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This article discusses the issues and impacts associated with coastal tourism, the current status of related environmental affairs and a forecast of tourism in the future.The article concludes by providing suggestions for future management of coastal tourism.
Meanwhile the number of cruise passengers increased from 7.75 million to 12.14 million in the same period.
This means that in 1999 almost 2/3 of all arrivals to the Caribbean were cruise passengers.
Additionally, among all different parts of the planet, coastal areas are those which are most visited by tourists and in many coastal areas tourism presents the most important economic activity.
In the Mediterranean region for example, tourism is the first economic activity for islands like Cyprus, Malta, the Balearic Islands and Sicily.
Furthermore in 1996, The World Tourism Organization jointly with the tourism private sector issued an Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry, with 19 specific areas of action recommended to governments and private operators towards sustainability in tourism.
Coastal areas are transitional areas between the land and sea characterized by a very high biodiversity and they include some of the richest and most fragile ecosystems on earth, like mangroves and coral reefs.
At the same time, coasts are under very high population pressure due to rapid urbanization processes.
More than half of today’s world population live in coastal areas (within 60 km from the sea) and this number is on the rise.
Particularly for many islands in the Caribbean, cruise tourism is an important market segment.
In the period from 1990 to 1999 there was an increase from 13.71 million international tourist arrivals to 20.32 million (CTO).