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Title: Niche tourism (birdwatching) and its impacts on the well-being of a remote island and its residents

Authors: Richard W. Butler

Addresses: Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde, 100 Cathedral Street, Glasgow G4 0QU, UK

Abstract: Birdwatching has been the predominant form of tourism on Fair Isle, the most remote of the inhabited British islands, since tourism began there in 1905. The paper discusses the impact of slowly increasing tourist numbers on the well-being of the island residents, using data collected in two surveys of the resident population 50 years apart. The information obtained allows a longitudinal examination of the impact of tourism on the well-being of island residents and resident attitudes towards, and involvement with, tourism, and reveals that attitudes have remained positive throughout the half century of study. The numbers, location, and nature of tourists and tourism are identified as key factors in the positive relationship between residents and visitors, and tourism is concluded to have been of benefit to the environmental, social-cultural and economic well-being of residents on the island.

Keywords: tourism; remote; island; birdwatching; resident attitudes; well-being; niche tourism; economic; environmental; socio-cultural impacts.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2019.10019435

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2019 Vol.7 No.1, pp.5 - 20

Received: 12 Dec 2017
Accepted: 08 Apr 2018

Published online: 04 Mar 2019 *

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