Mass or Alternative Tourism

Despite my enthusiasm, it still takes two days of procrastination to begin study proper. After my commencement ceremony five years ago, I had happily left the academics behind me but one just cannot escape the life-long learning adage.

Contemporary Tourism: An International Approach by Chris Cooper and C Michael Hall highlighted several tourism concepts. One of which that is starkingly applicable is the comparison between mass and alternative tourism.

Mass tourism is characterised by –

1. Highly seasonal nature
2. Large number of tourist in ratio to locals
3. Spatial focus on few areas within destination
4. Exploitation of local values, behavior, languages and natural resources
5. Organisation by international tourism operators
6. Undifferentiated products
7. Origin-packaged holidays
8. Reliance upon developed generating markets

Due to the apparent harmful impact of mass tourism on the destination, there is a movement towards alternative special interest tourism which is consistent with natural, social and community values of the destination that allows both hosts and guests to enjoy a positive and worthwhile interaction and shared experience.

Of course, mass tourism can be sustainable and appropriate depending on the precise context of each destination.

The point though is that alternative tourism rules!! Woohoo!

Perhaps schools should reconsider their methods of education by helping students understand the ends to having knowledge before attempting the means. It sure would enhance motivation.

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