The environment of tourism development : a systems study
Tourism is an open system. Tourism development is conducted in an ever-changing environment. The central task of development is to maintain a dynamic fit between the development opportunities determined by its external environment and industrial capabilities conditioned by its internal one. This dissertation aimed to study the environment of tourism development at national level with a global perspective. By adopting the systems approach and inter-disciplinary methods, the nature, functioning, evolution and spatial distribution of the tourism system were first analysed in Chapter 2. The environment of tourism was partitioned into three distinct but interlocking levels: the internal environment, the operating environment, and the macro environment. The study then focused on the examination of the macro environment, which was divided into five dimensions: economic, political, socio-cultural, geographical and technological. These interrelated dimensions were analysed respectively in Chapters 3 to 7 in the following fashion: first, the main variables in the special dimension were identified and categorised; secondly, the causes and extents of their influences on tourism were interpreted; thirdly, the patterns of environmental change and their future trends were contemplated and predicted; and finally, the consequent implications for tourism development were highlighted. Chapter 8 provided a comparative analysis of the various environmental factors and a holistic view about the interrelations between the tourism system and its environments. In Chapter 9, the key ideas and main findings of the study were reiterated and further developed into a integrated discussion of the principles of tourism development. The study found that a pro-active approach to environmental management is essential in successful tourism development. Among the important issues to be researched in the future are: the codification and quantification of environmental variables, the reliable forecasting of environmental changes, and the dynamic interaction between the three levels of environment.