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Islandness and Remoteness as Resources: Evidence from the Tourism Performance of Small Remote Island Economies (SRIES)

  • Economics


Small remote island economies are known to face a number of economic challenges, in particular, in their trade relations. In addition, their geographical handicap—remoteness—enhances their vulnerability. The cost of distance is well-documented in the economics literature. This paper takes an optimistic position and puts forward the strengths of islands. It investigates the impact of remoteness and islandness on tourism performance. Remote islands are found to be well-endowed in nature and scenery which plausibly play a major role in promoting tourism. The results of an empirical analysis favour the hypothesis that nature has a positive impact on tourism performance (revealed comparative advantage) and tourism demand. Interestingly while being distant is detrimental to tourism performance, being both an island and remote is favourable. Tourism demand is negatively affected by being an island, a small country, or a remote country but favoured by being a small island or a remote island.

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