a varied and attractive landscape, with good beaches. The Venetians. who occupied Zakynthos for four centuries, were so impressed by its beauty that they named it ‘Fiore de
The impact of uncontrolled tourism on a small island economy and eco- Levante’ or, Flower of the East.
Zakynthos has a rich cultural system can be dramatic. Zakynthos shares this potential problem rrirh heritage, from being acknowmany other Greek and Mediterranean islands. The problems of Cvprus. ledged in the ancient Greek litcrfor example, are illustrated in the accompanying case study in the &sue. ature through occupation by the
Penny Marinos of the Greek Ministry of National Economy discusses the
Venetians, Russians and British benefits and dis-benefits that tourism has had and will have on the economy and finally becoming Greek in and environment of Zakynthos, and proposes management and planning
1864. Zakynthos, however, is sitstrategy for the future. uated in a belt of intense seismic activity and has experienced sevenvironment in OECD member eral serious earthquakes: The most
Tourism is an important contrirecent of these, on 12 August 1953. butor in the overall development of countries.:! Furthermore,
UNESCO, in the context of the destroyed a large part of the southany country because of its positive
Man and Biosphere project (Num- eastern section of the island and effects on the balance of payments, ber 7), is also giving special attenwith it many ancient buildings and income, and services. In Greece, tion to the affects of tourism on the artefacts. foreign exchange eamt from tournatural and human environment.
The majority of the population ism has experienced a continuous
Research into the effects of tourof Zakynthos is engaged in agririse and it constitutes an important culture, industry only plays a minor item on the national balance sheet; ism on both the physical and role in the economy of the island.3 about US $1326.3 million in 1978.1 human environment of the island of Zakynthos is discussed here to
Agricultural methods are relativeI>
Tourism can play an important role in the regional development of illustrate the problem and to make backward and there is thus room for expansion in this sector; in the management and planning recomplaces gifted with tourist resources. mendations for the future. secondary sector, however, there is
Although an important source of very little room for growth. Only income, tourism is also a serious the tertiary sector offers the posthreat to the environment and unThe island of Zakynthos sibility for job creation, numbers less tourism development proceeds
Zakynthos, also known as Zante. is here being determined by the popin a carefully planned manner it ulation of the island and by the size will adversely alter the physical and one of the Eptanissa (or Ionian) of the tourist market. islands, a group of seven Greek cultural environment of an area.
Examination of the demoislands situated in the Ionian Sea.
This topic has received a lot of graphic data of Zakynthos reveals off the west coast of Greece. near attention from the OECD who ina continuous depopulation and the mainland town of Patras (see itiated a study in order to deterFigure 1). Although small it boasts consequent widening of the popmine the impact of tourism on the
Small island tourism-the
ulation age pyramid. Emigration is caused mainly by the absence of sufficient jobs and career opportunities.’ It was thus suggested by the Greek Ministry of Coordination and Planning that the intensification of agriculture and a largescale tourism development programme would halt emigration and stabilize the population of the island.5 Consequence5
Uncontrolled tourism can have adverse effects on the environment and especially on a small island ecosystem. In this respect the problems of Zakynthos are similar to