Αντιλήψεις των τοπικών επιχειρήσεων για τις περιβαλλοντικές επιπτώσεις του τουρισμού: πιλοτική μελέτη στο λιμάνι της Λιναριάς στη Σκύρο
Locals' perceptions towards the environmental impacts of tourism: a pilot study at Linaria port, Skyros Island, Greece
Tourism, a traditionally strong pillar of the Greek economy, holds a decisive role in the country’s efforts to recover from the current debt crisis. Despite its crucial role in economic development, island tourism has negative environmental impacts as well. The high degree of concentration of summer activities in just a few months (seasonality), leads to strong pressures on the local environment, with high rates of waste generation to be quite a problem. Public awareness of residents and business owners is vital to a successful waste reduction and management. The purpose of this study is to design a tool in order to measure shop owners’ environmental awareness and evaluate their perceptions about the environmental impacts of tourism. More specifically, this pilot study aims to estimate the shop owners’ willingness to participate in environmental actions and support campaigns to reduce plastic waste. A questionnaire-based survey supplemented with semi-structured, face-to-face interviews was administered to Linarias’ port shop owners. Overall, this study aspires to provide an evaluation tool for assessing the way of ensuring that environmental protection comes first in our decision-making even when tourism could pose an environmental threat, like in the case of the Greek islands.