Case Study

Women on Islands: Leaders of sustainable tourism

Project aim

Croatia beachThe NGO Small Islands Organisation (SMILO) supports small islands of less than 150km². The Travel Foundation delivered training and mentoring for four island partners as part of the SMILO project “Women on islands, leaders of sustainable tourism”, supported by the Anna Lindh Foundation. The aim was to help participants identify, measure and manage the impacts of tourism on their island (or islands) and ultimately to develop a more sustainable tourism model.Women on Islands logo

Working with the islands of Brownsea (UK), Kerkennah (Tunisia), Paros (Greece), and Lastovo (Croatia), our training supported women to be leaders in the field of sustainable tourism. We worked on improving impacts in six thematic areas: AnnaLindhEU-logowater, energy, waste, biodiversity, and the socio-economic and tourism landscape.

Small islands are particularly vulnerable to issues such as climate change impacts, pollution, biological diversity in need of protection, invasive species, and habitat destruction. Islands share similar challenges with common solutions, but being self-contained also means there is potential for innovation.

Outputs and learning

  • All of the islands, like many tourism destinations around the world, needed to flatten the tourism peaks during July and August, spreading the economic benefits of tourism throughout the year and across a broader population.
  • Another overarching trend across all of the destinations was a need to improve the collection and analysis of data to better understand tourism’s impacts on different aspects of the island, including resident satisfaction with tourism. Therefore, more collaborative and participative tourism development practices were recommended to all, alongside better tourism impact monitoring to inform decision-making.
  • As a result of the 6-month expertise provided, each island partner produced an action plan which contains practical next steps towards maximising the positive benefits of tourism whilst protecting natural and community assets. Read more about the resulting action plans and the recommendations for each island.
  • Longer-term vision statements were also developed collaboratively to help inspire island stakeholder action towards a better tourism product for all: residents, tourists and the environment.
  • Croatia tourists

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