A Research Agenda for Tourism Geographies
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A Research Agenda for Tourism Geographies

Edited by Dieter K. Müller

In recent years, tourism geographies have developed into a vibrant field of research at the intersection of geography and tourism studies. The book presents a unique collection of individual research agendas aiming to inspire the pursuit of new avenues of research. Although there have been arguments to apply post-disciplinary perspectives within tourism research, this book highlights the interest and potential of tourism geographers to contribute to a geographical tradition and influence the future content of geography as a discipline.
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Chapter 14: Tourism spatial dynamics and causal relations: a need for holistic understanding

Rannveig Ólafsdóttir and Hörður V. Haraldsson


At a time when international tourist arrivals hit a new record year on year, the result is increased conflicts and impacts worldwide. Tourism geography has thus never played a moreimportant role in bridging the gaps between qualitative and quantitative as well as human and physical sciences. Increased tourism pressure is likely to have adverse social and environmental effects in many destinations. It is essential that we understand the spatial dynamics of such effects and gain a holistic understanding of the causal relationship between the different impact factors if we are to succeed in sustaining tourism. The chapter focuses on spatial dynamics and causal relations in tourism destination development, with a particular emphasis on systems thinking as a tool to obtain a holistic understanding of the system drivers of change and their causal relationships. Systems thinking provides a vital insight into tourism as an economic development strategy, elucidating the system’s key driving forces and their complex interrelations.

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