"Mitigating seasonality patterns in an archipelago: the role of ecotourism" co-authored by Karl Agius and myself, has been published in peer-reviewed scholarly journal Maritime Studies (Springer).
Citation: Agius, K., Briguglio, M. Mitigating seasonality patterns in an archipelago: the role of ecotourism. Maritime Studies (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40152-021-00238-x
Due to their insularity and small economies, several islands have become reliant on tourism activity for the livelihood of their communities. Islands of the same archipelago have faced various challenges in terms of tourism growth and related impact. Primarily, tourism has been characterised by seasonality (the strong spatio-temporal concentration of tourists in a destination) especially in the most peripheral islands. In other cases, tourism has grown considerably resulting in overemphasis on mass tourism throughout part of the year. This is largely experienced due to Sand, Sun and Sea (3S) tourism. Fieldwork, including interviews with key stakeholders and ecotours off-season, was conducted in the Aegadian Archipelago, off the west coast of Sicily. Findings revealed that ecotourism not only is the preferred alternative form of tourism among stakeholders but is also possible and ideal as confirmed through the ecotours. This is because different ecotourism activities can be practised all year round, thus mitigating seasonality. In return, this can help ease the financial, social and environmental challenges associated with current tourism models improving the well-being of local communities. Marine ecotourism is considered as a means to give more value to marine protected areas and to make existing tourism activity in the peak season more sustainable.