For long holiday tourism has been in the grip of economic thinking and sociological research. On this webpage a more balanced view is maintained on the focal centre of tourists' activities: tourists themselves and their encounter with their holiday destination. Tourists are the only ones who can sense emotions; neither ‘society’ nor the tourism "industry" can. Tourists take what is given to them and then turn it into their own ends; it is these ends what is of our primary interest and more than 25 articles on this site are about just that: the tourists' tourism.


THE REFLEXIVE APPROACH TO TOURISM

All rights reserved. Complete or partial reproduction is prohibited without the permission of Marinus Gisolf and without mentioning the source

Introduction

The reflexive approach to tourism is based on the concepts of solidarity among tourists and tourism destinations with future generations. The binding factor between tourists and a local destination concerns the good of the planet and the stimulation of the kind of development that allows populations to satisfy their present needs while ensuring that future generations can satisfy theirs in the same way or better. The reflexive approach to tourism is all about reciprocity and interactions with tourists on one hand and local people, infrastructure and attractions on the other.

The need for approaching the phenomenon called tourism differently from the reigning mainstream perceptions of the term emanate from the urgent call for an effective implementation of sustainable development. Travel organizations, government authorities, hotel owners or tourism attractions form the main actors responding to the call for sustainable tourism development, but somehow most people involved in tourism leave tourists out of the debate. This is all the more remarkable when we take into account that these same tourists are the stars of the tourism show and therefore the primary stakeholders. The case can partly be explained by the fact that the concept of “tourism” was developed fully from the 1950s onwards – before, people were simply travelling, which in turn was primarily a social activity. Some hundred years ago one would stay for a couple of days with friends in the countryside or go to a local beach, but during the twentieth century the concept of holidays further developed. In the Western world today, people go for holidays at least 3 or 4 weeks per year. As a result of a growing population and better economic conditions in the Western world (later being followed by many Asian countries), millions of people take long holidays and in the 21st century the holiday has become something sacred that nobody seems to be able to do without anymore, in great contrast to the developing world. From the West enormous transport networks were set up for coaches, trains and planes and in order to confront these fast growing tendencies, chains of big resort hotels were erected. A pattern of big investments was developed, hand in hand with emerging large international travel organizations and advertising machinery, while people started to talk about the tourism industry. The people who had once been travellers became clients of this new industry (tourists) and while travelling had been a social activity in earlier days, from the 1960s on it became an economic matter of supply and demand of tourism products. The travellers of earlier times had to accept how other places were whereas the modern tourist insists more and more that his destination be adapted to his taste and interests.

It is this view of tourists as clients and the client as king that seriously hampers any effort to work as sustainably as possible. We can even go one step further and state that without the active participation of tourists, any sustainable tourism development runs the serious risk of getting stuck somewhere halfway in the process.

Putting travel organizations or hotels under pressure of a much needed sustainable development is important, but can never become effective, when tourists do not know, understand or are unwilling to react to the call to mitigate the effects of their footprints. In short, there is no sustainable tourism without sustainable tourists. By the way, with “sustainable tourists” I am not referring to tourists staying for ever, but to those tourists or travellers who have some understanding of sustainable development and try to act accordingly.

There is another reason that points to a need to approach tourism differently: from the 1970s onward a tendency can be observed that is commonly referred to as post-modernism. Without getting too much involved with the meaning or background of the trend, it stems from the general socio-cultural shifts that mark the post-modern era. Profound changes in the way place and time are experienced as a result of accelerated globalization lead to a new questioning of identity, the self and the place people take in this world. It refers to the trend that people’s strong feelings of being tied to a certain place and culture are slowly giving way to being tied to a certain time or era. People tend to feel that time and space are compressed and they appear to have a less coherent sense of self and start having a rather fragmented identity in living cultural pluralism.

There is a new questioning of identity, the self and the place people occupy in this world.

Thus, cultural pluralism, a major characteristic of the postmodern landscape, is nowhere better illustrated than by the expanding horizons of tourism. As a consequence, the number of activities and experiences that can legitimately be categorised as tourism has increased significantly and it seems that nearly every dimension of human culture now has the potential to become a form of tourism. Additionally, an increasing preoccupation with consumption could be said to make tourism the archetypal postmodern activity, as by its very nature it relies on the consumption of natural artefacts or built environments and cultures.

