modern world their actions are generally shaped to some extent by the tourism products that tourism producers offer. The core products which are offered typically include transport to and from a tourist destination, accommodation at that destination, and activities such as visits to tourist attractions within the destination. The offering of these tourism products is the nature of the tourism businesses which this book explores. This distinction between tourists and producers of tourism products – both stakeholders in tourism – is important in understanding how tourism might be considered ‘good’ yet tourists might be considered as bad. The notions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in this context refer to the impacts which tourism and tourists have on the destinations visited. The three main impacts which have been studied are: ■ ■ ■ economic; sociocultural; environmental.

Received wisdom is that broadly these three impacts may be characterised under the following headings.

■ Economic impact
The economic impact of tourism is expected to be ‘good’, that is, positive. In other words, the destination benefits economically as a result of tourism. Tourism creates jobs for local people who then profit as a result of tourists’ spending money. This spending has a multiplier effect – those who earn directly from tourism jobs spend their earnings locally so there is a secondary economic benefit to other businesses and employees, who spend their earnings creating a tertiary economic benefit, and so on. However, economic impact can be reduced significantly through two effects: leakage, which is the leaking of profits back to the country from which the visitors have come and arises when tourists stay in hotels that are owned by companies based in the home country of visitors, and the demonstration effect, which is the process whereby local people want to buy the goods that have been imported to support the tourists’ wants, e.g. Scandinavian beer on sale in a Mediterranean resort.

■ Sociocultural impact
The sociocultural impact of tourists is generally thought of as ‘bad’. Tourists, who tend to behave in less inhibited ways when on holiday, set behaviour patterns which challenge the social norms of local people. Local people, especially those who work in tourism businesses and/or young people, begin to behave in ways that run against traditional cultural norms, and, if the exposure to tourists’ behaviour is sufficiently sustained, the traditional way of life in a destination is irrevocably changed, in a way that traditional residents consider undesirable.

■ Environmental impact
The environmental impact of tourists is generally ‘bad’. The continued presence of large numbers of tourists results in the degradation of the natural environment, through direct impact on the physical environment, through inappropriate use of land and water resources and through putting excessive pressure on the built environment, especially in the case of historical and cultural buildings. When these three impacts are netted off, it can be seen whether the tourism process is sustainable at a particular destination. To return to Jafar Jafari’s overview of how the study of tourism can be made from different perspectives, it will come as little surprise

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful