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Mobilities and sustainable tourism: Path-creating or path-dependent relationships?

Williams, AM (2013) Mobilities and sustainable tourism: Path-creating or path-dependent relationships? Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 21 (4). pp. 511-531.

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This paper advances understanding of tourism mobility trajectories and outcomes by discussing if the trajectory of tourism mobility is path-dependent or path-creating and, therefore, whether tourism is locked into existing sub-optimal pathways, or is there scope for creating significantly more sustainable future pathways. Tourism mobilities are understood in the context of overall shifts in corporeal mobilities, especially the impact of migration on networks and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) tourism. Four main tourism mobilities drivers are considered-technology, markets, cultures of mobility and state intervention-but their impact on mobilities is contested. The concepts of enfolded and substitutable mobilities, and of scapes and flows, are explained and used as intermediary concepts for engaging with the key relationships influencing tourism mobilities. Path dependency is shown to be backed by existing technologies, cultures and markets, together with deeply embedded scapes and substantial investments in existing infrastructure. Trends towards path creation are shown to depend on technological breakthroughs, including virtual tourism, alternative lifestyles bringing cultural change, market conditions brought about by possible sustained high oil prices, and state intervention leading to behavioural change. The concept of "path-dependent path-creation" is discussed along with the powerful influence of uncertainties and unknown future tipping-points. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Authors : Williams, AM
Date : May 2013
DOI : 10.1080/09669582.2013.768252
Additional Information : This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism 2013 copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 05 Jul 2013 08:40
Last Modified : 06 Jul 2019 05:12

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