Under the influence of post-modernism there is a growing tendency among tourists to have more interest in authenticity as an outcome of a world where people feel they have become alienated from nature and where everyday life is viewed as increasingly un-authentic. Tourists seems to look for their own way to go, selecting what they may like and discarding what does not seem to fit their idea of something new, different and authentic. Increasingly tourists do not follow the supply side anymore, but start looking for developing their own way of having a holiday. The influence of mass media, the ever more multiple socio-cultural character of societies combined with a decreasing religiousness and increasing incredulity have a marked influence on the lifestyle of many societies, and not just the western ones in this case.

Increasingly individualistic behaviour among tourists concerning the search for self and self-realisation and the role of nature and authenticity in this quest are all tendencies that make the tourist the centre of attention and also involve the need to accept him as a full-fledged partner in tourism, since it is the tourist himself who has started to develop a new interest and view on tourism. Furthermore, people’s growing uncertainty about present and future pushes them towards a nostalgic desire for a beautiful past and idealized authenticity. Tourists often travel to third world countries precisely to find something of the “old-fashioned” where time seems to have halted.

The aforementioned economic changes in tourism as well as the socio-cultural developments in most western societies do not necessarily fit with the urgent need for sustainable tourism development. Since the latter is of fundamental importance for the survival of our planet, there is an equally urgent need to reformulate some of the basic assumptions of tourism.

PART I

The cornerstone of reflexivity in tourism: the encounter of tourists and their tourism destination.

By eliminating the economic separation of the tourist (client) on one hand and the tourism “industry” on the other and by joining these two forces into one major social activity called tourism, a basis can be laid for a gradual incorporation of tourists within the sustainable development process. This can be achieved by focusing on the experience the tourist lives rather than considering him the centre of the action. Tourism is about living experiences – in tourism nobody can sell them and only tourists can live them. This precise moment of living an experience represents the meeting point between tourists and the destination in the widest sense of the word. Therefore when approaching tourism reflexively the moment of experiencing is the pivot on which tourism hinges and it must ensure the existence of a balance between the benefits that both the tourists and the tourism destination receive from this tangible or sometimes intangible encounter. Tourists, therefore, are an inseparable and integrated part of tourism.

This also means that tour operators, local agents, travel stores and so on are to be seen as intermediary agents and not as the backbone of an industry. They help tourists and the destination meet each other. They influence tourists and destinations and try to match one with the other. Travel organizations in general do so for economic gains, although nowadays more of them are also propelled by other reasoning.

The sublime moment of this encounter between tourists and their destination is the instance of living an experience. Similar to eating a meal where there is an intake of calories, the tourist receives impulses through the senses – the sensory intake. We shall extend this idea of consumption of calories and call the impact of signals through the senses the intake ofimpact calories – in short ImpCal. These ImpCal are processed by the brain. A unit of consumed and processed ImpCal is called an experience and that is exactly what the tourist is looking for. In fact, the tourist pays for the possibility of consuming ImpCal with potential experiences as a result. For more on Impcal see http://www.tourismtheories.org/?cat=50

Tourists select their holiday destination on the grounds of certain personal interests and the attraction of some particular highlight, such as a famous waterfall, national park or world city. We call these tourist attractions Impact Sources or Impsources. When they are of sufficient importance for tourists to select their holiday destination (macro or micro), we call them Main Impsources. Nearby there may be smaller tourist attractions developed for tourists, the so-called Side Impsources (a small museum, canopy tour or botanical garden).

Apart from these, there is the normal entourage of local daily life; the kind of Impsources that occur along the main road and may form a potential experience for free. We call theseShared Impsources because the local population shares them with tourists. Another possible ImpCal intake can be produced by chance meetings or sudden occurrences called the Incidental Impsources (accidents are another kind of incidental Impsource that unfortunately may lead to negative experiences). Tourism consists of a large number of people, organizations, hotels or other types of buildings, means of transport and many other entities that form a complicated pattern of networks and relations. Tourists form part of these networks, too. For more on Impsources and experiences, see http://www.tourismtheories.org/?cat=51

For a better understanding of a reflexive approach to the tourism of tourists it is important to realize that there is a fundamental difference between main and side Impsources on the one hand and shared and incidental ones on the other. The first are developed specifically for tourists while the latter form part of a destination with or without the presence of tourists. A lovely landscape, picturesque village, local food or an old oak tree are all there anyway and tourists do not have to pay to see them, no reservations have to be made and no travel organizations are involved. Actually, an important part of experiences gained during a holiday stem precisely from these shared Impsources. They provide not only the general impressions of a place (the atmosphere), but also the small details such as a particular smell, sound or something as human as a smile.

