Tourism in the future: cycles, waves or wheels?

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    67 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Those who have studied tourism over the last few decades will be well aware that the pace of change in some areas has been phenomenal, while in other aspects of the field, there has been relatively little change. The rather confused pattern of tourism development and growth illustrates a major dichotomy which exists in tourism, namely, that between its dynamism and its inertia, and the tension between these two attributes accounts in part for a general difficulty in being able to predict the future patterns of tourism. This paper reviews some of the approaches used to describe and predict the future nature and scale of tourism and argues that few have been effective or accurate, and that this is due in part to the heterogeneous nature of tourism, in both its demand and supply, and that the role of external agents is constantly altering the anticipated pattern of growth and development. Particular attention is paid to the life cycle model which has been used for a quarter of a century to describe the process of development of tourist destinations, whether such a model can be used to predict future patterns, and whether cycles, waves or wheels are suitable analogies for the pattern of tourism growth. The paper argues for a blending of both evolutionary and revolutionary predictions in the case of tourism destinations, an approach which allows for the incorporation of ideas such as chaos theory and chance into the equation of growth, in order to reflect both the inertia and dynamism that are inherent in tourism.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages346-352
    Number of pages6
    JournalFutures
    Volume41
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

    Fingerprint

    tourism
    Tourism
    dynamism
    inertia
    chaos theory
    tourist destination
    tourism development
    growth and development
    chaos
    life cycle
    tourist
    supply
    prediction
    demand
    Dynamism
    Inertia

    Keywords

    • tourism
    • future patterns
    • predictions

    Cite this

    Butler, R. / Tourism in the future: cycles, waves or wheels?. In: Futures. 2009 ; Vol. 41, No. 6. pp. 346-352.
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    Tourism in the future: cycles, waves or wheels? / Butler, R.

    In: Futures, Vol. 41, No. 6, 08.2009, p. 346-352.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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