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Chapter 9 Tourism as a Complex System

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635352-4731

ISBN: 9781911635352

Published: December 2020

Component type: chapter

Published in: Tourism Theories, Concepts and Models

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635352-4280



The last chapter examined Butler’s and Plog’s lifecycle models. They suggest that tourism works as a linear, predictable manner, moving logically through a pre-determined lifecycle. While the speed of change may be variable, progression through the stages up to and possibly including decline seems inevitable. These models and the models identified earlier in this book share a number of features in common. They recognize that any tourism system begins with the tourist and that also any system needs some destination features and a linkage between the tourist and the destination. The models all have a number of advantages helping us to understand the constituent parts of tourism and some of the simple linkages between elements. They are also deficient in a number of areas, though, for they do not work in practice. This chapter takes an alternative view to the organization and evolution of tourism by looking at tourism from the perspective of complexity theory. In the last 20 years, complexity theory has made strong inroads into management disciplines, but has only recently gained limited interest in the tourism sector, notably from Rodolfo Baggio (Baggio, 2008; Scott, Baggio and Cooper, 2008; Sainaghi and Baggio, 2017).

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McKercher & Prideaux, 2020

McKercher, B. & Prideaux, B. (2020) "Chapter 9 Tourism as a Complex System" In: McKercher, B. & Prideaux, B. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635352-4731


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