Welcome to the world - our reports from remote St Helena

St Helena has been in splendid isolation since it was first discovered by Portuguese explorers in 1502. Surrounded by thousands of miles of empty ocean, its remoteness and isolation have always been key to its character.

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Future of remote British island, St Helena, depends on tourism

Until now anyone wanting to visit the remote island of St Helena would have to set aside at least three weeks because they'd have to make the journey by sea.

Now that the Island is finally getting an airport, travelling there will be much easier.

Many say the very future of St Helena depends on attracting more tourists, and so boosting the economy.

Richard Jones reports from St Helena as it prepares to welcome the world.

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St Helena prepares to welcome the modern world

The remote island of St. Helena is seeing major improvements to its economy and infrastructure, ahead of the opening of its first airport.

The population of the island has fallen by a third in recent years - as people left to find opportunities overseas. In fact, more people from the remote island in the South Atlantic live in the South of the UK, than St. Helena itself.

But with a new airport and a turnaround in the island's economy, Richard Jones looks at whether St. Helenians can be convinced to return.

What do the UK's St Helenians think of the new airport?

What do St Helenians - and descendants of St Helenians who live in the UK - think of the airport? Are they pleased it'll be easier and quicker to get there? Do they think the Island will change?

Richard Jones spoke to a cross-section of St Helenians. First is Gavin Thomas from Bordon in Hampshire who moved to the UK in 1989 but visits St Helena regularly.

Then Madeleine Sweeney, from Southampton, who has relatives from St Helena and first visited in 2008.

At the St Helena Sports Day in Reading during the summer he spoke to Candy Moyce, President of the UK St Helena Association who came to the UK in 1957, and to Professor Dan Yon, a St Helenian who now lectures at York University in Canada.

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Bright future for remote island of St Helena

It's always been described as one of the most isolated places on earth - the only way to get there has been a long voyage by sea.

But now the British overseas territory of St Helena in the middle of the South Atlantic, and connected to South Africa by sea, is just months away from the opening of its first airport.

Our reporter Richard Jones first visited the island six years ago and has been back as it prepares to welcome the world. This is the first of a series of special reports throughout the week.

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