Title: Back to the future? Tourism, place, and sustainability
Author: Williams, Daniel R.; Van Patten, Susan
Source: In: Anderson, L.; Blom, T.; eds. Sustainability and development: On the future of small society in a dynamic economy. Proceedings of the Karlsbad International seminar. Karlsbad, Sweden: University of Karlsbad. p. 359-369.
Description: Tourism, especially rural tourism, epitomizes the problematic elements of sustainability. On the one hand, as a service industry trading on the uniqueness of a place and region, tourism is seen as more environmentally benign than industrial production, manufacturing, extractive industries, and even agriculture. When traditional resource dependent industries decline (whether due to depletion of resources, emergence of more competitive alternatives, or promulgation of environmental regulations), local communities, environmental organizations, and politicians often turn to tourism as a way to sustain the local economy. On the other hand, tourism is made possible by the same globalizing forces that put rural and small scale society at the margin spatially and economically. Tourism largely finds its market in a modern, urban, global society, which longs for a kind of experience of place associated with the rural, pastoral, and natural. The same logic of global capitalism that makes small scale society difficult to sustain, makes travel economically practical and psychologically attractive to the tourist.
Keywords: tourism, sustainability, industry, travel
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Williams, Daniel R.; Van Patten, Susan 1998. Back to the future? Tourism, place, and sustainability. In: Anderson, L.; Blom, T.; eds. Sustainability and development: On the future of small society in a dynamic economy. Proceedings of the Karlsbad International seminar. Karlsbad, Sweden: University of Karlsbad. p. 359-369..