The Tourists’ Lifestyles

Within the limited scope of a holiday – or of being a tourist – we can distinguish different types of tourists, based on character traits and lifestyle. We can set up a scale with two extremes, and as is often the case with any social activity, most people can be placed somewhere in the middle.

One extreme of this scale refers to those people that are individualists and travel alone or with a partner or friend. They will make their own itineraries and travel at their own rhythm and pace. They want to be active, tend to avoid typical tourist sites (main Impsources) and have a keen interest in local populations and their culture. Volunteer work is a serious option and encounters with one’s self and with people from other cultures are of great importance. These people challenge themselves in extreme situations – either physically or socially – with an emphasis on their own performance. This is the idealistic end of the scale and since these people try to depart from the usual standards, we can also call it the allocentric part of the lifestyle scale.

The other end of the scale gives us a profile of people who do not want any problems, they like to have everything arranged for them and they want complete relaxation. Their main concern is physical and therefore their interests are in the fields of sunbathing, massages, spas or plastic surgery, just to mention a few. They have no particular interest in local people or their culture. We call this end of the scale the psycho-centric one.

The selection of where to go and the change from pre-tourist to real tourist means that a fair number of complicated decisions must be made. How much time the tourist has available, the budget, travelling individually or in a group, going by airplane or cruise ship and many more elements must be factored in. Tourists at different ends of this Tourist Lifestyle Scale (TLS) will handle their decisions differently. Those on the allocentric side tend to pay providers directly at the destination as much as possible, while more psycho-centric tourists favour paying home country travel organizations up front, for example.

It should be clear that tourists from the allocentric side of the TLS prefer shared Impsources while those on the psychocentric side concentrate more on main and side Impsources. This is not just a matter of lifestyle; it also has to do with the way people experience things. People on the allocentric side of the scale take in much more unexpected Impcal, meaning that they do not know beforehand exactly what to expect and they are open to anything occurring around them. Tourists on the psychocentric side however, know quite well what to expect and their sensory intake concerns the expected Impcal. This may lead to the disadvantage of only seeing what one expects and not seeing anything else. However, people on the far end of the psychocentric side of the scale want just that: to see what they expected and they are not usually in for surprises. For more information on tourists’ life styles see http://www.tourismtheories.org/?cat=104

The Destination

Since we pointed out that the reflexive approach in tourism refers to the reciprocal relationship between tourists and tourism destinations, we shall have a closer look at what a destination comprises.

A destination consists of:

1. Travellers:

1A Tourists;

1B Travellers who happen to be at a place (and become tourists for a few days); even day-visitors fall into this category;

2. Tourism Infrastructure:

2A Tourist attractions purposely designed for tourists and provided with the necessary amenities for them (main and side Impsources);

2B Hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, information centres, and roads constructed for tourism, tourism transport, local travel agents, etc.;

3. Local Infrastructure: houses, schools, shops, banks, clinics, local authorities, etc., for the use of the local population or anyone who happens to be there; as such these are considered shared Impsources for tourists;

4. Local people, including the local population and anyone who happens to live there at the moment;

4A Those involved with tourists, travellers or the tourism infrastructure;

4B Those not directly involved in tourism.

From the scheme above we can deduce that tourism destinations are rather heterogeneous affairs with many stakeholders from all walks of life such as owners of establishments, managers, tourists, local farmers, employees and even investors, developers or intermediaries.

Can we call a place a tourist destination when there are no tourists? Some may argue that a tourist destination receives its name because the destination has been prepared to receive tourists, while others feel that without tourists there is no tourism. My point of view is that a destination becomes a tourist destination when there are tourists, who therefore form an intrinsic part of a destination. This also means that a tourist destination may be so named in spite of the fact that it is not ready to receive tourists – they simply come for one reason or another and it is precisely these types of cases that concern many of the negative effects tourism may have: the lack of proper preparation at a destination for receiving tourists. At the same time one must realize that the term ‘tourist’ should be viewed in the widest sense possible: many tourism destinations cater to day-visitors (beaches) or the participants in seminars or conferences and there may be few ‘real’ tourists in the narrow sense of the word.

Many entities become involved in forming a tourist destination and attracting tourists. Not only are there stakeholders at the destination itself, but we can also find intermediaries between tourists on the one hand and tourist attractions, infrastructure and local populations on the other, which usually operate from outside the destination area or even from another country or continent. These intermediaries consist mainly of travel organizations that may be active in the destination country and/or the tourists’ home country, but they can also include national tourism boards or NGOs. They provide tourists with target information, material images and factual information. Their role at a destination is therefore indirect, but the persuasive power they have over tourist holiday choices and the dominant position they occupy on many levels of information supply mean in practice that these travel organizations can exercise an important influence at a destination.

