Understanding Tourism Economics and its Applications

This month we published the second edition of Tourism Economics and Policy by Larry Dwyer, Peter Forsyth and Wayne Dwyer. In this post the authors explain how the book contributes to our understanding of tourism economics and its applications.

Over the past few decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and diversification to become one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors in the world. An increasing number of destinations have opened up and invested in tourism development, turning modern tourism into a key driver for socioeconomic progress. For many developing countries, it is one of the main income sources and the number one export category, creating much needed employment and opportunities for sustainable economic growth.

This revised edition comes a decade after the original publication. During this period various trends – political, economic, social, technological and environmental – have impacted on the business environments in which tourism has developed globally.  While the focus of this book is the economic dimension of tourism activity, the authors are mindful of the importance of the social and environmental effects of tourism development and tourist activity. We have done our best to incorporate new approaches and ideas which influence tourism economics and policy. The result is an appropriate and accessible text for students, researchers and practitioners in tourism economics and tourism policy.

The text identifies and discusses some of the most important topics of tourism economics. In addition to the standard topics such as tourism supply and demand, forecasting, pricing, investment, taxation, economic impact analysis, economic instruments and environmental protection, the book contains discussions of the implications of the sharing economy, affecting industry structure in accommodation and transport, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques that are being increasingly employed in tourism forecasting. The chapter on tourism transport devotes more attention to surface and marine transport, while the chapter on destination competiveness devotes much more attention to resident quality of life issues. Additional chapters include the price mechanism, economic contribution of tourism, tourism and economic growth and tourism and sustainable development consistent with many of the theses of ecological economics. Every chapter retained from the previous edition has been updated and revised where required.

The more comprehensive is our understanding of the bases of the decisions made by tourism operators, the behaviour of tourists and policies enacted by destination managers, the more able are economic efficiencies to be achieved in the overall objective of achieving sustainable development of tourism destinations. Throughout the text, the authors have sought to emphasize the relevance of economic analysis to tourism policy formulation in both developed and developing destinations.

Changing global trends will continue to pose challenges to economic theory and policy and the way we analyze tourism activity. Whatever the specific topics that researchers will address in the coming years, it is clear that tourism economics provides a fertile ground for research with the potential to inform policy making to improve socio-economic prosperity in all destinations worldwide.

Larry Dwyer, Visiting Research Professor, University of Technology Sydney


For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like The Future of Airbnb and the ‘Sharing Economy’ by Jeroen A. Oskam.

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