Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract In recent decades, tourism has developed rapidly in mountain regions throughout the world, causing substantial economic, social, and environmental changes. While the physical and social environments of the world's mountains are characterized by their great diversity at all scales, comparable patterns of the development and impacts of tourism, and responses to it, have occurred and are taking place. However, tourism is not omnipresent in the world's mountains, and the degree of its development varies significantly over both space and time. Drawing on literature from around the world, five themes are considered: accessibility; temporal dimensions; types of tourists; changes in communities as perceived by tourists; and changes in the socio-cultural structure of tourist communities. It is concluded that no formal model of the growth and effects of tourism in mountain areas can represent the great diversity of patterns of development. Trends identified within the paper are not clear-cut, and should be used as hypotheses for future research, especially because of the lack of repeat, longitudinal, or comparative studies to date. It is questionable whether tourism can be relied on as the basis for the long-term future of mountain communities; much research is required to elucidate the complicated forces involved.
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