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Author nfmungard
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#16 | Posted: 15 Mar 2017 03:32 
GaryArndt:
There are some large, major hotels which have opened since then, The number of rooms available on the island has exploded.

I also felt those remarks a bit harsh. Due to the amounts of flights in and out of the island each day the amount of tourists is pretty well capped. Yes, there are tourists, but I did not find a crowded beach, trail or site. It felt much in line.

Author GaryArndt
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#17 | Posted: 15 Mar 2017 15:53 
nfmungard:
Due to the amounts of flights in and out of the island each day the amount of tourists is pretty well capped

...except that they can just add more flights.

Please read this report:
http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/8/11/1093/pdf

Tourism has been increasing at a 20% annual rate on Rapa Nui, and it has not leveled off.

From the document I linked to:

"...an estimate by Figueroa et al. [14] shows that, taking into
account the current growth in tourist numbers, by 2020 tourist arrivals are expected to range from
92,000 to 118,000; and, by 2030, this range could be between 168,000 and 215,000 tourists."

Here is a graph of the latest tourism numbers:

Easter Island Tourist Numbers

Since I was there in 2007, tourism has more than doubled and in a few years will have tripled.

Author nfmungard
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#18 | Posted: 15 Mar 2017 16:58 
GaryArndt

200k per year / 365 days * 3 days stay <= 2000 vistors oer day. hard pressed to consider that a lot.

Author GaryArndt
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#19 | Posted: 15 Mar 2017 17:37 
It is a lot when you are talking about the most remote island in the world, with a small population and few resources.

It is only 163 sq/km in size. Getting supplies and fuel there is no easy feat.

2,000 people increases the population of the island by 50%. That is a drain on water, sanitation and energy resources, which are scarce and expensive given how remote it is.

To put it in perspective, tourism in Iceland is considered to be at an unsustainable level, and their annual visitors is only 3x the population. Ob Rapa Nui it is over 10x the population currently and is going higher.

Author nfmungard
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#20 | Posted: 16 Mar 2017 03:59 
GaryArndt
I think we have different point of views:
* I think Els and I were referring to the experience as a tourist not being that touristy. I think 200k visitors a year won't change that.
* You seem to be interested in the sustainability.

Now the sustainability of Easter Island is kind of ironic seeing the locals more or less destroyed their island way before the first tourist ever set a foot on it by cutting off all the trees ;)

Author Assif
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#21 | Posted: 16 Mar 2017 10:14 
GaryArndt, I am not saying you are wrong, but this type of tourism which rises far beyond the local population is typical of many islands.
Just for comparison sake:

Cyprus (Greek part only): 3.2 million tourists in 2016, local population: 885,000 (3 times)
Malta: almost 2 million tourists in 2016, local population: 445,000 (4 times)
Bahamas: 1.4 million tourists in 2014, local population- 377,000 (4 times)
Canary islands: 10.3 million tourists in 2011, local population: 2.2 million (5 times)
Corsica: 2.5 million tourists a year, local population: 320,000 (6 times)
Santorini: 2 million tourists a year, local population- 17,400 (80 times)

Author GaryArndt
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#22 | Posted: 16 Mar 2017 12:33 
1) Every one of this is connected to the mainland by car ferry. They are closely connected to the mainland for resources.

2) Easter Island is 3,512 kilometers away from the nearest mainland port. They do not have easy access to resources.

3) It isn't just visitor/population ratio, it is the size of the island and how fragile it is. The smallest of the Canary Islands, El Hierro, is almost twice as large as Rapa Nui.

4) A large number of the visitors to these islands are visiting by cruise ship, so they aren't staying overnight. No large cruise ships visit Rapa Nui (some expedition ships do, but they usually have less than 150 passengers). If you stay overnight, then you need more infrastructure to accommodate the visitors.

Author nfmungard
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#23 | Posted: 16 Mar 2017 12:46 
GaryArndt:
3) It isn't just visitor/population ratio, it is the size of the island and how fragile it is. The smallest of the Canary Islands, El Hierro, is almost twice as large as Rapa Nui.

The island's eco system was destroyed way before the first tourist set his foot on it. So, I am bit hard pressed to consider it fragile when all the trees are gone ever since. I wouldn't consider Rapa Nui an eco treasure akin to the Galapagos islands, so not sure why sustainability would be such a concern to you?

In general, the question arises how you want to ration off places like this? It's a fairly unique place for mankind? By what standard should you or I be allowed to visit and others not?

Author Assif
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#24 | Posted: 16 Mar 2017 17:04 
nfmungard:
In general, the question arises how you want to ration off places like this? It's a fairly unique place for mankind? By what standard should you or I be allowed to visit and others not?

Regardless of whether you consider sustainability an important consideration in this case, it is possible to restrict the number of incoming tourists. Some countries/islands/reserves/sites do that. I think this would also make sense for some sites that are suffering from tourism overload (Venice is the clearest example, but also Barcelona and maybe Prague.

Author GaryArndt
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#25 | Posted: 16 Mar 2017 18:24 
Barcelona is seriously considering limiting tourists.

Lord Howe Island has a limit of 400 visitors on the island at any one time.

It can be done.

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