The Relevance of Cultural Tourism as the Next Frontier for Small Island Destinations

Robertico R. Croes, University of Central Florida
Kelly J. Semrad, University of Central Florida


The purpose of this study is to apply the cultural tourism typology of McKercher and to estimate the economic relevance of cultural tourism to the context of a small island destination tourist market. Small island destinations may be confronted with environmental constraints that restrain the traditional small island tourism development model, which is based on sun, sand, and sea. The cultural tourism typology is used in order to determine whether the typology may be used to segment tourists thereby allowing researchers to determine the economic impact of different cultural tourist segments. This study draws attention to some of the foundational issues that researchers face when attempting to quantify the economic impact of cultural tourists. The results of the study indicate that McKercher’s typology may provide more refined results when incorporating the purpose of a trip; and, that cultural tourists may be a lucrative market for destinations to pursue given the results of an economic input–output model.