Tourism and Quality-of-Life: How Does Tourism Measure Up?
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Tourism attracts academic attention as a phenomenon and by the sheer diversity of subject areas involved in its construction. Disciplines such as economics, marketing, anthropology, psychology, sociology, history, and geography have contributed to the development of a dynamic and productive field of research. Simultaneously, disciplines involved in tourism have profited from its empirical and analytical characteristics. The objective here is not to reignite the contestation over tourism’s disciplinary status (cf. Hall et al. 2004 ; Tribe 1997, 2000 ) but to emphasize how tourism as an inherently interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field draws on a wide variety of “primary” academic disciplines. This has led to constructive reflections upon tourism and related phenomena such as mobility, globalization, motivation, consumption, governance, identity, technology, social networks, sustainability, and only more recently, QOL. Tourism is also a field which is greatly influenced by the context of local, national, and international tourism demand and supply, tourism industry structure, and consumer characteristics.Conceptualizing tourism as a global process of commoditization and consumption involving flows of people, capital, images, and cultures (Appadurai 1990; Clifford 1997; Meethan 2001), tourism may induce changes to places, people, and patterns of social and economic relationships, among others, through considerable and unequal redistribution of spending power. Prior to 2000, there were only a few of books and journal articles addressing the topic of quality-of-life in tourism (Jennings and Nickerson 2006 whereas the impacts of tourism have received much more attention. This chapter presents a select literature review that outlines the key findings and the linkages between the sociocultural environmental and economic dimensions of tourism as they relate to QOL. Most of the literature is prescriptive in nature, revealing the cultural, environmental, social, and economic effects of tourism in a given community, or area, subjected to tourism development.
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