Palau included in island
by Marianas Variety
Palau was among the destinations surveyed by the National Geographic to “determine how the integrity of the islands around the world is holding up.”
The survey results, which are featured in the magazine’s November/December 2007 issue, showed that Bora-Bora in French Polynesia is the premiere island in the South Pacific region while the Faroe Islands in Denmark are the world’s number 1.
The list is based on a survey conducted by National Geographic and George Washington University involving a panel of 522 experts in sustainable tourism and destination stewardship who reviewed conditions in 111 islands and archipelagos.
According to the magazine, “the world's most appealing destinations — islands — are the ones most prone to tourism overkill.”
“Our 522 experts voted on which ones avoid the danger, which are succumbing to it, and which hang in the balance,” it said. “Tourism is a phenomenon that can cook your food or burn your house down. In other words, we all risk destroying the very places that we love the most.”
National Geographic said “beach-blessed islands draw sun-and-sand resort tourism development that can get out of hand quickly, although there are exceptions.”
It added, “Multiple cruise-ship crowds can also overwhelm an island, transforming it. No surprise, then, that cloudy, beach-poor islands score well. Yet even these cooler islands are sometimes losing traditional families to soaring real estate prices.”
The islands on the list offer “great experiences,” and “to protect them, to restore them, we must value them as much as resort developers and cruise companies do. Even more.”
A score of 0 to 25 indicates “catastrophic” conditions, “all criteria very negative, outlook grim”; 26-49, “in serious trouble”; 50-65, “in moderate trouble: all criteria medium-negative or a mix of negatives and positives”; 66-85, “minor difficulties”; 86-95, “authentic, unspoiled, and likely to remain so”; 96-100, “enhanced.”
The Faroe Islands got a score of 87; Molokai in Hawaii, 78; Bora Bora, 76; Palawan, in the southern Philippines; 72; and Palau, 69.
On the bottom of the list were Oahu, Hawaii, 46; Key West, Florida, 46; Phuket, Thailand, 46; Hilton Head, South Carolina, 44; Jamaica, 44; Provindenciales, Turks and Caicos, 44; Ibiza, Spain, 37; and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, 37.