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Mass Tourism in a Small World

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This new book reviews all aspects of the phenomenon of mass tourism. It covers theoretical perspectives (including political economy, ethics, sustainability and environmentalism), the historical context, and the current challenges to domestic, intra-regional and international mass tourism.æAs tourism and tourist numbers continue to grow around the world, it becomes increasingly important that this subject is studied in depth and best practice applied in real-life situations.æFinishing with a speculative chapter identifying potential future trends and challenges, this book forms an essential resource for all researchers and students within tourism studies.

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1 Introduction: Mass Tourism in a Small World




Introduction: Mass Tourism in a Small World

David Harrison1* and Richard Sharpley2

Middlesex University, London, UK; 2University of Central Lancashire,

Preston, UK

The Emergence of Mass Tourism

Large-scale tourism is not an entirely new phenomenon: its antecedents can be found in the large-scale festivals and games of ancient Egypt,

Greece and Rome, in pilgrimage, which has long been a feature of the major world religions, and in spa tourism, which pre-dates Roman times and has long been established in many regions in

­Europe and North America (Towner, 1996: 53–95; van Tubergen and van der Linden, 2002). The

Grand Tour of Europe, popular over much the same period, involved relatively few travellers but nevertheless had a lasting impact on places visited by tourists, on the travellers themselves, and on the culture of their home societies (Hibbert, 1987;

Black, 1992; Towner, 1996: 96–138).

However, consistent large-scale, systematic and regular travel for leisure purposes really only emerged in the second half of the 18th century. Impetus came in the mid-1700s from


2 Mass Tourism Does Not Need Defending



Mass Tourism Does Not Need


Julio Aramberri*

Dongbei University of Finance and Economics (DUFE), Dalian,

People’s Republic of China

What Does It Take To Make One Mass


If mass tourism is anything, it is a pleonasm. It definitely seems excessive to pile one substantive on top of the other for, in itself, tourism already involves the concept of mass. Tourism is not just another synonym for travel, but a historically specific portion of it (Urry, 2007) – journeying today is an activity undertaken by large numbers of people, that is, it means masses on the move.

Nowadays, hundreds of millions of people engage in this behaviour and spend a significant part of their income travelling. It is in order to emphasize this fact that we call it mass tourism, or sometimes even modern mass tourism. This is a hyperbolic use to convey the idea of tourism as something that did not exist before the 1920s, though it has become an important contemporary economic and social activity that involves billions of consumers every year, and counting . . .


3 The Morality of Mass Tourism



The Morality of Mass Tourism

Jim Butcher*

Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK


All modern tourism is mass tourism. Tourism as we understand it is a modern phenomenon, developed during and through the growth of mass industrial society (Zuelow, 2015). All tourism, from a cheap package deal to the most leftfield spiritual retreat, depends upon the advances in technology, wealth and freedoms of industrial society.

However, not all tourism is mass tourism in a cultural sense. Some tourists self-consciously differentiate their holiday tastes from mass tourism. Holidays marketed on the basis of a masscritical aesthetic have expanded greatly in recent decades in the form of niches (Novelli,

2004). Some of these niches lay claim to being more ethical alternatives to traditional holidays, a moral form of leisure, either on the basis of their claimed benign impact upon host societies

(Fennell, 2014) or through their capacity to encourage moral contemplation of the world and one’s place in it (Stavans and Ellison, 2015).


4 The Political Economy of Mass Tourism and its Contradictions



The Political Economy of Mass Tourism and its Contradictions

Raoul Bianchi*

University of East London, London, UK


Any attempt to consider the political economy of mass tourism (PEMT) faces two challenges. First, there is the problem of defining mass tourism.

The position taken in this chapter is that all forms of tourism have been shaped by the global spread of free-market economics and conditioned by variable degrees of capitalist development and political–institutional arrangements within different societies. The ‘niche’ market is itself defined by the overall capitalist context.

Secondly, there are problems in defining political economy, which has been inconsistently applied in tourism development studies. Its origins can be traced back to feudalism and the emergence of industrial capitalism, with its boundaries broadly prescribed by the study of the production, accumulation and distribution of national wealth (Gilpin, 2001: 25). However, political economy also encompasses the study of markets that shape the production of commodities and accumulation of capital (see Mosco,


5 A Theoretical Approach to Mass Tourism in Italy



A Theoretical Approach to Mass

Tourism in Italy

Asterio Savelli* and Gabriele Manella

Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy


The focus of this chapter is mass tourism in Italy.

