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Understanding Tourism 2nd edition

Concepts and Theories

Bob McKercher, Bruce Prideaux

ISBN: 978-1-915097-66-8 hbk; 978-1-915097-67-5 pbk; 978-1-915097-68-2 eBook


About this book | Table of contents | About the authors | Online resources | Buy now
Understanding Tourism: Concepts and Theories is a follow-on text to the successful text Tourism Theories: Concepts and Models. Now aimed at a more undergraduate audience, it has been fully revised and updated to reflect current thinking and include new case studies and material on:
  • International tourism and the political economy of tourism
  • The quest for sustainability and the net zero imperative
  • How tourists consume a destination
  • Crisis and resilience in a COVID-adapted world

It is a comprehensive and cohesive text that develops a series of key ideas that deepens understanding and encourages critical thinking. Divided into six parts, and using user friendly language and case studies to contextualise, it takes the reader through the important key theories, models and concepts of tourism, ensuring clear understanding and the ability for critical thinking.

This important text provides a critical overview of the core theories, concepts and models that have shaped the development of tourism as a field of study. Divided into six parts, it takes the reader through the following areas to explain how our understanding of tourism has been shaped:

  • Setting the stage: discussing the nature of theory, concepts and models, identifying different approaches to define tourism, and the structure of tourism;
  • How tourism works: attractions, access and the spatial interactions of tourists, factors influencing international tourism, the political economy of tourism, and approaches to forecasting;
  • The evolution of tourism: lifecycle models and complexity theory;
  • The tourist: why do people travel, sociological and anthropological concepts of tourism and tourism and the individual;
  • Tourism impacts, including conflict over place change, sustainability, climate change, resilience, the transformation to a carbon neutral economy, and tourism planning.
  • Current issues including social issues, overtourism, resilience in a COVID-adapted world and crisis management.

A must-have text for undergraduate tourism and hospitality students, as well as a key resource text for students at the early stages of their postgraduate studies.

Reviews of the first edition
“… extremely informative and enjoyable to read, … its’ depth reflects [the] authors’ expertise…”
“… it moves beyond the very basics of tourism into a thorough, holistic, description, analysis and evaluation of various theories and concepts linked to tourism, its demand, supply, evolution and sustainability.”
Tourism Management 92 (2022) 104546 in a book review by Prokopis Christou, Cyprus University of Technology

“A … fascinating journey through a much-debated issue, that of the theoretical foundations of a complex and complicated domain: tourism. Written in a highly readable language, within the reach of most students and scholars of tourism, the book will surely become a standard reference for all serious researchers of tourism matters.” Baggio, R.(2022). Book review of McKercher, B. and Prideaux, B. (2020). Tourism Theories, Concepts and Models. ISBN: 9781911635352, Oxford, UK: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd. European Journal of Tourism Research 30, 3021.

"Tourism Theories, Concepts and Models synthesises the range of what comprises the entire tourism literature and acts a starting point for the study of this complex activity. The book elaborates on the structure of tourism industry and explains how different parts work and how it has evolved over the years as a system." Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Bournemouth University Business School, UK

"This thoughtful yet accessible book is timely in that it provides a much needed and insightful overview of those core ideas central to the study of tourism that so often are either glossed over or “assumed” to be understood. As the authors so eloquently state, “much of what we think we know about tourism is well-known but not necessarily known well”. Written by two titans of the tourism academy, the book examines all the key questions, theoretical foundations, and linkages of tourism in a manner that all students and scholars of tourism, no matter what their level, will appreciate and enjoy." Dr. Alan Fyall, Visit Orlando Endowed Chair of Tourism Marketing, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida

About the authors


Professor Bob McKercher has over 35 years’ experience teaching, researching and working in the tourism sector.
Professor Bruce Prideaux has over 30 years’ experience as a tourism academic and researcher.


Publication: April 2024

Table of contents

Part 1 Setting the stage: Ch 1 - Theories, concepts and models; Ch 2 - Defining tourism; Ch 3 - The structure of tourism; Part 2 – How tourism works: Ch 4 – Attractions; Ch 5 – Access; Ch 6 - Politics of tourism; Ch 7 -Supply and Demand; Part 3 Evolution of tourism: Ch 8 - Lifecycle models; Ch 9 - Tourism as a complex system; Part 4 The Tourist: Ch 10 How tourists consume a destination; Ch 11 – Motivation; Ch 12 – Tourist behaviour; Ch 13 - Tourism and the individual; Ch 14 - Tourism as a socially selective activity; Part 5 - Planning Models: Ch 15 - Destination planning; Ch 16 – Scenarios; Part 6 – Current Issues: Ch 17 - Sustainability and climate change; Ch 18 - Social issues and over tourism; Ch 19 Crisis and Resilience in a COVID-adapted world; Ch 20 - Crisis management; Index

Table of contents

Part 1 Setting the stage: Ch 1 - Theories, concepts and models; Ch 2 - Defining tourism; Ch 3 - The structure of tourism; Part 2 – How tourism works: Ch 4 – Attractions; Ch 5 – Access; Ch 6 - Politics of tourism; Ch 7 -Supply and Demand; Part 3 Evolution of tourism: Ch 8 - Lifecycle models; Ch 9 - Tourism as a complex system; Part 4 The Tourist: Ch 10 How tourists consume a destination; Ch 11 – Motivation; Ch 12 – Tourist behaviour; Ch 13 - Tourism and the individual; Ch 14 - Tourism as a socially selective activity; Part 5 - Planning Models: Ch 15 - Destination planning; Ch 16 – Scenarios; Part 6 – Current Issues: Ch 17 - Sustainability and climate change; Ch 18 - Social issues and over tourism; Ch 19 Crisis and Resilience in a COVID-adapted world; Ch 20 - Crisis management; Index

About the authors

Dr Bob McKercher is a Professor of Tourism in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Professor Bruce Prideaux is Director of the Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities and program director of the Masters of Sustainable Tourism Management at Central Queensland University, Australia.

Table of contents

Part 1 Setting the stage: Ch 1 - Theories, concepts and models; Ch 2 - Defining tourism; Ch 3 - The structure of tourism; Part 2 – How tourism works: Ch 4 – Attractions; Ch 5 – Access; Ch 6 - Politics of tourism; Ch 7 -Supply and Demand; Part 3 Evolution of tourism: Ch 8 - Lifecycle models; Ch 9 - Tourism as a complex system; Part 4 The Tourist: Ch 10 How tourists consume a destination; Ch 11 – Motivation; Ch 12 – Tourist behaviour; Ch 13 - Tourism and the individual; Ch 14 - Tourism as a socially selective activity; Part 5 - Planning Models: Ch 15 - Destination planning; Ch 16 – Scenarios; Part 6 – Current Issues: Ch 17 - Sustainability and climate change; Ch 18 - Social issues and over tourism; Ch 19 Crisis and Resilience in a COVID-adapted world; Ch 20 - Crisis management; Index

About the authors

Dr Bob McKercher is a Professor of Tourism in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Professor Bruce Prideaux is Director of the Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities and program director of the Masters of Sustainable Tourism Management at Central Queensland University, Australia.

Online resources

TBA

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