Prince Charming or Ugly Toad ? Tourism, Impacts and Representations
Tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sectors and features among the largest key industries of the 21st century. As such it is often perceived as a regeneration and development factor. Tourism development however, brings about different types of impacts, positive but also negative. The paper and presentation will focus on these impacts, their perceptions from different stakeholders and the consequences “reality breaks” between facts and fiction or “availability biases” can have for sustainability. It will start by presenting a matrix of impacts, compiled from an extensive literature review, interviews and questionnaires administered throughout Europe in the context of PICTURE. This project the only EU project to deal with cultural tourism in the sixth framework programme, aims a Pro-active Management of the Impacts of Cultural Tourism upon Urban Resources Economies. The presentation will then move on to the different perceptions of tourism and its impacts according to the type of stakeholder involved and highlight the diversity of perceptions. It will then contrast facts with fiction, expected and perceived impacts of tourism against measured or stated consequences to bring out divergences, before drawing conclusions and summarise the concrete suggestions for sustainability that will be made throughout the presentation.
Keywords: Tourism, Development, Sustainable, Impacts, Representation, Diversity
Researcher, LEMA, University of Liege