natural conditions has constructed to its development towards benefiting from tourism at its best, although the main economy dependency of Iceland is fishing and agriculture, tourism is highly regarded as a source of economy, the increase in ecotourism concept and the abundance of natural resources has contributed to the growth of these practices, such as whale watching and glacier tours which can be found in a few countries worldwide.
Iceland can be considered as a captive of bad luck economically, as it was hardly hit by the world economic crisis in 2008-2009, an unfortunate eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland happened in March 20th 2010, causing unprecedented ash clouds extending all over Europe and causing a total halt to the airline industry in the whole of Western Europe for a whole week.
Although the Island is expected to take a slower pace to recover economically, the image of this country as an eco-friendly island has yet to be enhanced, as several acts supported by the government has angried several environmentalist, these practices include; the allowing of commercial whaling in 2006 and the erection of Aluminium smelters and hydropower systems.
Iceland still remains the frame in which the natural phenomenon’s occur in, such as glaciers, aurora , volcanoes and whale sighting, these natural occurrences can simultaneously be observed by the tourists which in return provides the basic demand for the tourism sector in the country, this offers a historic modern approach of selling the island as a tourism destination.
North American Islands
Mostly concentrated in two countries namely; United States of America and Canada, most of them are considered as major domestic tourism attractions than international ones, these islands are dispersed on the east and the west side of the North American continent, making its proximity to the mainland America as the main contributor in the tourism numbers, the average rating of the North American islands are 61.1 on National Geographic islands rating, which categorizes it into an island of moderate trouble, as its advantages and disadvantages are almost equal, to give a clearer picture we have chosen the below two examples;
1. Mackinac Island, Michigan, US.
Located in mainland America, in Lake Huron, and Scoring an 80 points rank in National Geographic scale, the island can be described as a seasonal destination with an ecological basis for tourism development, the summer is known to be the highest season of tourists’ arrivals.
The island which falls under the state of Michigan, USA, has been identified as a National Historic Landmark, as it is known for various events during the year, its ban on motor vehicles, and its status as a preserved state park, these elements offer a the visitor an authentic back in time journey, as the tourists can experience the zero motorized vehicles ban since 1898 and use bicycles or horse drawn carriages as the main mode of transportation.
The preservation and containing of the historical aspects of the island has provided a unique and safe haven for tourism development, as the activities are purposely slow, so as to maintain and choose the benefits sought for the preservation of the island.
Although Mackinac Island is sustainably developed, it is a fragile environment, as the mass tourists arriving in the summertime stress the transportation infrastructure and causes substantial changes to the historic fiber of the destination, these weaknesses can be regulated by issuing laws so as to preserve and protect the fragile island.
Santa Catalina Island, California
Located 35 Km from off the coast of California, Catalina is rated 74 in the National geographic islands rating, is a perfect example of a sustainably developed island. The island hosts a variety of tourism infrastructure, although 70% of the total area in the island is under conservation.
The limited and controlled development of the island has led it to be sustainable, as the community there which consists of about 3696 people is heavily dependent on tourism.
The famous endeavors of filming industry has left a mark on the island as 8 Bisons have been left on the island in 1924, this has produced a herd of almost 200 free roaming wildebeests. The scenic landscape of the island has been used over and over in several shootings, and the world class champion golfer Tiger Woods has also won his first competition on this island, this offers a historic modern approach of selling the island as a tourism destination.
