Tourism Alternatives: Potentials and Problems in the Development of Tourism

Tourism Alternatives: Potentials and Problems in the Development of Tourism

Tourism Alternatives: Potentials and Problems in the Development of Tourism

Tourism Alternatives: Potentials and Problems in the Development of Tourism

Synopsis

Tourism over the past three decades has grown phenomenally but is continually modified by ongoing events and forces--such as increasing or abating pollution and congestion issues, new forms of transportation, and altered economic, social, or political conditions. The contributions in this work are of great importance to the advancement of knowledge of tourism, and, as a first theoretical book in the area, it establishes a significant benchmark for subsequent tourism research.

Excerpt

The growth of tourism as a social phenomenon and the tourist industry as an economic enterprise has been dramatic during the last half of the twentieth century. Tourism has become a major economic force in many countries and regions throughout the world, altering work patterns, living standards, and income distributions. The expansion of tourist activities has coincided with the significant cultural, political, and environmental changes identified with post-industrial technology of the past few decades. The effects of tourism development have been particularly conspicuous both in the cities and countries from which large numbers of tourists emanate, where tour operators, governments, and other economic interests compete through advertising and image creation to attract tourism customers, and in the destinations to which the tourists travel, where they -- and the facilities built to service them -- make a visible impact.

Although the concept of leisure time and its use has been studied by theorists and recreation practitioners for many years, the study of tourism as a leisure activity is still comparatively new. In many circles, and for some time, tourism was regarded as a relatively frivolous topic; but as social scientific inquiry has focused ever more critically on the dynamics of tourism, it has become evident that tourism is in fact a significant social institution.

Tourism can be studied: it has a history and a literature; it has an internal structure with operating principles; it waxes and wanes and is highly sensitive to external influences including natural and cultural events; and it can be analyzed in terms of economic and social transactions. In short, tourism is a suitable topic for scholarly inquiry.

The International Academy for the Study of Tourism was chartered in Santander, Spain in June 1988 under the aegis of the World Tourism Organization for the purpose of creating a scholarly body to investi-

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