Marinas encourage sustainable tourism. Marine tourism is a major instrument regional development. Harbors and marinas provide for tourism and economically benefit for the towns where they are sited. Local communities benefit from investment in facilities for tourists such as leisure and sporting facilities. Marinas can generate significant income from their activities in terms of local spend, employment and activity.
Whether the marina is occupied by a yacht owner, a visitor or a berth owner, local businesses will benefit from the purchases of fuel, supplies and gifts. Most users of the marina will spend money in the town on visitor attractions, golf, meals, drink and other day-to-day requirements, and all of this spend boosts the local economy. Marinas Industries Association of Australia (MIAA) has released a study that shows berthing facilities across the country provide very significant public and community benefit.
The Marina Industries Association of Australia (MIAA) is the peak industry body in Australia for the Owners, Managers and Operators of Marinas, Slipways,Boatyards, Berthing, Mooring and other Marine Storage Facilities and Sailing and Cruising Boating Clubs. Over 85% of the major Australian marinas are members of MIAA. MIAA is attracting a growing number of members from overseas, including NZ, Asia and the Middle East.
The study shows that 67% of the Australian Marinas provide support to their local community. In addition, the survey also reveals that over 80% of marinas provide some access to the marina for the general public to use. New South Wales has 90% public access, the most in the entire region. While a core marina function is to provide services to those that pay to store their boats, most marinas also provided services to boaters who did not rent space at the facility. All these benefits and statistics point at a larger picture and encourage sustainable tourism. Sustainable Coastal Tourism has the potential to promote social development through employment creation, income redistribution and poverty alleviation. Sustainable tourism has many positive socio-cultural impacts.
Sustainable Coastal Tourism can add to the vitality of communities in many ways. Examples are events and festivals of the local residents where they have been the primary participants and spectators. Often these are refreshed and developed in response to tourists’ interests. The jobs created by tourism can act as a very important motivation to reduce emigration from rural areas. Local people can also increase their influence on tourism development, as well as improve their jobs and earnings prospects through tourism-related professional training and development of business and organizational skills.
Development of facilities as a benefit to residents:
In cases where the tourism industry supports the creation of community facilities and services that otherwise might not have been developed can bring higher well-being standards to a destination. Benefits can include upgraded infrastructures, health and transport improvements, new sport and recreational facilities, restaurants and public spaces as well as an influx of better-quality commodities and food.
Revitalization of culture and traditions:
Sustainable Tourism has the potential to improve the preservation and transmission of cultural and historical traditions. Contributing to the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources can bring usually the chance to protect local heritage or to revitalize native cultures, for instance by regenerating cultural arts and crafts.
Tourism that encourages social involvement and pride:
In some cases, tourism also helps to raise local awareness concerning the financial value of natural and cultural sites. It can stimulate a feeling of pride in local and national heritage and interest in its conservation. More broadly, the involvement of local communities in sustainable tourism development and operation seems to be an important condition for the sustainable use and conservation of the biodiversity.
Compiled by Vignesh Iyer
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