Handbook of Research on Cluster Theory

Handbook of Research on Cluster Theory

Handbooks of Research on Clusters series

Edited by Charlie Karlsson

Clusters have increasingly dominated local and regional development policies in recent decades and the growing intellectual and political interest for clusters and clustering is the prime motivation for this Handbook. Charlie Karlsson unites leading experts to present a thorough overview of economic cluster research.

Chapter 18: Tourism Clusters

Ewen J. Michael

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, urban and regional studies, clusters, regional economics

Extract

Ewen J. Michael 1 Introduction Tourism research is a relatively new field of academic endeavour, having established its identity only over the past three decades. Tourism is a vast and complex field of social and economic activity that encompasses the issues relating to people’s travel and visiting from one place to another. Tourism research, then, is multidisciplinary by necessity, for it must deal with the production of its related services, the location of its places, the psychology and choices of its consumers, the marketing of its products, the management and administration of its businesses, the planning for its infrastructure, and for the policy implications that tourism creates for the communities and regions where it occurs. More important, perhaps, are the questions about its role in enhancing economic growth and opportunity in particular environments. One of the initial problems confronting the tourism researcher is that what constitutes tourism as a separable form of human behaviour has proved difficult to define. In the social sciences, tourism concerns the activity of people when they travel – what they do and why – but in economics and the management sciences, analysis focuses on tourism as an industrial process. These disciplines normally assume a careful delineation of boundaries, to establish a degree of certainty about what distinguishes one industrial activity from another. Flow-on and spillover effects are part of what they want to identify; but when an activity is labelled as tourism, there is often confusion and ambiguity. For example, part of a business...

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