You are on page 1of 63

Topic 1.

Geography of Tourism
General concepts

1.1. Concepts, contends and

study sources
What does
Geography have to
do with tourism?
The Geography of tourism
• What’s tourism and what’s its relation with
– Tourism, leisure and recreation  concepts
related with the social construction of the
notion of time.
• Latin term tornus , meaning turn or movement,
going back or rotate.
• Latin term otium, meaning spare time, time for
resting, etc.
• Latin term recreatio, meaning recovery,
The Geography of tourism
• Tourism, leisure & recreation  linked to the
concept of work.
• The concept of work changes along different
historical moments, it is also different according to
each society, even among different social classes
or inside itself.
– Primitive societies  Marshall Shalins defined the
Stone Age as the age of the abundance.
– Working was a punishment during the classic
period  tripalium (colt of torture). Working was
not socially valued. Slaves where devoted to work
and leisure was related with virtuous people
(such as for their education).
– During the Middle Ages hard and laborious work is
done by per servants, but leisure begins to be
valued negatively  work is considered as divine
punishment (as a duty).
The Geography of tourism
• The concept of what work is vary in every
historical moment, it is different in each
society, even among different social classes
or within itself.
– The concept of what work is changes with the birth
of capitalism work becomes an abstract think
(reduced to its change value).
• According to this abstraction, The painful work differs
from other more rewarding works.
• Social Division of Labour & International Division of
• The salary will reverse the severity/arduousness of
• Social differentiation among capitalist and working
• Many kinds of “work in the shade/hidden” are not
remunerated  care work (social reproduction).
The Geography of tourism
• The recognition or not of remunerated time
also affects the amount of leisure time. Time
becomes defined by division of labour 
– More precariousness = less leisure time
– More privileged people = more leisure time.

• Thorstein Veblen (1899)  The leisure

class: “Conspicuous consumption,
along with "conspicuous leisure", is
performed to demonstrate wealth or
mark social status”.
• The right to have leisure of the
working class is a result of the social
struggle , labor movement, collective
bargaining, Welfare State, etc.
The Geography of tourism
• Tourism, leisure and recreation  linked to the
concept of work.
– Leisure is considered as a part of the time available
for the people, once their basic needs are satisfied.
Basic needs are: physiological activities (such as
feeding or sleeping) and other personal and
household activities. Nowadays, many leisure
activities involve an expense, as consumption
within the capitalist market. Therefore, a
remuneration through a job is needed.
– Recreation is considered a kind of fun activity,
among many types, from television to travel.
– Leisure is a measure of time, while recreation
includes the activities developed during leisure
time, being tourism only a type of recreational
The Geography of tourism
The Geography of tourism
• What is tourism and what’s its relation with
– There is a great diversity of tourism
• According to the Diccionario de la Real Academia
Española: Tourism:
1. m. Actividad o hecho de viajar por placer.
2. m. Conjunto de los medios conducentes a
facilitar estos viajes.
3. m. Conjunto de personas que realizan este tipo
de viajes.
4. m. automóvil de turismo.
The Geography of tourism
Big diversity of definitions of tourism:
• What is tourism?
Tourism is the business of providing tours and
services for tourists. Tourism is a service industry
which employs over 2 million people in Britain
• According to the Word Tourism Organization (United
Nations), tourism includes: the activities that people
(tourists) develop during their trips and stays in
places different from their usual environment, for a
consecutive period shorter to a year and longer to a
day (less of day is only an excursion) for leisure,
business or other purposes.
The Geography of tourism
Big diversity of definitions of tourism:
• Tourism as an industry: its definition as an
industry is complex. Because it is not an industry in the
conventional sense of the term and it does not appear
grouped under any heading of the ISIC (International
Uniform Industrial Classification). But:
– It is an industrial activity as far as it consumes goods
and services (intermediate demand) and is a service
producer (final demand).
– It includes a myriad of activities: transport,
accommodation, tour operators, travel agencies, leisure
activities, restaurants, commerce and other (e.g..
publicity, financing, real estate, telecommunications,
The Geography of tourism
Tourism: the poor brother of the social sciences.
• It has not been particularly the object of attention on the part
of the different disciplines of the social sciences: Economy,
Sociology, Anthropology, Geography...
• Thorstein Veblen, makes a critic in The leisure class
(1899) to his own society, from the Institutional Economy. He
considers this class as predatory and parasitic, while the
middle classes (technical) want to emulate them.
• In the 1930’s first studies on tourism and recreation appear.
• The geographer Walter Christaller was the first to introduce
the study of tourism within the centre-periphery framework,
in 1963.
• In the 1960’s, the tourism question is introduced in the
regional geographies.
Globalization and uneven
geographical development
a. Centre with monopoly of recognised
currency, weapons of mass destruction,
mass media, technology, institutional
power, corporations’ headquarters…
b. Periphery to supply working force, natural
resources, savings, sink of waste…
The Geography of tourism
Tourism: the poor brother of the social sciences.
• In the 1960’s & 1970s, a few works dealing with the
tourism issue begin to be published, from multiple
• Social Sciences (and Geography) are dominated by to
currents: quantitative one (orthodox and related to the
neoclassical Economy) and a critical or radical one
(heterodox and questioning the dominant order).
• The Commission on Tourism, Leisure and Recreation of
the International Geographical Union is created in
• Dr. Jafar Jafari is one of the major drivers of tourist
studies and founded the magazine Annals of Tourism
Research, in 1973, publish in Spanish by UIB.
Models of tourism territorial development
Conventional, orthodox, neoclassical & pro-
• Richard Butler (1980): “The concept of a tourist
area cycle of evolution: implications for
management of resources”. Canadian Geographer, vol.
24, núm.11, p.5-12.
Locational analysis, from quantitative
• Erdmann Gormsen (1997). The impact of tourism
on coastal areas. GeoJournal, vol. 1, nº 42, p. 39-54.
The myth of development
The classical phases of economic growth
Walter Whitman Rostow (1960) The stages of economic growth. A non-communist manifesto.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The growth “mechanism” as a law: universal, ahistorical and
aespacial, fed by trickle down