Governmental authorities are very influential stakeholders that operate within and from outside a destination. Their role can be of fundamental importance, although their absence does not mean that effective sustainable development cannot exist. Setting up short, medium and long term policies for the development of an area should be a matter for all stakeholders involved, but in practice we have often encountered a considerable gap between authorities on the one hand and private stakeholders on the other. Establishing policy lines for a specific sustainable tourism development is a complicated matter, whereby all parties involved should bear clearly in mind that it is all about the possibility of creating Impcal intake from Impsources – either main or shared. The need for adequate tourism infrastructure rises primarily from a necesity to protect the environment and not from an economic need to generate profits. The encounter between tourists and a destination has to be seen in this light and this holds true for governmental authorities alike.

PART II

Tourists and Sustainable Development

We introduced the idea of the reflexive approach to tourism, since tourists must be more effectively involved in sustainable tourism development. There are three ways in which this can be achieved: by motivating them and creating a need, by forcing them to do so by creating regulations, or by means of an interaction between tourists and destination: a reflexive approach.

In the case of the first option we should realize that for tourists to play a more active part in sustainable development they must first be motivated to do so. Main actors to help create a motivation are travel organizations and the media – the first through material imaging and the latter by mental imaging. Motivation will lead to a need, which in turn will set the first expectations for a destination. The basic assumption here is that tourists, once they have decided on their holiday destination, not only develop the corresponding expectations, they also form a direct interest in a destination with a certain amount of involvement at the same time. Once selected, a destination is seen in a different light – it has become THEIR destination. Generally speaking this interest means that tourists may first develop a feeling of economic involvement (e.g. leaving as much money as possible at the destination itself and not with travel organizations); secondly they may have a feeling of solidarity specifically with future generations (their own and those of the people at the destination); thirdly there should be a commitment to protecting biodiversity; fourth, there is social responsibility; and fifth, there must be respect for other cultures. We mention here five different levels of showing interest, notions that should be shared by most tourists. These in turn can be translated into a uniform behaviour pattern among tourists at a destination so they can be seen as a more or less homogeneous group that plays a role in the sustainable development of a place. The proper preparation based on the five levels mentioned here can produce a common denominator among tourists regarding their relationship with the tourist destination.

The same five components refer to the three pillars on which the concepts of sustainable development are based: planet, people and profit. In the case of economic involvement this is obvious; then there are the elements of solidarity and commitment referring to the planet, while social responsibility and cultural respect refer to people. In this case interest and involvement in a destination relate to a fairly recent tendency among people to communicate actively with groups or individual people from other cultures. The growing interest people show in other peoples’ ways of living or in the environment in general seems to be closely linked to many Internet developments, of which the social networks (such as Facebook and Twitter) are the most noteworthy.

As selectors tourists may insist on their lodging being certified in one way or another, now that sustainable tourism certification systems exist in many countries. The Internet plays an important part in this respect and those tourists who make bookings through travel organizations may insist on bookings with certified hotels or tourists attractions as much as possible. Important here is the fact that tourists know what Certifications of Sustainable Tourism (CST) are and they have at least some interest and motivation to have sustainability issues play a part when selecting micro holiday destinations. We encounter here a clear difference between tourists from the allocentric and psychocentric sides of the Tourist Lifestyle Scale. The more idealistic (allocentric) tourists will insist on the use of certified sustainable tourism infrastructure much more than those going to an all-inclusive resort hotel.

A second way to help tourists to support sustainable development is by simply forcing them to do so. Government or destination-level regulations on energy and water use as well as recycling practices can prove to be effective. Limited access to protected nature areas is another example, the same as regulations for “clean” means of transport.

That means in practical terms, that travel organizations have to tell tourists what they can do and what they should not do. The list of do’s and don’ts may be a long one (concerning ecological, social and cultural behaviour and how to handle money locally in a sustainable way) and tourists should realize beforehand, that they cannot do whatever they like during their vacation (interesting point for the psychocentric side of the TLS scale!).

