The role of tourism as an agent of development in small island states is virtually\ud universal. Indeed, for many islands, tourism is the principal source of employment and\ud foreign exchange earnings and the dominant economic sector. Nevertheless, many\ud commentators suggest that island tourismis characterisedby dependency, a condition\ud which, according to development theory, restricts development. As a result, sustainable\ud tourismdevelopment is widely seenas a solution tothe problemof islandtourism.\ud This paper, however, argues that this is not necessarily the case. Based on a case study\ud of Cyprus, it demonstrates that,despite its inherent dependency, tourism has proved to\ud be an effective vehicle of development. Moreover, it is the development of mass\ud tourismas a modernising growth pole that has contributed to the remarkable socioeconomic\ud development of the island since the mid-1970s. Therefore, it suggests that, far\ud from being a solution, the current policy for promoting sustainable or ‘quality’ tourism\ud is not only inappropriatebutmay actuallyhinder the furtherdevelopment of Cypru
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