Edited by Richard Sharpley and David Harrison
Chapter 8: Tourism, development and the consumption of tourism
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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