Islands, island studies, island studies journal



Title Islands, island studies, island studies journal
Author(s) Godfrey Baldacchino
Journal Island Studies Journal
Date 2006
Volume 1
Issue 1
Start page 3
End page 18
Islands are sites of innovative conceptualizations, whether of nature or human enterprise,
whether virtual or real. The study of islands on their own terms today enjoys a growing
and wide-ranging recognition. This paper celebrates the launch of Island Studies Journal
in the context of a long and thrilling tradition of island studies scholarship.
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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