Tourism geography

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Che, D 2017, 'Tourism geography', in B Warf (ed.), Oxford bibliographies in geography, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780199799701.

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Peer Reviewed



Geography is the ideal discipline for studying the global tourism industry; as the key journal Tourism Geographies (under Journals) explains, there are many fundamentally geographical aspects to tourism which (1) “occurs in places, (2) is sold and begins in a place of origin and is consumed in destination places, (3) transforms the environment of visited places in ways that are distinct from non-tourism processes, (4) involves the movement of people, goods, services, ideas, and money over space, and (5) presents a distinct way that people view, understand and relate to the world.” Given the inherently spatial aspects of tourism, geographers have contributed significantly to academic tourism studies. They have developed some of the most important conceptual models for explaining tourism development, including resort morphology, the tourist-historic city, and the tourist area life cycle. Additionally geographers have made the most sustained contributions to the study of the environmental dimensions of tourism and have been major contributors to the concepts of sustainable tourism and Ecotourism. Even though it has been at the core of tourism studies and also strengthened geography department enrollments, tourism geography ironically has been somewhat peripheral in academic geography. This status may be due in part to the inertia of academic institutions and staff in not seeing tourism as a serious subject for study, as well as the difficulty in measuring the tourism industry as compared to primary and secondary industries. This bibliography highlights the contributions of tourism geography and geographers to tourism research and education through a review of general overviews, Handbooks, Journals, Progress in Human Geography Reports, and Textbooks and publications on Tourism Geography Education, as well as those on specific topical areas including Culture and Heritage Tourism, Sustainability and Tourism, Migration and Mobilities, Economic Geography and Tourism, and Destination Place Branding.