Eastern and Southeast Asia
Knocking out every inch of the globe particularly in economy, politics and society and located in the Eastern and northern hemisphere, primary continent that 8.6% coated out the surface with roughly 60% of the human population, a distinct island, Asia is well known for 2 of the popular regions, Southeast and Eastern Asia (Wikipedia 2010). Giving the media exposure, Asia is steadily and rapidly growing to be one of the emerging tourist destinations that provide different geography features, climates, facilities and services from tourist native background. Nowadays, due to the climate changes and rapid development in chasing up the tourist needs and satisfaction level, the growth may have threatened not only the people, but the landscape and scenery as well, following are two islands examples:
Indonesia is recognized as one of the most densely inhabited country with comprising of an approximately 17,508 islands that has been one of significant exchange business in the last century. With the diversification of natural resources, culture, ethics, language, and religion, Indonesia become center of attraction for the world’s second highest level of biodiversity. One of the country’s 33 states, Bali, is one of Indonesia prominent island (besides Java Island) that is being recognized for its arts, dance, sculpture, painting, metalworking and music (Wikipedia, 2010). Situated at the Lesser Sunda Islands, Bali or “Heaven’s world” is also known for its picturesque and magical scenery of natural resources in particular mountains, flora and fauna as well as beaches too.
However, due to rampant commercialism, bali, mainly Kuta and Nusa Dua, is rapidly changes and develop to meet up and boosting up their country’s revenue which also lead to higher demand of labor. The island beautiful coral reefs and mangroves being destroyed and bleach by locals for profits. Besides that, branding of merchandize affected the lifestyle of the locals as a result, higher social ill occurs.
Even though the country main attraction is being one of the sustainable tourism, the landscapes are being degraded by the mass growth. Nevertheless, the breathtaking and astonishing features and phenomena such as volcanoes, sightseeing, beaches and the culture will still mesmerized the tourist thus increasing the tourist arrival. Country such as Malaysia is supporting such event whereby the low cost airlines, Air Asia, has implemented budgeted fees to fly there.
Jeju (Cheju), South Korea
Korea is known for one of the region of Eastern Asia and was formally unified as one state until 1948, the nation divided into 2 region, namely South Korea (Republic of Korea) and North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). With two different politic views and markets with South Korea review as free market and democratic while North Korea are more to industrial economy with limited intervention from outsider. Approximately 3000 islands in South Korea and some of the small and deserted islands located at the western and southern coasts (Wikipedia 2010). Made out from volcano eruptions million years ago and the largest island in Korea, Jeju is one of the attractive yet famous tourist destinations in Korea mostly to Asian country. Jeju Island went into a drastic transition from unfamiliar island to renowned due to the explosion of Korea famous drama “Winter Sonata” and “Hallyu wave”. Overwhelming setting and panoramic view of Jeju attracted the viewers thus increasing the arrivals in Korea. In addition, Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes has being listed as one of the World heritage Site in Korea (Wikipedia, 2010). Mountain Hallasan National Park natural features uniqueness were once unspoiled are now destroyed and tainted due to the heavy commercialization. Awareness being arose to rescue and preserve remaining species as it has been recorded a number of 1, 565 plant species spreading vastly throughout the mountain (Wikipedia, 2010).
Furthermore, rampant development from the government in complementing with the tourism industry by offering well known facilities and attraction such as Spa, dining, clubs and so on are being perceived negatively and misleading the tourist real attention to know local cultural.
Islands of the Indian Ocean
The islands of the Indian Ocean are a varied collection, including many of the smallest territories and one of the largest island nations (Madagascar).With its unique wildlife and culture, is located just off the coast of Africa.
115 islands spread over a contract Indian Ocean, the Seychelles archipelago is more than 16000KM from the African cost.
The Seychelles islands distance from the continent on the fact they are somewhat spread out have made them an isolated paradise, known as Sea of crystalline high purity, and soft white sand guarded by palm trees, overshadowed by the curved, to give the elegance and magnificence of this scene is rarely found in the world.
These islands are organized in the south of the equator and is characterized by tropical climate warm all year round, making it a tourist attraction highly distinguished and all the islands of the Seychelles is a world in itself, and are distinguished from others, and left in your mind the memory of different and special flavor, but the common denominator among them, is that it offers you and invites you to experience it.
The capital Victoria is located in the island of «Mahe» the largest, it is the second largest island in terms of area and population of the Seychelles 80 000 people, and this number is less, compared with the number of turtles, which is about 150 thousand, and this country is safe and the rate of crime is almost non-existent .
