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Tourism and islandscapes: Cultural realignment, social-ecological resilience and change

Cheer, Joseph M.; Reeves, Keir J.; Cole, Stroma; Kato, Kumi


Joseph M. Cheer

Keir J. Reeves

Stroma Cole
Occasional Associate Lecturer - FET GEM

Kumi Kato


If, as according to Robin (2015: online), "islands are idealised ecological worlds, the Edens of a fallen planet'", the rationale underpinning tourism expansion should acknowledge MacLeod's (2013) notion of "cultural realignment" that calls for optimal and resilient encounters. This introductory article to the subsequent theme section of the journal on sustainable tourism acts as a bridge toward the development of emergent themes that describe how island peoples adapt and respond in localised cultural islandscapes as a consequence of tourism expansion. The links between cultural alignment and social-ecological resilience are clear and the principal and overarching question posed in this introductory article is: To what extent are islandscapes resilient to rapidly changing utilities, significances and ways of life wrought by tourism expansion? The vulnerabilityresilience duality remains firmly entrenched in the discourse on islands where tourism has become prominent, and although tourism provides some resiliency, overall, islandscapes remain subject to externally driven fast and slow change that exercises an overwhelming influence. Islander agency will likely remain subject to the fluctuations in the demands of the tourism supply chain. Therefore, tourism as a standalone focus of islands is a high-risk proposition, especially in contexts where externally driven change is likely to intensify.


Reeves, K. J., Cheer, J. M., Cole, S., & Kato, K. (2017). Tourism and islandscapes: Cultural realignment, social-ecological resilience and change. Shima, 11(1), 40-54.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 27, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 30, 2017
Publication Date Jan 1, 2017
Journal Shima
Print ISSN 1834-6057
Electronic ISSN 1834-6057
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 40-54
Keywords social-ecological resilience, cultural realignment, fast change, slow change
Public URL
Publisher URL


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