An increasing number of countries, among them many within the Mediterranean, have turned to tourism as a way of providing employment, increasing national income, and avoiding current account deficits. As resorts developed, a realization began to grow in some of the more developed areas that tourism was a mixed blessing, and that, for some people at least, the benefits of tourism might be outweighed by the costs.
Results from a larger comparative study of the impacts of tourism on two communities: Ayia Napa/Paralimni in the southern part of Cyprus (among Greek Cypriot residents), and Kyrenia in the northern part (among Turkish Cypriots). Evidence suggests that the prevailing attitude is that socio-economic and environmental costs of development must be accepted for the greater overall wealth of both local residents and of Cyprus as a whole.
In view of the economic advantages of tourism, and the lack of awareness of the less-evident environmental costs, it is not surprising that there is little concern over any negative effects of tourism development, even if these may jeopardize the longterm viability of the economic development of the island. Given that the possibilities for sustainable, alternative tourism have yet largely to be explored, the need to change attitudes is paramount, if Cyprus is not to end up as yet another over-developed Mediterranean island.
Cyprus, tourism, Mediterranean, economic development, environmental costs, socioeconomic costs
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