First, we consider leisure policies during Fascism, a period which was fundamental to the introduction of mass tourism in Italy. Secondly, we examine the boom from the 1950s to the

1970s, showing how mass tourism became the dominant model, and stressing some impacts on territory and local population. Thirdly, we discuss the first signs of crisis of this model since the 1970s, when Italy lost its international leadership, though some local businesses were able to withstand this crisis. Finally, we highlight some changes in tourism arising from globalization:

(i)  the role of new technologies; (ii) opportunities for local communities; (iii) the increasing importance of sustainability; and (iv) new social meanings attributed to tourism.

Special attention will be paid to the EmiliaRomagna coast, where mass tourism is most dense and most visible, thus epitomizing the


6 Sustainability and Mass Tourism: A Contradiction in Terms?



Sustainability and Mass Tourism:

A Contradiction in Terms?

David B. Weaver*

Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia


In certain academic and ideological corners it remains dogmatic to equate mass tourism with unsustainable tourism, thereby rendering the idea of sustainable mass tourism a contradiction in terms. An associated conceit is that sustainability is the province of ‘alternative tourism’ and allied smaller-scale manifestations of tourism that deliberately eschew the principle and traits of massification. It is argued in this chapter to the contrary that sustainable mass tourism is not only not a contradiction in terms, but rather the largely unrecognized normative form of sustainable tourism. Affiliated contentions hold that all tourism, even if it does not resemble

‘mass tourism’ at the local level, exists as part of a single increasingly globalized mass tourism system, and that there are innate characteristics of massification that facilitate the attainment of sustainable outcomes. The chapter begins by outlining a three-dimensional model as to what fundamentally constitutes the ‘sustainability’ in sustainable tourism, however the latter is conceived. The next section then examines the evolution of sustainable tourism from initial contexts of mass tourism/alternative tourism polarity to repositionings of increased convergence. Enlightened mass tourism is presented as the logical culmination of amalgamation. Heavily visited protected


7 Mass Tourism and the Environment: Issues and Dilemmas



Mass Tourism and the Environment:

Issues and Dilemmas

Andrew Holden*

Institute for Tourism Research (INTOUR), University of Bedfordshire

Business School, Luton, UK


The approach taken in this chapter to understand mass tourism is not to interpret it as a definitive entity but as a dynamic one in the spirit of Sharpley’s (2000) observation that all tourists may be considered as mass tourists as they are a part of the mass leisure phenomenon. The relationship of mass tourism with the natural environment is similarly recognized as an evolving one that reflects changing constructs and philosophies of our position relative to nature. That the natural environment is essential to tourism as a key attraction and for the provision of required resource and ecosystem services is axiomatic. However, how we judge the acceptable thresholds of the trade-off of the use the environment for tourism is less transparent and will depend upon readings of nature and the values we place on it. Thus, our sense of connectedness to nature will be influential in shaping our understandings of the issues and dilemmas of the interaction of mass tourism with the environment.


8 The Dynamics of Tourism Development in Britain: The Profit Motive and that ‘Curious’ Alliance of Private Capital and the Local State



The Dynamics of Tourism Development in Britain: The Profit Motive and that

‘Curious’ Alliance of Private Capital and the Local State

John Heeley*

Best Destination Marketing, Sheffield, UK

Blackpool is one of the wonders of the world.

It is a triumph of the commercial instinct of

Lancashire, applied to providing pleasure, health and varied amusement of the masses.

Spas and Health Resorts of the British Isles

(Luke, 1919: 273)

This once famous resort of royalty and fashion

(Brighton) may now, through the literal as well as metaphysical levelling of the railroad, be fairly entitled to the appellation of the Marine

Metropole . . . Gay loiterers of pleasure, and donkey parties, regiments of schools, and old bathing women, literary loungers, who read out of doors, and stumble against lampposts in interesting passages – these, and a host of other peripatetic humanities, make the beach populous between Hove and Kemp Town . . .


9 From Holiday Camps to the All-inclusive: the ‘Butlinization’ of Tourism



From Holiday Camps to the

All-inclusive: the ‘Butlinization’ of Tourism

Richard Sharpley*

University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK


Launched in November 2009, Royal Caribbean’s

Allure of the Seas is the world’s second largest cruise ship. Measuring 362 m (1187 ft) long – some 5 cm longer than her sister ship Oasis of the Seas, and 2.5  m shorter than the recently launched Harmony of the Seas – and with a gross tonnage of 225,282, her 16 passenger decks provide accommodation and facilities for a maximum of more than 6000 guests, catered for by a crew of around 2500 (Avid Cruiser, 2016).

