To read this content please select one of the options below:

Italy’s Island Systems: Competitiveness in the Mediterranean Context *

Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea

ISBN: 978-1-80043-901-6, eISBN: 978-1-80043-900-9

Publication date: 1 March 2021


Local development is becoming increasingly dependent on the tourism industry, especially in fragile contexts such as islands, where tourism makes it possible to overcome, at least in part, the obstacles linked to geo-morphological characteristics. The relevance of the sector for the economy is documented by the international literature and underscored in various studies (Balaguer & Cantavella-Jorda, 2002; Croes & Vanegas Sr, 2008; Dritsakis, 2004; Durbarry, 2004; Eugenio-Martin, Martin-Morales, & Sinclair, 2008; Eugenio-Martin, Morales, Scarpa, 2004; Hazari & Sgro, 1995; Maloney & Montes Rojas, 2005; Pigliaru & Lanza, 2000; Sequeira & Maçãs Nunes, 2008), which explain why tourism is attributed a leading role and even recognized as a driving force for the local economy. It is capable of creating new economic opportunities, especially, as mentioned, for island contexts, and even more so for those of modest size, which require special attention given the specific characteristics that distinguish them from the mainland. Islands are, indeed, a unique cluster despite belonging to individual states, and, being located in different regions of the world and featuring different stages of economic development and tourism, they are the beneficiaries of development policies focused on the economy of services and culture. This is essentially due to reasons linked to specific territorial features in terms of morphology and geographical location, primarily associated with the condition of isolation from the mainland. The result is a particular condition that characterizes them both materially, with effects on transport and logistics, and therefore on their economic and production autonomy, and ideally, i.e. in relation to the place that islands have in the collective imagination. They are associated with the desire to escape, to get in touch with nature, to slow down the pace and break patterns, and to attract a large number of visitors who, however, are concentrated mainly during the summer months. This leads to many difficulties and has several implications, in terms of pressure and quality, and requires careful management from very early on, from the stage of discovery of the destination by the first tourists, in order to guide development by limiting the drawbacks.



Ruggieri, G. and Calò, P. (2021), "Italy’s Island Systems: Competitiveness in the Mediterranean Context * ", Grasso, F. and Sergi, B.S. (Ed.) Tourism in the Mediterranean Sea, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 309-319.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 by Emerald Publishing Limited