Mass consumption

Development level


Initial conditions


Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC)
Butler, R. (1980). “The concept of a tourism area cycle of evolution: Implications for
the management of resources”. Canadian Geographer, 24, 5-12.
Tourist expansion
Capitalist World-Systems
Immanuel Wallerstein
(1974). The Modern
World-System. Nova
York: Academic Press.

Erdmann Gormsen
(1997). The impact of
tourism on coastal
areas. GeoJournal, vol.
1, nº 42, p. 39-54.

International tourism development based on:

•Spatial fix of capital export from core areas
•Uneven geographical development
•And as a result, leakage and TNC oligopoly
Uneven geographical development
• Inequality as a result of the internal contradictions of
capitalism: the emergence of concentrations of wealth and
capital on the one hand and poverty and oppression on the
other. As a result of the accumulation of capital (Marx, K.
(1867). The Capital) and dispossession (Harvey (2006).
The limits to capital).
• Reduced labor costs through the International Division of
• Unequal exchange and interstate center-periphery relations.
• Spatial competition via creation/destruction of built
environments, as a spatio-temporal solution. David Harvey
(1999). The Limits to Capital. Londres: Verso.
• Lack of social justice.
Patrick Bond (1999). “What is ‘uneven development’”. O’Hara, P. (Ed.). The Encyclopeia of Political Economy. Londres: Routledge.
Capitalism is characterized by its expansion
towards non-capitalist territories, in order to:
• Incorporate territories, natural
resources and labor that are
• Increase demand for goods and
services in central countries
(colonial metropolis).
• Reserve the most remunerated
activities, with more added value, for
German Social
the central spaces.
Democratic Party • Export and "fix" over-accumulated
(SPD) capital from central countries in
Luxemburg, Rosa (1913). Introduction to the political economy.
José Manuel Naredo

Development: positional advantage

Isles of order and fear in an ocean of entropy and poverty
“Pleasure peripheries”
Gormsen (1981). The spatio-temporal development of international tourism;
y Gormsen (1997). The spatio-temporal development of seaside tourism
Space-time model from Erdmann
Gormsen (1981-1997):
Evolution of seaside tourism, location patterns,
geographical expansion, socio-economic changes…
Elements of analysis:
• Travel distance and means of transport.
• Accommodation typology.
• Participation of the local community.
• Participation of different social classes in tourist
• Availability of tourist services.
• Capital’s origin to finance urban development.
• Effects on settlement patterns and economic
• Environmental stress.
Erdmann Gormsen’s model
• Periphery I: (XIXth century) proximity to major urban
centers of the industrial revolution (shores of the
English Channel and the Baltic Sea).

• Periphery II: (end of XIXth century and beginnings of

XXth) coasts of southern France and northern Italy
(French and Italian Riviera) after the Second World
War. After 1950 it embraces southern European coasts,
such as the Spanish Mediterranean coasts.

