Islands, due to various characteristics such as idyllic environments, remoteness and rich natural and cultural fabric, have always been considered desirable destinations. In fact, islands have relied on tourism not only for increasing their economic prosperity, but also for effectively handling challenges they face such as limited resources, segregation, dependency on the rest world, and structural concerns. As such, tourism for many islands has become one of their main pillars of development as well as a core source of income and employment. Nonetheless, in our turbulent globalised environment more and more islands need to find ways to deal with significant competitive forces while at the same time keep their genuine character, without compromising their attractiveness.
In this regard, island destinations endeavour to develop special forms of tourism with the aim of diversifying their tourism product, acquiring competitive edge and ultimately rejuvenating their tourism industries. With evidence that contemporary global trends require islands to be competitive but also sustainable for their future development, emphasis needs to be given to matters regarding how efficiently and effectively niche tourism is managed and how this can influence expansion of the prosperity of local residents. Moreover, in a time where niche forms of tourism seem to counterbalance the misruled mass tourism development of recent decades, practices concerning how islands destinations are planned and projected are questioned in terms of their effectiveness and/or adverse impacts on their sustainable development in economic, environmental and sociocultural terms, and also impact on island residents’ well-being.
An important theme that therefore needs to be addressed is the identification of how niche forms of tourism developed on island destinations may affect the overall prosperity of the islands’ inhabitants. In this respect, the aim of this special issue is to examine various special forms of niche tourism on islands; how these could be sustainably developed and managed under current global conditions, intensive competition and various types of crises (environmental, economic, political, social); and mainly, how they can affect the overall quality of life of indigenous people. The issue will provide an opportunity for academics, practitioners, policy makers, consultants and researchers to discuss and exchange ideas and methodologies concerning the various types of niche tourism on islands, their contributions to maximising tourism potential as well as their residents’ well-being, and strategies and measures for their long-term sustainable development.
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit papers that focus on (but not limited to) the following themes applied to an island context:
- Sustainable tourism development: competitiveness versus sustainability and residents' well-being
- Best practices for special forms of tourism management and residents' well-being
- Criticism of niche tourism forms on islands and residents' well-being
- Sustainable management of island destinations
- Niche tourism and destination authenticity
- Niche tourism on islands and cultural changes, cultural/interest conflicts
- Globalisation, industrialisation, commercialisation, post-modernism and island residents' prosperity
- Hosts and guests, individuality, collectivity, stakeholders, community, welfare
- Social/economic/ethical/familial roles, structure/impact, social class
- The role of local residents on the niche tourism experience
- Niche tourists' motivation, behaviour and perceptions
- Sociocultural impacts of niche tourism and residents' well-being
- Minorities, indigenous populations, folk art/customs, literature, art, museums, religion
- Event tourism and residents' well-being
- Socioeconomic and political dimensions of niche tourism on islands and residents' well-being
- Niche tourism on islands and residents' well-being; implications for the elderly, women, children, the disabled; gender equality
- Niche tourism on islands and terrorism, disasters, crises, politics, democracy/human rights, war, peace
Manuscripts due by: 20 March, 2018