However, it is not only the sheer size of the ship that is remarkable. Unlike more conventional monolithic designs, the Allure’s superstructure comprises two long blocks running the length of the ship with a long ‘canyon’ running between them. This open space is utilized for a variety of entertainment and recreational facilities, most notably what is referred to as the Boardwalk, one of seven so-called ‘neighbourhoods’ on the ship.


10 Decline Beside the Seaside: British Seaside Resorts and Declinism



Decline Beside the Seaside: British

Seaside Resorts and Declinism

Martin Farr*

Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK


On 4 August 1973, a fire broke out on Clacton

Pier. Despite having been built in 1871 and of wood, it survived. Not all piers around Britain, or their presiding authorities, were so supportive.

In 1970, Clevedon Pier collapsed and Eastbourne

Pier was partly destroyed. In 1971, Bangor Pier was closed. In 1973, Rhyl Pier was demolished and Brighton’s Palace Pier was hit by a 70-t barge that had been demolishing part of it; in

1975, its West Pier was condemned. In 1976,

Margate Pier was closed on safety grounds and, in 1978, washed away. In 1976, Southend Pier burnt down. In 1977, Morecambe West Pier washed away and New Brighton Pier was demolished. In 1978, Hunstanton Pier washed away and Herne Bay Pier collapsed. And in the summer of 1979 – a season of some significance in post-war British history – the National Piers


11 Mass Tourism and the US National Park Service System


11  Mass Tourism and the US National

Park Service System

Kelly S. Bricker*

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA


This chapter provides an overview of mass tourism as it relates to the National Park Service

(NPS) in the USA. This includes a synthesis of concession policies and procedures of the US

NPS and a focus on the quality, variety and type of service delivery for visitors. In addition, the benefits and impacts of tourism within the NPS are discussed, with a focus on some of the most visited National Parks within the system.

Establishment of the NPS

Established in 1916, the mission of the US NPS is ‘to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such a manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations’

(NPS, 2015a). The Organic Act of 1916, now known as the National Park Service Act, is often considered one of the first efforts at sustainable use of landscapes (O’Brien, 1999; McCool and


12 Transport and Tourism: The Perpetual Link



Transport and Tourism:

The Perpetual Link

David Timothy Duval*

University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Introduction: Fundamentals of the

Transport–Tourism Relationship

It would not be problematic to argue that the transport–mass tourism interface has gone beyond a synergistic relationship to one in which, first, each can have extraordinary unidirectional and simultaneous influence on the other, and which, second, consequently resolves itself into a significant co-dependent relationship. Evidence of this is that the world is increasingly mobile

(corporeal and otherwise), notwithstanding suitable acknowledgement of relative immobilities that problematically plague certain places

(Sheller and Urry, 2006). Hall (2015: 8), for instance, runs some calculations to extrapolate the total number of visitor arrivals (domestic and international overnight) surpassing the world’s population sometime in 2016 or 2017, noting that this reinforces ‘the relative extent to which the world has become mobile and the need to understand the environmental, social and economic repercussions of such large-scale voluntary human movement as well as the consequence of immobility’.


13 Mass Tourism and China



Mass Tourism and China

Chris Ryan*

China–New Zealand Tourism Research Unit, The University of Waikato

Management School, Waikato, New Zealand


The purpose of this chapter is to describe mass tourism as it relates to China. As the first section of this chapter indicates, the numbers of domestic, outbound and inbound tourists are measured by the 100 million – indeed for domestic tourism, by the billions. However, it is not solely the numbers of tourists that are large, but also the rate of growth. The chapter will then provide a brief background to that growth, noting in particular the role of government policy given the status of the tourism industry as an officially recognized pillar of the Chinese economy since the Ninth

Five Year Plan was announced in 1998. Finally it will briefly survey the literature relating to

Chinese tourist behaviours and mass tourism.

As in many other countries, several consequences result from a growth in tourism. These are the social, environmental, economic and issues of well-being – all of which have attracted the attention of Chinese and other scholars.


14 Mass Tourism in Thailand: The Chinese and Russians



Mass Tourism in Thailand:

The Chinese and Russians

Erik Cohen*

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel


‘Mass tourism’ is a ‘widely used term’ but ‘has no clearly agreed definition and content’ (Vainikka, 2013: 268). It is often considered to be self-explanatory, referring to ‘an unpleasant and an overcrowded form of tourism’ (Vainikka,

2014: 318). In this chapter, I shall use a broad definition of mass tourism as identified by large numbers, geographical and seasonal concentration, standardized services and uniform tourist activities, in a study of the characteristics and dynamics of Chinese and Russian mass tourism to Thailand.

