Tourism as the development driver of Easter Island: the key role of resident perceptions

Figueroa, E and Rotarou, E.

Keywords: development, tourism, Easter Island, residents’ perceptions, sustainability, governance


Residents’ attitudes concerning tourism evolution and impacts in tourism host localities are a crucial determinant of the ability of the tourism sector to develop. Easter Island has recently experienced a tremendous tourism growth, which has nurtured expectations that the tourist sector could become the economic driver of the island. Using fieldwork, interviews and surveys, we investigate residents’ perceptions towards tourism and analyse their implications for the sector’s future development. The survey results show that 96% of residents believe that tourism is important or very important for the island’s economy. We conclude that while residents of Easter Island are aware of tourism’s negative impacts, they support the tourism sector, because they recognize it as the main future driver of the island’s economy. However, due to the current environmental threats and the serious governance problems of the island, it is not clear if further expansion of the tourism sector will be sustainable.

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Título de la Revista: Island Studies Journal, Vol. 11, No 1, 2016, pp. 245-264
Volumen: 11
Número: 1
Fecha de publicación: 2016
Página de inicio: 245
Página final: 264
Notas: WOS ISI