The option of tourists taking a small exam (set up by some government organizations via the Internet) is another possibility of making sure tourists mitigate the impact of their footprints. In first instance this may be done by an Eco-behaviour Statement to be signed by the tourist in similar fashion to sustainability statements issued by travel companies. In a later stage or in the case of visits to protected nature areas this actually should be a sort of exam – again via the Internet. The advantage is twofold: first of all it is a way to ensure reasonably sustainable tourist behaviour at a destination and secondly it makes the tourists conscious of the sustainability issues and his interest should be aroused. From the point of view of the reflexive approach to tourism, the sequence of actions is as follows: governments’ entities or travel organizations force tourists to study some aspects of sustainable behaviour > Tourists read/study about sustainable issues and will get involved (how little this may be) > improved sustainable tourist behaviour at a destination may motivate local people and enterprises.

The consciousness a tourist should have about the environment and the footprints he leaves behind should lead to the notion whether luxury is necessary or not. Many Western tourists as well as ones from other parts of the world use a holiday to do and experience things that are not available at home. One example of this behaviour would be partaking of a higher level of luxury than people are used to at home. In the 1980s many tourists accepted staying in rooms with shared bathrooms but today this is unthinkable and most tourists go for rooms with a luxury private bathroom (preferably with a Jacuzzi), flat screen TV, DVD player, Wi-Fi and mini bar. It has to be made clear to tourists that luxury does not necessarily mean a significant increase in experiences gained and that this same luxury has nothing authentic about it. Most movements unleash counter effects though, so we can see on the allocentric side of the Tourist Lifestyle Scale a growing market for people who are more interested in the simple things of life without much comfort at all.

Another way of imposing sustainable conduct upon tourists is by choice editing: travel organisations in general and local tourism infrastructure particularly just offer what is sustainably sound.

The third way to involve tourists with a destination is by generating an interaction between the destination and tourists, also referred to as the reflexive approach. One must realize that it is important to accept tourists as full-fledged partners in tourism. The key moment of a holiday is the tourists’ sensory intake at an Impsource and it is all about this instance of interaction between tourists and destination. Therefore, let us have a look how reflexivity works in tourism:

Three levels of reflexivity

In sociology when talking about reflexivity there are several ways the term is used.

First, there is the reflexivity related to an action: you act on a certain expectation but by doing so you reinforce even more what you expected. When there are rumours that the stock exchange may crash, people will sell their shares because of this expectation and obviously this reaction will cause the stock market to go down. One of the applications in tourism is what is called “the self-fulfilling prophecy”. This is when a person puts a tremendous amount of expectation on a specific part of his holiday and by trying to avoid losing face, he will make sure that he indeed has the incredible experience he hoped for. When a tourist feels and expresses that the greatest possible experience in life is visiting the Galapagos, this tourist will then do everything possible, consciously and even more so unconsciously, to make sure that afterwards he can say he indeed had the experience of a lifetime.

Expectations play an important part in tourism, but too often this only refers to the case of the tourist. There are expectations at the destination as well, and in my view not enough research has been carried out to see to what extent these expectations influence some of the actors in tourism.

The reflexivity of action applied to tourism refers to prejuduces, fixed ideas and expectations, that both parties are willing to adhere to and so seemingly have expectations come true. If tourists expect to see the locals in original costumes and the local people therefore dress up for tourists to have their expectations fulfilled, the true encounter between tourists and local community becomes unrealistic.

Theme: Expectations

Secondly, it applies to the actor himself: for example, the psychologist who has to be psycho-analyzed himself, too. In order words, all those people analyzing tourism should be analyzed themselves as well. This analysis concerns the role each actor has to fulfil in the various tourism activities and this analysis has to be carried out by other actors. It means that the tourist has to be analyzed by people from a destination. Tourists’ needs, expectations, ways of living experiences and the final experiences they will get have to be studied profoundly in the light of a socio-psychological approach. Next the tourist has to be analytical as far as his tourism destination is concerned and must make observations, apart from the Impcal intake and subsequent experiences he will have. Therefore the tourists’ analysis of a destination in relation to their expectations plays a role that is just as important as that of an Impsource’s manager researching tourists’ behaviour.

Theme: Evaluation

The third application of reflexivity is between actor and action. Here we must consider that an investigator, in the process of researching his subject, has an influence on it and therefore he can never get a fully objective result. For example, tourists love to have a “peek behind the scenes” in a village to get to know the real life that the locals live, but in doing so they have an effect on that same local life. It is this level of reflexivity that best shows us the influence tourists and tourism can have on a local population and its culture. Tourists are very keen to see real objective authenticity but in attempting to do so, they disturb the environment and the local culture and most likely all they will see is some staged authenticity instead or perhaps none at all. Authenticity therefore is an important part of tourism: it is about something unique with clear socio-cultural ties, but it may lose its authenticity when it is mass-marketed or normalized by globalization or other factors. Conversely, local people may be keen on showing tourists some real authenticity, but in doing so it becomes standard and no longer unique.