The phenomenon of mass tourism has been primarily studied in the context of the Mediterranean coastal area and, in particular, with respect to Western European seaside vacationers

(Bramwell, 2004; Obrador Pons and Crang,

2009). It has been perceived as a form of tourism ‘in opposition to the classical ideas of travel and sightseeing’, and its experience ‘summarized with the three ‘S’s: sun, sea, and sand . . .’


15 Mass Tourism in Bulgaria: The Force Awakens



Mass Tourism in Bulgaria:

The Force Awakens

Stanislav Ivanov*

Varna University of Management, Varna, Bulgaria


Mass tourism is well established in Bulgaria.

It emerged in 1926, when the first organized tourists visited Varna, but the Second World War held back tourism growth (Neshkov, 2012:

282). During the communist period (1944–1989), tourism was recognized by the ruling communist party as a key economic sector and an important source of foreign exchange (Vodenska, 1992).

Large tourist resorts were constructed on the

Black Sea coast (Sunny Beach, Albena, Dyuni,

Golden Sands, Druzhba (now Saints Constantine and Helena)) and in the mountains (Pamporovo, Borovets) that served predominantly international tourists.

The period after the overthrow of communism in 1989 was marked by significant social, economic and political changes. In the 1990s, the country started to move to a market economy but the transition was not smooth. There was an abrupt decline in tourists from Central and


16 Mass Tourism in Mallorca: Examples from Calvià



Mass Tourism in Mallorca: Examples from Calvià

Hazel Andrews*

Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK


The Balearic Islands consist of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera and several smaller, less well-known islands. They are among the most popular tourism destinations for visitors to

Spain. In 2014, the total number of tourists was recorded as 13,579,265. Of these, 11,367,225 were international arrivals and 2,212,040 were domestic tourists, together amounting to

111,302,338 overnight stays. Of the four islands, Mallorca is by far the most frequented, with numbers reaching 9,671,011 in 2014, of which 8,581,899 were international arrivals and 1,089,112 were domestic visitors. Together, they contributed 79,924,588 overnight stays

(Agència de Turisme de les Balears, 2015).1 The success of the Balearics is due mainly to their location and because they were among the first global mass tourism destinations developed. This case study will examine tourism development in the islands by focusing on Mallorca, especially the resorts of Magaluf and Palmanova, both located within the local authority of Calvià.


17 Tunisia: Mass Tourism in Crisis?



Tunisia: Mass Tourism in Crisis?


Heather Jeffrey1 and Sue Bleasdale2*

University of Bedfordshire Business School, Luton, UK;


Middlesex University, London, UK


Successive governments in post-colonial Tunisia have sought to develop mass tourism as an avenue for social and economic development.

Political instability and increasing media coverage have more recently led to a dramatic reduction in foreign tourist arrivals. Tunisia provides insights into the intersections of modernity, mass tourism, authoritarianism and terrorism, and in a world marred by terrorist attacks it becomes increasingly important to analyse the specific contexts from which these emerge. This chapter aims to address some of these issues by evaluating mass tourism development in

Tunisia, highlighting the social and economic advances Tunisia has achieved, before analysing the situation since the ‘Jasmine Revolution’ of 2011. In order to fully analyse mass tourism in Tunisia, we draw on our own experience, which includes over 30 years of research in


18 From Blue to Grey? Malta’s Quest from Mass Beach to Niche Heritage Tourism



From Blue to Grey? Malta’s

Quest from Mass Beach to Niche

Heritage Tourism


Gregory J. Ashworth1 and John E. Tunbridge2*

University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands;


Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada


‘Tourism destinations reinvent themselves for various reasons. Product life-cycle analysis

(­Butler, 1980) even suggests that all tourism destinations are in necessary continuous process of change, leading to either decline or reinvention’ (Ashworth, 2008: 58). This chapter examines the motives, processes and results of one specific type of such repositioning of tourism destinations, namely, the deliberately planned shift from ‘blue’, seaside resort-based tourism, to

‘grey’, heritage-based tourism (Ashworth and

Tunbridge, 2003, 2005a, b). This transition has been especially important in Mediterranean countries and the single case of tourism development on the Maltese islands is considered here as an example. This began quite recently and quite suddenly as a reaction to externally induced strategic economic and political change. A tourism based upon the well-known homogenous sea-sun-sand package, sold largely on the basis of price, on a mass market was developed. The argument of this chapter is that the government of Malta and, in particular, the tourism authority, have been advised almost from the beginning of these developments, and have latterly attempted, to modify the beach-resort mass tourism product and attempt a blue–grey transition,


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