Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 62, Issue 9, pp 1742–1752

Modelling the sustainability of mass tourism in island tourist economies

Theoretical Paper

Abstract

Tourism is one of the world's largest industries and is a source of jobs across national and regional economies. Assessing the economic, environmental and social impacts of tourism development has become a major activity within the tourism and sustainable development communities. The purpose of this research is to demonstrate the contribution of system dynamics for analysing policies that can not only promote sustainable tourism development, but also act as a warning signal to the industry about the potential negative consequences of uncontrolled growth of mass tourism, particularly in island tourist economies. Previous research in the tourism sector has been fragmented, when a holistic approach is needed in order to try to coerce some alignment in the views of the various stakeholders. The main research results illustrated in this paper are: a generic model of a tourism system informed by the (mainly) South European island tourist economies and a set of scenarios illustrating examples of policy analysis. The generic model and the modelling process developed in this research will have some transferability to other issues concerned with policymaking for sustainable development.

Keywords

system dynamics sustainable development tourist economy tourism policy analysis 

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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of UlsterNewtownabbeyUK
  2. 2.University of SalfordSalfordUK

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