Tourism is widely believed to be worlds’ fastest growing industry, thus it is perceived as a safe development option for many regions (Telfer &Sharpley,2008). For number of nations including Maldives, tourism is considered as the only option for the development as they are situated on small islands with limited or almost no natural resources. For this reason it is no wonder why it appeals to so many small, island countries in hope to its potential contribution in improving their economical status.
However the nations that open up for tourism are increasingly becoming aware of the need to protect their island areas in order to maintain their natural beauty and help ensure their long term viability as tourism destination. In response to growing need for environmental protection, tourism sector has been working to develop approaches and strategies that allow for better planning and management of those areas (Mason, 2008). However, this is not always been an easy task as these extremely fragile environments are targets of human-induced development activities. What is more protecting environment, though extremely important is only part of more complex issue of sustainable development that also include economic and social development of areas affected by tourism development( Inskeep,1994). The purpose of this essay is to examine how the tourism sector is coordinating the overall development of islands and how it is contributing to its long-term sustainability of these areas using Maldives as an example. It provides a key tools and approaches used in tourism planning process. It furthermore identifies the stakeholders and the crucial factor in successful delivery of this process.
Maldives and tourism development
The Maldives Islands is an archipelago located on the Indian Ocean consisting of a series of 26 atoll groups which reach total number of 1,191 low-lying coral islands out of which only 200 is inhabited (U.S. Department of States, 2011). Maldives...