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  • Author: Maciej Jędrusik x
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Tropical and subtropical islands have become an important tourist destination. The islands are concentrated in eight areas of the world. Evaluating the natural tourist potential of these areas, it seems that the most attractive are the islands of Mid and West Indian Ocean and the Polynesia. Yet, these locations are less popular then the theoretically less naturally attractive Caribbean, Mediterranean and East Atlantic islands.

This leads to the conclusion that nature is not the most important decisive factor in choosing tourist destinations, and “tourist paradises” are formed on islands regardless of their natural attributes. Tourists are mainly attracted by the “myth” of a tropical island, and the most important criterion is the distance from home and travel time.

Island Studies. Island Geography. but What is an Island?

Introduction. There are institutes which research phenomena and processes taking place on islands. Such research is conducted nowadays among others at universities in France, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and Scandinavia. Godfrey Baldacchino from the University of Prince Edward Island is a professor of Island Studies (and the editor-in-chief of the "Island Studies Journal"1). One of the actively operating commissions of the International Geographical Union is the IGU Commission on Islands. Therefore, the term "island" is commonly present in the modern reality and so strongly rooted that, as a results, its meaning very rarely raises doubts. Sometimes a group of researchers makes an attempt to reflect upon the definition of the term2. Those attempts are not followed by satisfying results, which does not encourage to further research on islands, be what they may.

The following article is another attempt to ponder the nature of islandness and to point those characteristics of an island which differentiate it from other geographical objects. According to the author, the group of geographical objects treated as islands is definitely too wide, and the vast protruding lands, commonly regarded as islands, continue to be islands in the universal awareness only out of habit, or due to the lack of a better, adequate term as a result of existing terminological dichotomy between the terms island/continent.


Madagascar is one of the trendiest holiday destinations. One of two key destinations is Nosy Be and surrounding smaller islands. It can be considered a local tourist hub. This work aims to illustrate the variability of the region’s tourism evolution in reference to Butler’s concept, and to specify circumstances characteristic of tropical islands, especially in less developed countries. Typology of islands has been performed according to level of tourism development; moreover, the brief evolution of post-1960s tourism development was assessed. The archipelago’s evolutionary stages of tourism development are significantly diversified, evolution has been non-linear and not always unidirectional. It is difficult to observe all stages of the cycle. The stage tends to be hard to determine, evolutionary pace tends to vary, and some stages are absent. Regional under-development and external factors may cause a regression in development. No stage changes were observed on most islands where enclave tourism developed.


Islands, especially small ones, are commonly studied as microcosms of natural and social processes. In this article, La Digue island (10 km2) in the Seychelles archipelago was treated as such. An attempt was made to analyse the significance of the natural environment for the features of spatial development under conditions of intense globalisation. For this purpose, functional micro-regions were determined, along with their genesis and evolution. Spatial dynamics and individual features of space are presented as chorème (). The analysis was based on data from a library query and field observation and field studies in July 2018. Twelve functional regions were determined. Analysis of the distribution and evolution of their functions reveals a high dependence on natural environmental features, especially topography, and thus confirms (at the scale in question) a geographical determinism.