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The chapter is concerned with the use of tourism as a developmental tool in urban economic (re)development strategies in Southern cities. The point of departure is that it has to be acknowledged that urban tourism in many Southern cities is largely invisible to the scholarly gaze. The existing scholarship tends to focus on ‘international’ and/or ‘overseas’ tourists, generally visiting from places in the Global North. The conceptualisation of urban tourism requires greater analytic depth to research beyond narrow views to be more attentive toregional and domestic tourists in Southern destinations and their role in urban (re)development. Related to this it is argued that such development strategies need to be clear in unpacking what urban tourism constitutes in various Southern contexts and who is targeted as a key beneficiary. Drawing on some examples it is argued that, once urban tourism is established as a key developmental strategy, path dependency can develop which can, if not clearly and carefully managed, lead to redevelopment outcomes that contradict other planning objectives in Southern cities andoften come at the expense of the urban poor.
Honggang Xu and Yuefang Wu
Tourism geographers are always under pressure to justify and explain the contributions of tourism studies to the geographic discipline. This chapter attempts to take a critical view to reflect this issue through the following points: 1) The application of the geography theories to address the tourism phenomenon itself is one contribution. The application of geographic theories in this field can show the relative advantage of geographic disciplines in analyzing and understanding emerging social issues. 2) Tourism geography is one sub-discipline within geography. Its growth would definitely lead to the growth of geography studies. 3) The theories developed to understand the complexityand uniqueness of the tourism phenomenon may not be necessary for other geographic phenomena which are much simpler and less sophisticated. 4) The identification of the complexityand uniqueness of the tourism phenomenon is important forfacilitating the acknowledgement of tourism geography’s contribution in geography knowledge. 5) To build adialogue with other sub-disciplines of geographies, tourism geographers need to address some common themes and publish outside tourism geography journals.
Big Data have beentrending in research among different disciplines, at least since 2015, even though there is no commonly agreed definition of what Big Data actually are. Most recent works suggest distinguishing Big Data and Small Data by the characteristics of exhaustive data sets versus sampled data sets and whetherthe data are slow (created at one or several points in time) or quick (created continuously). While Big Data offer unparalleled insights and new forms of knowledge creation, they often go with neo-positivist positions, neglecting theoretical approaches and considering data as objective and uninfluenced. Challenging these positions and developing theorybased, data-driven tourism geographies areseen in this chapteras important elements of a research agenda for Big Data in tourism geography in order for tourism geography scholars to make progress in terms of Big Data research.
Dimitri Ioannides and Kristina Zampoukos
In the neoliberal era we live in, a number of issues crop up, seriously hindering the pursuit of equity/social justice dimensions of sustainable development in numerous communities worldwide. Importantly, in many tourism-related sectors we notice an ever-increasing reliance on outsourced casual/part-time labour, much of it based on zero-hours contracts. Often we hear that workers demand a ‘living wage’, given that government-mandated minimum wage contracts – if they exist – do not reflect the reality of ever-increasing living costs encountered in places affected by tourism. This chaptercalls for a research agenda relating to the geographies of tourism work and workers. Specifically, this agenda draws inspiration fromthe work of Andrew Herod, who argues that workers are the authors of their own everyday geographies under capitalism, as well as the research conducted by Tufts, who specifically examines issues revolving around the geography of hotel workers. The chapter seeks to set an agenda to further strengthen our understanding of the everyday geographies of people who are classified as tourism workers. Issues addressed relate inter alia to the workers’ identity, geographic mobility (or immobility), and workers’coping strategies in negotiatinga highly uneven playing field in the working environment but also in terms of access to resources such as affordable housing. The chapteralso raises questions such as:In what manner do recent developments (e.g., the rise of the shared economy) impact the geography of tourism workers?
Rita de Cássia Ariza da Cruz
Theoretical and methodological issues are, of course, fundamental to the production of scientific knowledge. At the same time, herein lies one of the most important weaknesses of the geographical approach to tourism over time. The significant theoretical and methodological weaknesses in the results of researches on tourism are most visible in the international tourism geographic literature. They are also revealed in the international forum, which is dominated by papers restricted to the statement of facts, data, and processes without any theoretical support and non-critical proposals for tourism planning. Overcoming merely descriptive and superficial analyses coupled with the production of in-depth studies, disciplinary and interdisciplinary, is a sine qua non for better understanding contemporary tourism and, therefore, there is not a single theoretical or methodological approach to be embraced, but a plurality of theories and methods at our disposal.However, building bridges to support the ongoing dialogue within geography and between geography and other areas of scientific knowledge remains a challenge to be overcome.The interdisciplinary studies on tourism depend on a bottom-up movement, that is,one based on private initiatives or small groups, which must be able to generate centrifugal movements, disseminating practices and encouraging new initiatives.
During the past several decades, there has been a growing awareness of the crucial role that entrepreneurship plays in the place-commodification of destinations. In particular, entrepreneurship can play a pivotal role in the early stages of tourism development but also during the maturation stage when large externallyfunded organizations can provide the capital to implement major innovations. These varied entrepreneurial processes tend to involve the creation and development of new business opportunities in tourism, and are often viewed through a Schumpeterian lens of “creative destruction” and innovation.Good examples of small-scale entrepreneurship can be found in the recent emergence of farm tourism, homestays, ecotourism and adventure tourism. By contrast, major innovations can be found in the way the transnational airline and hotel industry now employs information technology through e-ticketing or in developing various strategic alliances. More recently, attention has focused on “lifestyle-oriented small tourism” (LOST) firms that do not conform to conventional economic expectations, and that serve various niche markets created by the demand for specialized tourism products. These so-called LOST entrepreneurs are motivated less by profit and are frequently more focused on maintaining a particular lifestyle or way of life. However, in spite of the growing interest in tourism entrepreneurship, the research agenda remains fragmented and partial, with substantive gaps (Shaw 2014). The chapter aims to partially remedy this problem by highlighting the key research issues that need to be addressed in this field in the coming years. An emphasis is placed on summarizing the key research trajectories, focused on how a geographic perspective can help contribute to a better understanding of tourism entrepreneurship relative to the larger field of tourism studies.
Dieter K. Müller
Tourism geographers usually claim that tourism matters. Besides being “one of the largest industries on earth,” it is sometimes claimed that tourism matters for many other realms of life. However, reading a number of critical accounts of the status of tourism geographies, it seems that tourism geographers have difficulties convincing fellow geographers and other scientists about the importance of tourism research. At the same time tourism geographers are influential in the wider field of tourism studies. Against this background the authorasks whether the academic community isdoing anything wrong, and what itshould do differently. It is further argued that a large part of tourism studies has never, at least not in a comprehensive manner, moved away from merely being a field of study focusing on a single industry, despite ambitions to the contrary. Hence, the tourism industry and increasingly also tourism as practice have been the focus of tourism research. This can be justified, but as scientific practice it fails to necessitate the attention of other scholars. It is further argued that tourism geographies in fact are appreciated within tourism research, since they at least attempt to see tourism as an integrated part of another development or phenomenon. Examples are the tourism–climate change nexus andthe role of tourism within regional development. However, in order to move forward and realize the full potential of tourism geographies, the author argues, it is necessary to change the object of study. Instead of researching tourism, tourism geographersshould engage in studying regional development, climate change, urban and rural change, and economic geography and at the same time highlight tourism as an integrated agent of change. This shift from treating tourism as a study object towards using tourism as a perspective on all kinds of societal development, or an infusion of tourism geographies into other fields of research, opens new alleys for tourism research and, in the author’s view, offers exciting ways of utilizing tourism geographiesknowledge on tourism and mobility for explaining geographical change.