The island of Mauritius … Land of Smiles and sugar, known for its magical beaches and the most important tourist destination in the depth of the Indian Ocean with an area of 1865 square kilometers.
First discovered the island is the Arabs in the tenth century AD, but did not settle. And then came to her Portuguese explorers in the fifteenth century, but also did not settle .And finally settled by the Dutch and opened under the name of Mauritius in the late sixteenth century .And then left for the Dutch Frenchmen in the early eighteenth century, and remained colony for 100 years and then France ceded the island to Britain in 1814.So that the island became a British colony that gained independence in 1968 Mauritius. Most of population of Indian origin came to them with the French and English for the cultivation of Indian cane.
Tourism is the most important source parallel with agriculture, particularly sugar, which is famous for Mauritius. Mauritius is one of the most important tourist destinations of the World politicians, businessmen and celebrities because they provide privacy and a relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by services integrated in addition to the awareness of the integrated tourism is also promoting Mauritius itself as a keen to provide maximum facilities to the visitors, in addition to the kindness of its inhabitants and their dealings with tourists, high moral character, and this helped in my opinion most of the resorts to promote their products and provide as much as he wishes tourist, and even higher in the fact that the inherent culture of tourism in this country.
Caribbean is enclosed by many islands, islets and offshore reefs which are from Florida, United state America to Venezuela, South America. Caribbean region became more famous because of the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean. This Caribbean region has been formerly known as the West Indies as Christopher Columbus believed that he had reached the Indies archipelago which is known today as South and Southeast Asia, , when he landed there in 1492.
The climate of the Caribbean is tropical but rainfall caries with elevation, size and water currents. In addition, warm and moist trade winds blow consistently from the east creating rainforest division on mountainous islands
Dominica, which is officially known as the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, and also called the nature isle of the Caribbean. Because Dominica is not changed much after Columbus explored at first time. Dominica is a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the world’s 2nd largest boiling lake, 265 rivers rushing to the sea, national parks and lush vegetation. The island’s annual temperature averages at 27C. This temperature is perfect to enjoy the beautiful and natural country as it still has largely pristine forests and haven for ornithologist as well as great scuba diving spots. In addition, this island is famous for being the `Whale watching capital of the Caribbean’. The chance of seeing a whale and other animals that belong to the Cetaceans order is absolutely great, in fact greater than elsewhere.
This island located near the northern end of the Lesser Antilles archipelago. Nevis is a small and unhurried also immensely fertile and wonderfully beautiful. In addition, Nevis island is volcanic island which is a sister island to St Kitts, however, it is still very difficult to access this island. Therefore, the island is consequently uncrowded and largely unspoiled by tourists. It is an advantage for tourist who wants to seek a quiet, laid back, picturesque vacation in a friendly islanders atmosphere. The uniqueness of this island is the culture and people of this island as they are very traditional in their way of life; this could be seen in the architecture of their building and housing. Ecotourism in particular attracts people to natural sites where the mountains and valleys are found. Moreover, outdoor activities such as golf, hiking, and biking and water sports are attracting more adventurous travelers.
These regions encompasses the ancient land mass Australia, the islands of New Zealand, and the scattering of thousands of small islands that stretch out into the Pacific Ocean. They have similar culture and life style but economic situation and main industry are different.
Their tourism reputation is getting higher and many are increasingly relying on their beautiful scenery and tropical climates to attract tourists and give a valuable boost to their economies.
Kangaroo island, South Australia
Kangaroo Island is the 3rd largest island after Tasmania and Melville Island in Australia. This island is closest from Cape Jervis, South Australia and it is 122km southwest of Adelaide. This island attracts over 140,000 visitors each year because of interesting mix of agriculture, tourism, and wilderness. Especially, this Kangaroo Island has well preserved by Australia government. Beaches and wild animals are the most uniqueness in Kangaroo Island.
The name of this island is from Matthew Flinders who is the English explorer. He explored and mapped the coa