Comparative Analysis of Carrying Capacity Indices for the Central Aegean Islands
The tourist industry is one of the most important economic activities in Greece. The country receives over 14 million visitors per year. In an era where tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the developing countries the competition with existing tourism destinations, such as Greece, will intensify. Greece has enjoyed increasing numbers and revenues from tourism due to the unique environment both natural and man-made making it a high profile tourist destination. However, it is already clear, that the uncontrolled growth of the industry can bring serious environmental and social problems, leading to a decline in the quality of tourist product and services provided. Such negative effects can be controlled and reduced using environmental and tourism indices to estimate the impact of tourism and other businesses on the environment. The purpose of this paper is to apply the principles of coastal environmental management for the Islands in the central Aegean Sea islands via the carrying capacity assessment methodology in order to develop environmental performance indicators necessary for formulating a novel sustainable development policy proposal for Greek tourism.