Bringing together a global network of island destinations

Islands the world over have continued to attract, draw in and captivate people from far and wide who visit them for the spectaular beauty, serenity, mystery and unique wonder. Their enduring allure means that tourists will continue to flock to islands around the globe for many years to come. This has made tourism the major driver of economic activity for island destinations. Research shows that tourism accounts for the largest contributor of economic growth and standard of living for many of these regions. It is estimated that the earnings from global island tourism runs into the billions of dollars and that millions of jobs are attributed to tourism.

However, island tourism is not without impact on the environment, host communities, culture, infrastructure and local economies. This occurs in the form of commodification, standarization, loss of authenticity, clash of cultures due to economic inequality, irritiation due to tourist behaviour, over-use of resources, conflict crime and child labor or exploitation as outlined by the United Nations Environment Protection (UNEP). This has raised concerns and stimulated discourse and debate on ways to ensure the protection of the environment, preserve and respect the cultural traditions and values of host communities while simultaneously ensuring the sustainability of tourism activities as a key contributor to economic growth, so that future generations can continue to enjoy nature’s sacred sites and traditions.

Consequently, island destinations throughout the world must unite, collaborate and take action in order to help alleviate the negative impacts of tourism, protect natural habitats, preserve rich cultural roots and collectively advocate for sustainable tourism practices at every level.
The establishment of the Island Tourism Association (ITA) has risen out of the need for a unifying body whose mandate is not only to highlight tourism opportunites available across island nations, but also to provide help, guidance and solutions to some of the unique challenges which exist across the industry in partnership with relevant stakeholders and in particular host communities.

We are innovators

We are the first ever non-profit grassroots organization to create a unified global island network with a focus on the tourism industry. The team at ITA strives to perpetually foster global island collaboration and awareness in order to meet the many ambitious goals we have outlined for ourselves.

We are confident that with a concerted effort, we can not only make a statement but a difference in the world of global tourism as it relates to island destinations. Our current endeavors to gain recognition and build alliances have led to tremendous business to business leadership opportunities, partnership programs, training programs and innovative conference involvement.

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