Alternative Tourism in Turkey

Volume 121 of the series GeoJournal Library pp 3-22


Globalization, Mass Tourism, and Sustainable Development

  • Istvan EgresiAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, Fatih University Email author 

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This introductory chapter will introduce the reader to some of the primary concepts recurring throughout this book such as “sustainable development,” “sustainable tourism,” and “mass tourism.” We argue that rapid development of mass tourism in Turkey, starting with the 1980s, can be best understood in the context of global changes. We explain how processes of globalization have enabled the rapid growth of the industry, especially in its mass form. Next, in light of discussions in this book over the sustainability of mass and alternative forms of tourism, we proceed to conceptualize and frame “sustainable development,” “sustainability,” and “sustainable tourism.” We argue that since sustainable development is a socially and politically constructed concept, there is no standard understanding of sustainable development, but rather a wide spectrum of attitudes and levels of commitment toward sustainable development. Our other argument is that there is no single way to achieve sustainability. We also point out that scale should be an important factor when analyzing sustainability. While tourism activities could produce a lot of damage locally, their impact may appear to be totally benign when examining a larger area.