Surf Tourism and Sustainable Development in Indo-Pacific Islands. 1. The Industry and the Islands
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Commercial surf tourism is recent in origin but is now a significant component of the worldwide adventure tourism sector. There are over 10 million surfers worldwide and a third of these are cash-rich, time-poor and hence potential tour clients. Most travelling surfers visit mainland destinations and are not distinguished from other tourists. Specialist surfing boat charters and lodges are most prevalent in Indo-Pacific islands. In the smaller reef islands, growth in tourism carries risks to drinking water and subsistence fisheries. There risks are easily overcome, but only if appropriate waste and sewage management technologies are installed. In the larger rock islands, nature and adventure tourism may provide an economic alternative to logging and plantation agriculture. Cultural impacts can occur in either type of island. As with most types of adventure tourism, the commercial surf tourism industry in the Indo-Pacific is strongly linked to the clothing, fashion and entertainment industries, and marketed through specialist surfing magazines and surfing media. From a tourism development perspective, the trend is towards integrated ocean sports destinations which attract entire families as well as individual surfers. Currently, however, marketing crossovers with other specialist ocean sports such as diving are far smaller than with other boardsports such as snowboarding.
Journal of Sustainable Tourism
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