University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2016
EventDevelopment Studies Association - Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Sep 201614 Sep 2016


ConferenceDevelopment Studies Association
CountryUnited Kingdom


Until the 1980s, Kavos was a quiet fishing village in the South of Corfu. A lot has changed since the first tourists arrived in the 1970s. Nowadays, Kavos has developed a reputation of a notorious ‘sand, sea and sex- 3s’ destination for British 18-30, working class tourists. This reputation was cemented in Greece due to a group sex activity organised by holiday reps in 2003 that was reported on the news nationally and in the UK by TV programmes, including Channel 4 television programme ‘What happens in Kavos…’, which aired 2013-14. This pseudo-longitudinal study examines the development of Kavos as a tourism destination and its detrimental impacts on the local community, which shows no signs of change, despite the clear failure of the adopted boosterism’ tourism planning approach. A key characteristic of this study is the high tourist-local ratio. Kavos hosts approximately 31 times its population during a short summer season; this results in emotional and physical conflict between locals and tourists. This study looks at motivations of guests under the prism of liminality and rites of passage, examines stakeholders and power issues that inhibit change and local peoples’ attitudes towards tourism, under Krippendorf’s prism of the ‘rebellious local’. Data collected in 2003 will be compared to 2016 data and plans for the conclusion of the study will be discussed. Although the industry has tried to address the impacts of this type of resort, there still are ‘3s’ destinations where the impacts of guests’ behaviour are very acute.


Nika Balomenou, Harold Goodwin, ‘Utopia or Dystopia? The development of Kavos, Corfu, into a tourism destination and the impacts on the local community; a pseudo-longitudinal study from 2003 to 2016’, abstract presented at the Development Studies Association, Oxford, UK, 12-14 September, 2016.

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