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7 Moving towards Degrowth-inspired Travelling

Andriotis, K. CABI PDF

7

Moving towards

Degrowth-inspired Travelling

7.1 Introduction

As established at the introductory chapter, the aim of this book is to explore degrowth as an alternative decommodifying philosophical approach. By doing this, it is believed to provide a starting point to underpin future theory and practice on degrowth in a tourism context and to initiate a dialogue on the way that degrowth can influence travellers, residents, communities and policy makers to make responsible decisions and respect the limits to growth of each respective community. Within this framework, it was realized that in order to appraise tourism’s potential role in degrowth, the concept should not be viewed in isolation from the broader developmental context. To these ends, we have identified the existing development theories and alternatives as relevant bases for the exploration of the concept of degrowth at the destination level.

From the review of development theories, it is apparent that in an era of increased global environmental problems, the sustainable development discourse has been unable to produce the overarching policies, and therefore radical change of behaviour is needed to achieve a sustainable future.

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6 Impacts of Degrowth in Tourism

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6

Impacts of Degrowth in Tourism

6.1 Introduction

It is evident that tourism is an agglomeration of actions taken by the public and private sectors as well as the local community to meet the needs of travellers, achieve economic welfare of the society and improve quality of life, as well as various components of the physical environment and cultural heritage. However, tourism, like all other economic forces, is not just an economic blessing, but can be also a social and environmental blight (Young, 1973; Kavallinis and Pizam,

1994; Brown, 1998) to the extent that the excessive impact of tourism activities on the environment has reached an alarming level for several destinations.

Tourism has both positive and negative consequences, which depend on the volume and type of tourists and their behaviour, the level of institutionalization and the socioeconomic and cultural conditions of the host society. For a better understanding of these impacts, this chapter will analyse the costs and benefits of tourism development in the following three categories: economic, sociocultural and environmental.

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5 Alternative Travel Lifestyles, Degrowth and Freedom-seeking

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5

Alternative Travel Lifestyles,

Degrowth and Freedom-seeking

5.1 Introduction

Most modern tourists are bent on having fun rather than desiring to experience the indigenous culture and the environmental resources of the destinations as their earlier counterparts did (Galani-Moutafi, 2000). Due to their behavioural characteristics, modern tourists (see, for example, MacCannell, 1976; Urry,

1990; Macbeth, 1992; Obrador, 2012) have been explored as mass organized vacationers undertaking trips peripheral to their main part of life and squeezed into short periods of ‘free time’ between paid work and everyday life. This was highlighted by Britton (1982: 336) more than 35 years ago, when he remarked that the travel experience had taken on an increasingly standardized format.

The outcome of this was academic research drawing on conventional mass tourists whose choices are constrained by external factors. Only for the last two decades have an increasing number of theoretical and empirical works (see, for example, Scheyvens, 2002; and Andriotis, 2009, 2010,

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4 Limits to Growth, Social Movements and the Main Principles of Degrowth-inspired Travelling

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4

Limits to Growth, Social

Movements and the Main

Principles of Degrowth-inspired

Travelling

4.1 Introduction

To the advantage of developers (politicians, technocrats and multinational companies), growth has been seen as ‘the pillar of a healthy economy without which the system would collapse’ (Castaldo, 2012: 4). This positive meaning of growth as something desirable for those decision makers who aim to reach full employment and attract foreign investments and as a necessary precondition for a capitalistic economy has led western societies to produce more and more at a lower cost. Nevertheless, there are scholars, such as Latouche (2009), who argue that although there is a general tendency to associate growth with concepts such as development, well-being and happiness, it has been a recipe for economic and societal collapse, and that boundless production has led to post-industrial crisis in which demand is unable to match increasing supply

(Castaldo, 2012: 5).

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3 Degrowth Alternatives in Tourism

Andriotis, K. CABI PDF

3

Degrowth Alternatives in Tourism

3.1 Introduction

From the two previous chapters, it was evident that each development theory and paradigm presents differences in the perspective it perceives implementation of development related to the scale, intensity, spread, degree of control and ownership, type of tourists and involvement of the local community in the development process. Development by its nature is a process of change which relies on the construction of credible alternatives (Jackson, 2009). Based on the use of innovative types of development practices, tourism can be viewed as a potential resource for communities seeking beneficial development alternatives, or a burden resulting to detrimental effects. Thus it can be implemented in a variety of ways, ranging from the dominant capitalist practices to the broader alternative perspectives.

In light of the challenges faced by tourist destinations and based on the

­nature of local resources (human, natural, cultural and monetary), policy makers have a variety of dichotomous alternatives to follow in the implementation of the development approaches and paradigms which have been explored in the previous chapter. These alternatives concern mainly the process and/or funding of development, and refer to issues which can be associated to degrowth, such as (Andriotis, 2000, 2002a):

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