In a well illustrated piece the Daily Mail writes about the Falklands’ tourism industry and future prospects, including air links to the South Atlantic Islands, over which Argentina claims sovereignty.
The article begins quoting Governor Nigel Haywood who states that despite a booming fishing industry and recent nearby oil discoveries, the key to the successful future of the Falkland Islands is tourism.
An ambitious plan is being put in place to publicize the Islands and develop an infrastructure that will encourage more visitors to the remote archipelago.
Speaking about how the Islands hope to develop its tourism sector, Governor Haywood said welcoming visitors would be a way of protecting the environment in the Falklands and diversifying from its staple industries.
However, he admitted that the Islands need to address a current lack of facilities for visitors. There are no direct commercial flights to the Islands and accommodation options are minimal.
Those hoping to visit the Falklands must fly to Chile and overnight there, before catching a weekly flight from Chilean airline LAN. Alternatively, the Ministry of Defense provides an air service from the UK to the airport at the Mount Pleasant Military Complex.
However, the Falklands is already busy promoting itself in emerging tourism markets such as the Middle East and is working with travel agents including Expedia, so that those interested in traveling to the Islands can readily find information about how to do it.
Tony Mason, managing director of the Falkland Islands Tourist Board, confirmed the Falklands have set aside a marketing budget of £400,000 for this year, with the possibility of doubling that figure next year.
As well as targeting new markets, there is emphasis on developing the Islands so they can compete to attract high-level tourism.
Mr Mason told the Jamaica Observer: 'We are currently looking at luxury lodges; we are also looking at possibly attracting a five-star boutique hotel chain to the islands.
He continued: 'We are looking at increasing the infrastructure by adding a cineplex, we have a new waterfront development underway which will include restaurants and cafes...lots of exciting things.'
He added: 'I think if you watch the Falklands over the next three to five years you are going to see a big change because the country is definitely investing in it... punching above its weight.'
The Falkland Islands' remote location makes them popular with wildlife fans. Bird-watching and wilderness fishing are two major tourism attractions as well as the important British heritage.
Birdwatchers can search for the 227 species of identified birds in the area and boat trips enable visitors to see penguins, whales, dolphins, elephant seals and sea-lions.
The Falklands are already a very popular stop-off for cruise ships, with around 35.000 passengers visiting during October to April last year - a figure that could have been higher had it not been for bad weather. The number is expected to increase to 50.000 this year.
However, cruising in the area has not been without its issues. Many cruises that visit the Falklands, also call in at Ushuaia, in Southern Argentina. As Argentina's claims on the Islands escalated in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, two British ships were refused entry to the port after visiting the British Overseas Territory.
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The article begins quoting Governor Nigel Haywood who states that despite a booming fishing industry and recent nearby oil discoveries, the key to the successful future of the Falkland Islands is tourism. What utter compelte and utter twaddle.Oct 12th, 2012 - 11:26 am 0
The Governor needs to look out of his window and see what is currently driving the future economy (and the Falklands future political security), and it ain't tourism! Tourism is but one element of the current economy, but never the future economy or the long-term private sector backbone!
To be fair he did say the FUTURE of the Falklands, the oil industry will be lucrative to be sure but it's fundamentally unsustainable, when it's gone it's gone and that's it. And fisheries? no matter how much we slap each others backs about how brilliantly we manage our fishery that's not a guaranteed source of income either, look what's happened to fisheries in other parts of the world. Tourism at least is sustainable.Oct 12th, 2012 - 11:51 am 0
You should pay royalties to Argentina because these resources belong to us!!.This guy Haywood, will have such other costumes!?? :OOct 12th, 2012 - 12:47 pm 0