Connecting fishing and tourism practices using digital tools: a case study of Marsaxlokk, Malta

Publication available online with open access! "Connecting fishing and tourism practices using digital tools: a case study of Marsaxlokk, Malta". Coastal and maritime cultural heritage (CMCH), such as fishing-related activities, seafood and historical buildings along the seafront, is important for connecting and understanding the identity of communities and places linked to the sea. At the same time, CMCH is a key resource for developing tourism in coastal destinations. In tourism development, CMCH is often used and transformed for the benefit of the visitor experience rather than the well-being of the community. Moreover, fishing and tourism practices involved in tourists’ experiences are becoming less integrated in the local community. In this paper, we explore the opportunities that digital tools provide for including fishing communities in the provision of meaningful experiences for tourists. We ask how digital tools can be used to connect fishing and tourism practices. The study is set in Marsaxlokk,...

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Community-based marine tourism in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, Malta

190930-marsaxlokk Marsaxlokk, photo by Remi Yuan on Unsplash

Traditional fishing villages are popular places for tourists and visitors looking for authentic portraits of which fishermen, fresh fish and seascapes are involved. This is seen by the tourism sector as an opportunity to promote marine and coastal destinations, offering a range of experiences that are linked to the fishing traditions of marine heritage. Tourism has the potential to “strengthen identities and regenerate local heritage”, in which local products, festivals, culinary and job-related skills find in tourism an opportunity for their preservation, stimulating sustainable development. Alternative opportunities are possible to gain additional income through innovation and diversification, e.g. by creating synergies between traditional sectors and tourism. Other economic returns of tourism are possible. For example, governments see it as a tool in rural development which can help to stimulate economies in danger of decline.  After 2000s, Marsaxlokk (south-east of Malta) experienced an important influx of tourists by international tourists from cruises and mass tourism because of the promotion...

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