Contributions to sustainable tourism in small islands: an analysis of the Cittaslow movement


The Cittaslow philosophy aims to preserve the unique characteristics of places, people, products, food and the environment. Inclusive participation is the focus of the movement for small communities that aim to improve residents’ quality of life and share in one of a kind experiences with visitors. Discussion of the Cittaslow movement has been increasing in recent years, and the conceptualization offered in this paper adds to that discourse by showing how the movement, with its unique approach to sustainability and local governance, has the potential to be beneficial to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by directly and indirectly contributing to sustainable tourism development. Slow Food, Slow Tourism, and sustainability in relation to tourism are discussed to clarify how they all fit into the slow tourism ethos and influence the Cittaslow movement. Interestingly, by examining some of the essentials of the Cittaslow movement, we can ascertain how the quality of life and experience value of tourism complements the Cittaslow approach to sustainable tourism development for SIDS. Sustainability from an island perspective is conceptualized in the context of the Cittaslow model, and the varying elements that are contributors to sustainable tourism development in SIDS are discussed. These include its marketing potential, environmental and agricultural benefits, as well as the definitive socio-economic advances that may come about from implementing such an initiative. Ultimately, our analysis illustrates the SIDS specific impacts that the strategies of the Cittaslow model facilitate, while it also highlights some of the potential barriers to SIDS seamlessly adopting such a concept.


Author information

Therez B. Walker

Dr. Therez B. Walker is a lecturer in tourism management. Her research work focuses on sustainable tourism development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and how islands can maximise linkages between tourism and other sectors of the local economy.

Timothy J. Lee

Dr. Timothy Lee is Associate Professor at University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia. He has published more than 180 refereed articles in journals (including 60+ in the SSCI-indexed), books and conference proceedings.


Source: tandfonline.com


Small Islands Developing States: