Small island states present a significant challenge in terms of sustainable tourism development. On a small island there are limited resources, economic and social activities tend to be concentrated on the coastal zone, and the interconnectivity between economic, environmental, social, cultural and political spheres is strong and pervasive. Consequently the sustainable development of tourism is more a practical necessity than an optional extra. This paper investigates the question of how to monitor sustainable tourism development (STD) in Samoa, an independent small island state in the South Pacific. It describes some of the methodological considerations and processes involved in the development of STD indicators and particularly highlights the importance of formulating clear objectives before trying to identify indicators, the value of
establishing a multi-disciplinary advisory panel, and the necessity of designing an effective and flexible implementation framework for converting indicator results into management action.
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