Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Case Study of Tourism in an MEDC - Menorca

Menorca is the second largest of the Spanish Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. It has a population of 67,000 and it has a total land area of 702km2.

Reasons why people visit Menorca:

  • - Mediterranean Climate - average temperature of 16oC with an average of 24oC in the summer months and little rainfall in the summer
  • - Menorca has a beautiul and varied landscape - Northern Menorca has an uneven and rugged coastline and in the south there are many white sandy beaches
  • - There are a wide range of watersports available (windsurfing; water skiing, scuba-diving etc.)
  • - Other outdoor activities include horse riding, cycling and potholing.
What are the advantages of tourism to Menorca?
  • - Job creation - tourism is the largest employer in Menorca
  • - tourism has had a multiplier effect and helps to support many different sectors of the economy e.g. jobs in farming (providing food for hotels and cafes), jobs in the craft industry (providing locally made souvenirs) and it is recognised that ice-cream is a major business
  • - tourism in Menorca has also raised awareness of the need to preserve the environment
What are the disadvantages of tourism to Menorca?
  • - as tourism is very much a seasonal industry - employment fluctuates at different times of the year
  • - the demands of the tourists have led to changes in the local way of life and there is also resentment of the number of villas and other properties being bought up as second homes by foreigners
  • - some of the earliest hotels which were built did not fit in with the local landscape and contrast dramatically against the beauty of the natural coastline
  • - the local culture has suffered some 'erosion' as changes have been made to meet the demands of tourists
Working towards more sustainable tourism in Menorca

In recognition of the importance of tourism to Menorca, as well as the importance of protecting the natural landscape which attracts tourists in the first place there have been increasing attempts in Menorca to make tourism more sustainable. These attempts include:
  • - the UN have declared the island a Biosphere Reserve with the aim of continuing to profit from tourism in Menorca whilst also protecting the island
  • - as part of the Biosphere - urban development has been controlled and beaches have been managed
  • - endangered species have been protected
  • - education programmes have been adopted in schools to raise environmental awareness
  • -tight planning controls have been implemented on the island restricting the growth of multi-storey hotels within 250km of the coastline to conserve the natural beauty of the landscape.
  • - government attempts to protect the impact on the local culture includes ensuring that all signage is in the traditional Menorqui language.
Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerriet/

No comments: