Recreational Tourism: Demand and Impacts

Article excerpt

Recreational Tourism: Demand and Impacts (2nd ed.)

By Chris Ryan (2003). Clevedon: Channel View Publications ix + 358pp, US$79.95, hardback ISBN 1-873150-57-1, US$35.95, paperback ISSN 1-873150-56-3.

This book is a second edition of Recreational Tourism: A Social Sciences Perspective first published in 1991 by Routledge. It is number 11 in Channel View Publications' Aspects of Tourism Series, edited by Chris Cooper, Michael Hall and Dallen Timothy. This series seeks to provide the latest thinking on tourism worldwide and to push back the frontiers of tourism knowledge. This book contributes to the series by focusing on leisure and resort tourism within destinations. In examining this topic, the book covers a gamut of tourism topics in a cohesive and reflective manner.

The book has a number of purposes discussed in the preface, which are reflected in the progression of the book chapters. The first purpose is to structure the determinants of tourism demand and is achieved through an examination of economic (chapter 2), social (chapter 3) and psychological (chapter 4) factors as precursors of demand. The second purpose is to investigate the implications of tourism demand at the destination. This is discussed in chapter 5 (The Tourist Experience) and chapter 6 (The Tourist Resort Zone). The third purpose is to consider the effects of tourism with chapter 7 exploring the Economic Benefits of Tourism, chapter 8, Tourism Impacts on the Environment and chapter 9, the Social Impacts of Tourism. The final chapter (chapter 10; Concluding Words) provides a brief re-examination of themes from the preceding chapters in terms of three zones: a tourist-generating zone, a receiving zone and a zone of interaction and interpretation that encompasses the psychological and social conception of the destination.

Chapter 1 presents the history of tourism in the English-speaking world using cameo discussions of the classical, medieval and Grand Tour periods as well as a more extensive discussion from the Victorian period to the present day. This is examined to provide a context for the later discussion of modern tourism. The chapter searches for the keys to the dynamics of tourism suggesting there are technology and transport as well as sociological and demographic factors. The chapter considers that the future of tourism may be based on new directions derived from a re-examination of the concept of authenticity. This chapter demonstrates a pattern repeated throughout the book, providing a review of the literature enhanced by discussion that draws the attention of the reader to the author's view, which in this case involves Boorstin's concept of image. In this manner, Ryan provides both an overview of large topics and some personal commentary and evaluation of them.

In chapters 2, 3 and 4, the demand for tourism is considered from an economic, social and psychological perspective respectively. …