• Periphery III: (from 1960) includes Canary and Balearic

Islands and north of Africa.

• Periphery IV: (from 1970) Caribbean, S-E Asia and

Oceania are added as main tourist destinations.
Rullan, Onofre (2008). “Reconversión y crecimiento de las zonas
turísticas. Del fordismo al postfordismo”. Troitiño, M. A.;
García, J. S.; García, M. (coord.). Destinos turísticos: viejos
problemas, ¿nuevas soluciones? X Coloquio de Geografía del
Turismo, Ocio y Recreación (A.G.E.), p. 587-626.

Industrial Energy source Kondratieff Touristic Capitalism

revolution and cycle (45-60 periphery period
technology years)
1ª Coal K1&2 1ª Industrial
2ª Oil and K3&4 2ª & 3ª Fordist
electricity Monopolist
3ª Nuclear, K5 4ª Global +
renewable and Neofordist
information Neoliberal
First touristic coastal periphery
1ª IR (K1 & K2). XIX century


ors Source: Rullan, 2008

Brighton Pier (1875)
Second touristic coastal periphery
1st part of the 2ond IR (K3). 1st third of the XX century


ors Source: Rullan, 2008

Balneari de San Sebastián
Cannes (Riviera francesa)
Third touristic coastal periphery
2ond part of the 2ond IR (K4). 1950-1973


ors Source: Rullan, 2008

Tourist arrivals and tourists accommodation
capacity in the Balearic Islands (1950-2010)
Murray, I.; Yrigoy,
I. & Blázquez, M.
(2017). “The role
of crises in the
destruction and
restructuring of
tourist spaces.
The case of the
Balearic Islands”.
Turísticas, 13, 1-
29 .
Platja de Palma (Mallorca)

Platja i construcció al Mediterrani (anys 1970)

Yrigoy, I. (2014).
“The production
of tourist spaces
as a spatial fix”.
Geographies, 16
(4), p. 636-652
Fourth tourist coastal periphery
3th IR (K5). From the last decennial of XXth century


ors Source: Rullan, 2008

Royal Caribbean
Resort (Cancún)

Conrad Bali Resort & Spa

Models of tourism territorial development
From a critical analysis:
• Stephen H. Britton (1981): “The spatial organisation
of tourism in a neo-colonial economy: a Fiji case
study”. Pacific Viewpoint, vol.21, núm.2, p.144-165.
• Jean Marie Miossec (1976): “Eléments pour une
théorie de l’espace tourístique”. Les Cahiers du
Tourisme, series C, núm.36.
• Michel Chadefaud (1987): Aux origines du tourisme
dans les pays de l'Adour, du mythe à l'espace: un essai
de géographie historique. Département de géographie et
d'aménagement de l'Université de Pau et des pays de
l'Adour, Centre de recherche sur l'impact socio-spatial de
Stephen H. Britton (1981):
• Post-colonial N-S model.
• Transnationals corporate
control: leakages.
Leakage: “The removal of
part of the economic
surplus of dependent social
formations by foreigners”
(Britton, 1982, 334). E.g.
Fiji: 70%.

