Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Recreation Capacity for Surfers

Siberut Island in the Mentawai chain near West Sumatra, Indonesia has a problem with overcrowding with surfers. Many of the islands surf breaks can only handle a few surfers at once due to the shape of the reef. The villagers that inhabit the island are subjected to log, and create plantation agriculture for income. Tourism seems to be the only politically realistic economic alternative. By constructing surf lodges that would be runned by different boat based surf tour operators, hence calling for a recreation capacity limit to be determined.

The recreational capacity of the Mentawai for surfing is therefore determined by the minimum number of surfable breaks under the the least favorable common weather conditions. These conditions are most limiting during the northerly winds, when only a few breaks are functioning. Based on this analysis the recreational capacity for the Mentawai islands chain is about 100 surfers.

Surf tourism is by no means the only form of tourism on most of these islands, but in many cases it is a leading componet since it can bring relatively high paying tourists to areas with little or no infrastructure. This income can in turn start financing other infrastructure development of a broader nature, adventure and cultural tourism sector in these islands.

Saving the Rainforests

When it comes to promoting saving the rainforests a symbiosis between the natural environment, development and tourism must be achieved to obtain conservation. Protected areas can be developed and expanded to generate income for the local community, instead of depleting the natural resources. If the locals have a vested interest in protecting these areas, due to the income it brings, they will want to patrol and protect it. Programs that promote sustainable use must be established as well to maximize productivity and minimize the impact on the environment and its resources. By encouraging entrepreneurship in the ecotourism industry governments and conservation groups can obtain sustainable development and tourism.

Developing Tourism in Greece

4/26/2006 6:00 pm
Greece has always been a major destination for tourists from around the world. But according to George Spiliotis, Director of Australia and New Zealand Chapter of the Greek National Tourism Organization, "Greece is more than the islands and more than just a summer destination. Greece is a year round destination." Spiliotis plans to promote sports tourism such as, golf, diving, yachting and sailing, and bushwalking heavily in Australia over the next few years. Currently there are eleven resort complexes under construction which will have one or more eighteen hole golf courses. The development of these resorts are being given the highest priority by the Greek government. Construction should be completed by 2015 creating 12 luxury hotels, 320 villas, and a conference center. Due to the size of these developments many Greek and foreign investors are being drawn in to finance the operations.

The GNTO is also wanting to promote the cultural attractions of northern Greece. There are 40 villages where the inhabitants still live in stone houses and practice Greek traditions. The people and culture of this mountainous area are part of "Vanishing Greece" that Spiliotis intends to introduce to the Australian market this year along with sports tourism.

In my opinion I can see this development being positive and negative on the economy. The positive being the creation of jobs that have the potential for year round employment. The resorts would not only attract Australians but other major traveling countries which would bring outside revenue to Greece. By creating and expanding infrastructure the quality of life will improve for the Greeks. The negative side of this development would be the loss of natural areas and resources. Property values could rise and in turn increase the cost of living for the country or region. The rapid development of these resorts could create more negative impacts to the country's traditions, values and lifestyles.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Travelin to Russia?
According to Paul Wiseman, the managing director for Trafalgar Tours, says their Russian river cruises are filling up fast for the 2006 season. His reasoning is that the supply of 5 star experiences from Trafalgar Tours are letting the consumers include them in their overall and customized plans, which are becoming more and more important for profitability and competitiveness in the tourism industry.

Trafalgar is also guaranteeing their tours because of the SARS epidemic and other diseases that pose a barrier to travel.