It is precisely in this element of reflexivity that we can differentiate the several faces of what we call authenticity. Real and objective authenticity is one possibility, but there is also the type where an object or phenomenon is experienced as authentic. The story about the object may induce a feeling of authenticity, forming part of the relationship between the tourist, the object and its image. One step further leads us to activity-related authenticity, directly concerning a person’s Self and his change in view from experiencing an object, phenomenon or activity. By going fishing, you may get a tremendous feeling of peace and quiet – an authentic experience therefore, although not necessarily related to a well-defined Impsource.

Once again we touch on the importance of the difference between main and side Impsources as being staged for tourists, and the shared Impsources that are there even when the tourists are not. Shared Impsources cannot be staged, otherwise they would be converted into tourist attractions and as such, would no longer form part of the local’s everyday life. Shared Impsources may be authentic for tourists but not necessarily for the local population. A village’s daily routine does not give a feeling of uniqueness to any local person, but since it differs from the tourist’s home environment, it is of great interest to them.

Theme: Authenticity

Reflexivity and Sustainability

Translating this point to the level of sustainable development, we can distinguish the Impsources that are being managed specifically for tourists (in socio-economic or environmental ways) from the shared Impsources, whereby sustainability issues concern the locals in the first place and they have a direct responsibility in this respect. We touch here on the difference between sustainable development and sustainable tourism, with the latter concerning just the main and side Impsources and any other tourism infrastructure.

It is important to note that I insist on a clear distinction at a destination between Impsources and infrastructure mainly intended for tourists on the one hand and any other structure that is there without any direct link to tourists on the other. From the point of view of sustainability there is a clear difference between the two and in addressing sustainable development issues one has to keep the two separate. Stakeholders at a destination must clearly see which part of a destination has been made fit for tourism and which parts remain as they were with or without tourism. Tourists’ involvement with a destination can only reach a certain point: where tourism stops and local life begins. This third point of reflexivity relates not only to tourists and their influence on a destination, but also to the influence a sustainable tourism development may have and the way it affects local life.

Any community has its own commitment to future generations which may be strong or nearly non-existent. However, what we often see nowadays is a tourism infrastructure (such as hotels) that is nearly forced to be as sustainable as possible, while the rest of the village or town nearby may be dirty, anti-environmental and far from carbon neutral. The influence sustainable tourism practices have on a local population can be observed in some areas, while there are still many cases (if not the majority) whereby this is not the case.

In practice sustainable development is still a matter of (government) authorities, NGOs or any other private or public body involved. Two of the main actors in tourism – tourists and local populations – seem to be playing a marginal role so far. By applying a reflexive approach to tourism I have tried to make clear why tourists are the main stakeholders in tourism and that they play a fundamental role in a tourism development. The same holds true for a destination. I explained that a destination is not just a combination of hotels and tourist attractions, but that everyday local life plays an important part in tourism, too.

Those who continue to consider tourism to be a mere economic activity do not realize, that a great part of experiences gained by tourists stem from shared Impsources. A sustainable tourism development that ignores what is not part of the tourism infrastructure cannot be effective. Only by putting the encounter between tourists and what is local in the heart of tourism and any sustainable tourism development we can find the balance for a general sustainability directed at the future generations of both locals and tourists.

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All rights reserved. Complete or partial reproduction is prohibited without the permission of Marinus Gisolf and without mentioning the source

3 Responses to “THE REFLEXIVE APPROACH TO TOURISM”

  1. What a great article!
    Thanks for sharing this link on Travel & Tourism Industry Professional Worldwide Group.
    I am very much pleased to read this article. It is very helpful to promote Sustainable Tourism all over the world..

    Thanks again and greetings!!
    Kuldip Gadhvi,
    from Bhuj, India
    sites.google.com/site/kutchadventures

    • Dear Kuldip,
      Thanks for your mail and let us hope more people start considering tourism in the same way.
      regards – Marinus

  2. Hi

    I am writing my thesis and i came across this page with all these different thoeries about sustainable development. I am very much interested in this idea of reflexive tourism-if you have any other literature you can share–Id be grateful.

    Great Article!

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