Skip to main content

Leakage, economic tourism

Leakage occurs in many industries. In the case of tourism, the causes for economic leakage depend on the destination and its development. In general, tourism leakage takes place when revenues from its economic activities are not available for reinvestment or consumption of goods and services within the same destination. As a result, economic resources are “leaked away,” which predominantly occurs when tourism companies are foreign owned and/or when they are based in another country. Large-scale leakage has been associated with mass tourism and high-end, luxury tourism (Scheyvens 2002), both of which tend to be externally controlled. Leakage also occurs when tourism-related goods, services, and labor are imported. Thus, it is difficult to avoid leakage, especially in small island developing states that depend on the import of skilled staff (Mbaiwa 2005) and goods and services (Torres 2003).

Due to the complexity of leakages, there are challenges with its calculations, especially in...


These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution.


  • Mbaiwa, J. 2005 Enclave Tourism and its Socio-economic Impacts in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Tourism Management 26:157-172.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mitchell, J., and C. Ashley 2007 “Leakage” Claims: Muddled Thinking and Bad for Policy? London: Overseas Development Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Torres, R. 2003 Linkages between Tourism and Agriculture in Mexico. Annals of Tourism Research 30:546-566.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Scheyvens, R. 2002 Backpacker Tourism and Third World Development. Annals of Tourism Research 29:144-164.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cristina Jönsson .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this entry

Cite this entry

Jönsson, C. (2015). Leakage, economic tourism. In: Jafari, J., Xiao, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of Tourism. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-01669-6

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Business and ManagementReference Module Humanities and Social SciencesReference Module Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Publish with us

Policies and ethics