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The evolution of international tourism: From grand tour to package tour

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  1. Presentation and history of Oleron Island.
  2. Why do people go to Oleron Island?
    1. Natural history 'attractions'.
    2. Attractions concerning primary production.
    3. Socio-cultural attractions.
    4. Performing arts attractions.
    5. Fieldsports.
    6. Military attractions.
  3. Some elements that cannot be integrated into categories.
    1. The lighthouse of 'Chassiron'.
    2. The beaches.
    3. The center of thalassotherapy.
  4. Oleron life cycle.
  5. Analyse of residences.
  6. Policies for the future.
    1. Future of the tourism in Oleron.
  7. Conclusion.

Oleron is the vastest French metropolitan islands after Corsica (35 km in length, 12 km in its biggest width, 34 metres in its highlight (in saint Trojan's dune), 90 km of coasts, a surface of 175 km2, 19 000 permanent inhabitants). From XIXth century, connections between the island and continent were assured by steamers. From the middle of XXth century, tubs made the transport of the passengers and the vehicles, until the starting of the bridge in 1966, after two years of construction. Oleron's bridge was the first of this kind in Charente-Maritime. This long road bridge of 3027 meters is free since 1991. When Oleron was not an island, people of the Palaeolithic lived on lands which were not buried underwater. But in ice age, Oleron was separated from the continent. Thanks to the discovery of sites to St Denis and to St Georges, we can date the first occupation of the island in the Neolithic period. Several megaliths, like the most important of Ors: ?La Pierre Levée?, testify of this environment.

[...] Fishermen's small isolated village besides of the island, Saint-Trojan was one of the first municipalities to benefit from debuts of the tourism at the end of the XIXth century. Then come the involvement phase: the sea swimming was then fashionable, the sweetness of the climate and the purity of the air of Saint-Trojan quickly make an appreciated station. Villas and chalets mix and compete in colours and in originality. The magnificent houses which still line the boulevard of the beach testify of the architecture of this time. [...]

[...] A qualitative policy and the chance to have a local market of consumption established by tourists can consolidate the future of the vineyard of the island. Transport attractions: The little train of Saint Trojan in the south of the island was built in 1963, essentially from military materials given up by domains after the dismantling of the works of the line Maginot partly and the war damages for the rest. Since, it transports a little less than passengers a year, between Easter and the end of September ( in 2003). [...]

[...] On the other side, the increasing number of tourists is beginning to damage the magnificent landscapes of the island, and is transforming the island in a ?dead island? The island is forgetting its culture and its identity becomes more and more vague. By transforming a lot of its historical activities in different ways to earn money, some professionals and political people have not a long-term vision. Oleron is going to loose its Inhabitants during the year, more than in August, can't we speak about "two Countries" which succeed one another in the time by having trouble meeting, an off season Country and an in season one? [...]

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