Tourism Potential Assessment for Ascension Island

About

Summary

Ascension Island is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, lying almost on the equator, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and South America.  As with most other small islands worldwide, the tourism sector in Ascension Island provides opportunities for generating revenue, employment and investment.  Small increases in numbers of visitors can correspond to large growth rates in arrivals, and make significant impacts to small economies.  Isolated destinations also hold a certain appeal for many tourists who are seeking unusual places off-the-beaten-track.  This study was commissioned to assess the potential for tourism on Ascension Island, and compile a broad-brush strategy for developing the sector in a realistic and sustainable way.

Our Approach

Due to the relative inaccessibility of Ascension Island, the study was undertaken through desk research and telephone interviews with stakeholders on Ascension Island and in the UK.  The initial stage of the study was to undertake a baseline assessment of the tourism product on Ascension Island, and then drawing on these findings as well as international tourism demand trends, identify potential markets, segments of interest and visitor characteristics.

Having identified the potential demand for tourism, we identified what was required in order to generate demand and create a successful sustainable tourism industry.  This included transport, accommodation, other infrastructure, tour operators and guides, methods for reaching the identified markets, and human resources and the skill-sets required.

The final stage of the study was to assess the potential economic impact of developing tourism in Ascension.  This was undertaken by developing growth scenarios over a period of 10 years, estimating potential revenues from arrivals, and identifying ways of financing conservation operations.

Outcome

Game fishing was identified as a primary tourism product for Ascension Island.  It is generally regarded amongst fishing enthusiasts as a destination that offers an abundance of especially large fish, and consequently there is strong justification for the costly and time-consuming journey that reaching Ascension Island involves.  Scuba diving is also highly regarded, although there is significant competition around the world with many other top class diving destinations.

Cruise tourism was identified as another opportunity for Ascension Island due to growth in the expedition cruise market, mainly as ships reposition between the Arctic and Antarctic regions.  With Brazil and West Africa not being popular destinations amongst cruisers, there was increasing interest in destinations along the mid-Atlantic ridge.

Directions

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Blue Tourism Economy Assessment: Ascension Island

Client:

South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute,

Location:

Ascension Island
South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute

This project contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Acorn AwardsSDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and work SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and work 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, marine resources for sustainable development SDG14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, marine resources for sustainable development 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG15 - Protect, restore, promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, halt biodiversity loss SDG15 - Protect, restore, promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, halt biodiversity loss 2020

Contact us

3 Woodland Enterprise Centre, Hastings Road,
Flimwell, East Sussex, TN5 7PR, UK

+44 (0) 1580 879970

contact@acorntourism.co.uk