International Tourism.

Author:Tooman, L. Alex
 
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International Tourism is very ambitious in that it identifies many complexities of an industry that is all too easily treated as non-complex. Of particular interest is the degree of public intervention both identified and encouraged by the authors, especially as it is an industry that is concurrently described as requiring increased trade liberalization. On the negative side, the book addresses more topics than can be covered thoroughly in one volume, leaving some important issues with only brief mention.

The first two chapters provide a general overview of international tourism and exclude domestic tourism, which accounts for more than 80 percent of all tourist movement [p. 3]. Terms related specifically to tourism are defined, and estimates of the considerable magnitude and recent growth of international tourism are provided. In Chapter 2, the world is divided into six regions for which recent statistics on tourist arrivals and receipts are furnished, with trends identified and explained. The six regions are Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia/the Pacific. One might have expected Latin America to have been treated separately from Anglo America, but that is a minor point. It can also be noted that the authors have an understandable European bias.

I took the most exception to Chapter 3. It deals with the theoretical determinants of international tourism and unfortunately does not explain the basic theories particularly well nor integrate them with international tourism. Topics such as comparative advantage and factor endowments are introduced in ways that will only confuse undergraduates were the book to be used as a text. For example, Leontieff's paradoxical results regarding empirical tests on factor endowments and international trade in the United States are noted; but with regard to tourism we are simply advised that the model is much more significant. Further, after considerable effort is expended to develop the models mathematically and graphically, with all the usual assumptions of perfect competition, we are told that natural resources are the most important factor for tourism but that they are "heterogenous and therefore almost impossible to evaluate" [p. 74]. Second, we are advised that "there is a great diversity in tourism products. Comparing them is very difficult and often impossible" [p. 79]. In other words, differentiation is a complexity that is admitted but its importance is not...

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