Leakage effects: refers to

the way in which revenue
generated by tourism is lost
to other countries’
economies (“Economic
Impacts of Tourism”
Functional model of Jean
Marie Miossec (1976):
• Hypothetic evolution.
• Concentric model.
• Increasing complexity
and hierarchy.
• Phases:
0. Pre-tourism.
1. Pioneer.
2. Development.
3. Organization.
4. Saturation.
• Considering:
• Tourist urban
• Transports networks.
• Tourist behaviour.
• Stakeholders and local
population attitudes.
Systemic model of Michel Chadefaud
• Annales School
• Political Economy.
• Tourist space as a material social
• Accommodation.
• Transport.
• Leisure equipment.
• Tourist space as an immaterial
social product. The creation of a
• Mental representation.
• Related to supposed needs.
• Search for spatial otherness,
escape to everyday life.
• Relation to the theory of economic
cycles. Phases:
1. Creation.
2. Maturity.
Callizo, J. (1989). “El espacio turístico de Chadefaud, un entrevero 3. Obsolescence.
teórico: del historicismo al materialismo dialéctico y el sistemismo
behaviourista”, Geographicalia, 26, 37-44. 4. Mutation and transformation.
The Geography of tourism
Among the critical reflections on tourism and its
impacts we can highlight the texts of the 1970s (not
only from Geography):
• Isobel Cosgrove & Richard Jackson (1972):
Geography of recreation and leisure. Hutchinson,
• Young, George (1973): Tourism: blessing or
blight? Penguin, London.
• Louis Turner & John Ash (1975): The Golden
Hordes. Constable and Company, Ltd, London.
• Emmanuel de Kadt (coord) (1979): Tourism,
passport to development?, from an UNESCO &
World Bank seminar on the contribution of tourism
to development.
• Valene Smith (1978): Hosts and Guests: The
Anthropology of Tourism. Blackwell, Oxford.
The Geography of tourism
In Spain, origins of the Geography of Tourism are
• First stage  integrated in the regional Geographies.
• Contributions from Economics. Standing out Joan
Cals (1974). Turismo y política turística en España.
Una aproximación. Ed. Ariel, Madrid.
• Critical contributions:
• Mario Gaviria (1978). España a Go Go.
Turismo charter y neocolonialismo del
espacio. Ed. Turner, Madrid.
• Francisco Jurdao (1979). España en venta.
Ayuso, Madrid.
The Geography of tourism
Main representatives of the Geography of
• French school: George Cazes, Jean-Pierre Lozato-
• Anglosaxon school: David Pearce, Richard Butler, C.
Michael Hall, Allan Williams, Gareth Shaw...
• German school: Erdmann Gormsen...
• Spanish school: Fernando Vera, Salvador Antón,
Francesc López Palomeque, Manuel Marchena...
• Balearic school: Pere A. Salvà, Climent Picornell, Miquel
Seguí, Onofre Rullan, Ivan Murray, Joan Buades...
• Radical school: Stephen S. Britton, Richard Sharpley,
Raoul Bianchi, Jan Mosedale, Michael Clancy, Joan
Buades, Ivan Murray, Ernest Cañada...
• New currents: cultural turn, postmodern, mobilities, etc.:
John Urry (1990) The tourist gaze. Sage Publications, Lon.
The Geography of tourism
Broadly speaking, the different schools
have been defined based on the role
played by their places of origin in the
international tourism process. E. g.:
– The British school focuses on demand (origin
of tourists) and its behavior.
– The Spanish school (as well as others from
the South) focus more on the study of
What is the geography of tourism?
It depends on the theoretical position of the researcher.
Depending on their approach, there will be many geographies of
The Geography of tourism
Broadly speaking, the orthodox school of
tourism geography analyzes:
– The regions generating tourists (demand):
the main tourist markets in the world, where
the great marketing campaigns take place.
– The receiving or tourist production areas:
the facilities, infrastructures and services that
are commercialized touristically and
consumed by tourists.
– Areas of transit: link between the two
previous areas. Study of flows, transport and
The Geography of tourism
• Main currents:
– Demand studies (influenced by
neoclassical theory), demand side
approach, some how having to do with
Demography studies:
• Spatial distribution of demand.
• Evolution of tourist flows.
• Mobility's studies, related with the
Geography of transport.
• Study of the motivations of tourists.
Focus on the supply side. Characterization
of tourism as an industrial activity
• Origins:
– The Majorcan economist Bartomeu Amengual
wrote “La industria de los forasteros” in 1903
(reedited in 1993).
– A.J. Norval wrote in 1936 The Tourist Industry.
• Can tourism be interpreted as an industry?
• Why?
• What are its main features?
• What are the elements that compose it?
How would you define the shoe industry?

How can you define the tourism industry?

