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Chapter 7 The Political Economy of Tourism and Approaches to Forecasting

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635352-4726

ISBN: 9781911635352

Published: December 2020

Component type: chapter

Published in: Tourism Theories, Concepts and Models

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635352-4280



While there is a vast literature on issues related to political economy, tourism scholars have generally paid little attention to this area of research. This chapter discusses some of the underlying debates related to political economy to provide a window into the fundamental role that economic forces play in the operation, sustainability and profitability of the global tourism system. In the near future, the need to transition to a carbon-neutral production system (see Chapter 15), and the immense difficulties that will be faced in reining in our increasing use of diminishing resources, will generate considerable discussion on the merits of various production systems such as Neoliberalism, socialism, neo-Marxism and post-Keynesian. This chapter also considers a range of models used to forecast tourism activity, a task that is an important element in future tourism investment and planning activities. The current production system is firmly embedded in the market driven capitalist system of economic production and for this reason, the following dis- cussion will focus on capitalism. This chapter provides a neo-Marxist perspective to demonstrate a counter view to the predominate interpretation of capitalism through a neoliberal lens. Degrowth (see Chapter 15) also offers another vision for organizing a future economic system of production. Understanding how we arrived at our system of economic production is important and provides insights into the next stage of economic evolution, which will most likely to be based on a carbon-neutral economic production system. So what is the difference between political economy and economics? Political economy is concerned with the process of production and its impact on national income and wealth, and the conflicts, inequalities and problems that arise in trade, law and government (Bianchi, 2018; Williams, 2004). Scholars generally approach the study of political economy from perspectives that include Liberalism, Keynesianism, Marxism, Socialism and Neoliberalism (and the many sub-branches of these schools). Economics on the other hand is concerned with production, distribution and consumption of goods and services and leaves aside political and social considerations although as Bianchi (2018) observed, the distinction between political economy and economics has become blurred because of the political nature of significant areas of neoliberal thought.

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McKercher & Prideaux, 2020

McKercher, B. & Prideaux, B. (2020) "Chapter 7 The Political Economy of Tourism and Approaches to Forecasting" In: McKercher, B. & Prideaux, B. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635352-4726


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