Tourism and development theory: Which way now?

Sharpley, Richard Anthony john orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2135-3206 (2022) Tourism and development theory: Which way now? Tourism Planning & Development, 19 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 2156-8316

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Tourism has long been considered a vehicle of development in destination areas. It is not surprising, therefore, that this potential role of tourism has been explored through the lens of development theory. David Harrison was one of the earlier academics to do so, subsequently turning his attention to critiquing the relevance of such theory to tourism. Concluding that
although much tourism research has been framed within it, development theory has contributed little if anything to knowledge and understanding of the tourism-development nexus. Recognising David Harrison’s contribution to the field, this paper reviews the core of his critique of development theory as related to tourism before going on to suggest that the increasingly popular notion of degrowth offers an alternative conceptual lens though which tourism and development maybe viewed. More specifically, it argues that within the context of the global environmental crisis and the acknowledged need to address growth-inspired excessive production and consumption, the concept of degrowth can be considered a viable approach to or theory of development that demands attention in the context of tourism

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