From the demand side as a type of consumption

or from the offer side as production?
Keith G. Debbage & Peter Daniels (1998). “The tourist industry and
economic geography”. A Ioannides, D. & Debbage, K. G. (Ed.) The
Economic Geography of the Tourist Industry: A Supply-Side Analysis.
Routledge, Londres, pp. 17-30.
Characterization of tourism as an
industrial activity
Offer studies (influenced by the critical theory), supply side
approach. Dimitri Ioannides i Keith G. Debbage (Eds.) (1998):
The economic geography of the tourist industry. A supply
side analysis. Routledge, Londres.
• Strengthens the links between Geography of Tourism and
Economic Geography.
• It develops the concept of tourist industry:
– The industry is defined based on the goods and services
that it produces and not by the characteristics or
motivations of the consumers.
– Industry as a collection of organizations that are managed
in such a way that their activities collaborate, while
producing similar or related products and services between
Characterization of tourism as an
industrial activity
Offer studies (influenced by the critical theory), supply side approach.
Dimitri Ioannides i Keith G. Debbage (Eds.) (1998): The economic
geography of the tourist industry. A supply side analysis. Routledge,
• According to this approach, TOURISM is the aggregate of all activities
and businesses that directly provide goods and services to facilitate
business, pleasure and recreational activities away from the place of
residence (Stephen L.J. Smith, 1988: 183).
• Spatial distribution of the offer: destinations, tourist centers, etc.
• Evolution of the tourist spaces.
• The social production of tourist space.
• Study of the socio-spatial and environmental impacts of tourism (usually
in destinations, recreation areas, etc.).
• Tourism as a vehicle for capital accumulation: the tourism
globalization understood as the combination of an accumulation regime,
a socio-institutional context, private and public agents, a regulatory
framework (local, national and international), etc.
Characterization of tourism as an
industrial activity
• A feature of the tourism product is that it is not made by a single
sector and that there is no activity that completes the final
assembly of the tourist product.
• The tourist industry is complex since it is formed by numerous
branches of activity that can cover activities not strictly touristy,
at the same time.
• Particularity: much of the product is consumed in the same place
of production, that is, customers move to the "factory".

According to Turner & Ash (1991: 159) The golden hordes:

“The quid of this industry is the processing of the people, by
themselves. Just as the big companies dedicated to the packing
of meat products take livestock, which is still alive, to
slaughterhouses and they benefit from each and every part of the
animal, including bones and helmets, the big tourist
conglomerates try to control the greatest number of stages,
all of them belonging to the route through which the tourist will be
dispossessed of their money, during their vacations”.
Characterization of tourism as an
industrial activity
Alberto Sessa (1983) in Elements of tourism economics made
a characterization of the tourist industry formed by:
Elements of the tourist industry according to Alberto Sessa (1983)
 Natural resources
Tourist resources:
 Human resources
 Media and transport.
 Social facilities.
General and tourist infrastructure:
 Basic installations.
 Telecommunications.

 Hotels, Guest Houses, Holiday Cities.

 Condominiums.
Receiving facilities:  Second residences.
 Residences for workforce.
 Food and beverage facilities.

 Cultural and recreational facilities.

Sports and recreation facilities:
 Sports facilities.
 Travel agencies.
 Hotel promotion offices.
Tourist reception services:  Information offices.
 Rent a car..
 Guides, interpreters, etc.
Tourism as an industrial system
• Not only the location of the activities, but also the broader
processes of structural change in tourism production:
– Institutions: public (governments) and private (companies).
– Policies: public (framework of activity regulation) and
private (corporate strategies).
• Spaces of production and consumption.
• Social groups: tourists-consumers, receiving societies
(foreigner and part involved in tourism commodification), social
classes, etc.
• Infrastructures and equipment in sending and receiving
• Facilities of the tourist system: transport, tour operators,
lodging, recreation, meals and restoration, others.
• Tourism metabolism: use of materials and the generation of
waste related to tourism.
Interaction Demand-Offer / Origin-Destination
The sources of information for the study
of the geography of tourism
• First of all, we need to know what we want to analyze
and from what perspective or approach.
• Problems with the dispersion of information and the
definition of the tourism industry itself.
• Sources which are not "strictly" of tourist of
interest, for example: urban planning, artistic-
heritage, environmental, economic, etc.
• As tourism activity has been poorly recognized,
there is a shortage of fundamental statistical
series, both temporary and spatial; for example:
flows of visitors, tourist occupation, lodging,
The sources of information for the study
of the geography of tourism
• We can collect the sources that exist or generate our own
information, e. g. mapping, interviewing or taking pictures.
• Statistics :
– Official statistical information (e.g. National Institute of
Statistics, Tourism World Organization, etc.).
• Publications
– Scientific and official studies: articles in scientific journals,
books, reports and official documents, etc.
– Non-academic information related to tourism: non-academic
specialized magazines; travel guides; company information
(e.g. leaflets, web pages, etc.); general and specialized press;
information prepared by the tourists themselves (e.g. blog
travel); information compiled or compiled by NGOs; literature;
• Cartographic information :
– Geographic Information Systems.
– Photointerpretation and remote sensing.
The sources of information for the study
of the geography of tourism
• Active and participatory research.
• Direct observation  field work with specific
objectives, but at the same time with an open
mind to detect any element or situation of
• Surveying, e. g. polls.
• Interviews.
• Delphi Method: panel discussion with experts.
• Oral sources and work with interest groups,