A Research Agenda for Tourism and Development
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A Research Agenda for Tourism and Development

Edited by Richard Sharpley and David Harrison

Tourism is integral to local, regional and national development policies; as a major global economic sector, it has the potential to underpin economic growth and wider development. Yet, transformations in both the nature of tourism and the dynamic environment within which it occurs give rise to new questions with regards to its developmental role. This Research Agenda offers a state-of-the-art review of the research into the tourism-development nexus. Exploring issues including governance, policy, philanthropy, poverty reduction and tourism consumption, it identifies significant gaps in the literature, and proposes new and sometimes provocative avenues for future research.
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Chapter 8: Tourism, development and the consumption of tourism

Richard Sharpley


The role of tourists as consumers of tourism experiences cannot be ignored when considering tourism’s role in development. More specifically, where and how tourists travel and the nature of the services they choose, as well as their behaviour more generally (including spending patterns), inevitably influences local development. Therefore, knowledge and understanding of the consumption of tourism is fundamental to the effective planning and development of tourism. However, although academic attention has long been paid to tourist demand, motivation and roles, research into the relationship between the consumption of tourism and development remains more limited. This chapter, therefore, reviews the extant literature before identifying key areas for future research, including: tourists’ understanding of tourism’s developmental potential; the extent to which environmental awareness influences their behaviour; how tourists make sense of tourism as a form of contemporary consumption; and, in particular, the factors that will determine future tourist flows and demand patterns, not least global population dynamics.

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