Teaching about tourism in a post-disciplinary planning context
Urban and environmental planning has a substantial impact on social, economic and environmental welfare, and getting it right is a complex challenge facing governments, the private sector and communities (Australian Government, 2011). Over time, the complexity of planning has grown and planners today are asked to address a wide range of pressing problems in a context of constantly changing interests and demands. Tourism destinations are locations that are characterized by a complex layering of social, economic, political, environmental and cultural forces operating over time and across different spatial scales. Tourism adds an additional layer of complexity, where tourism destinations are vulnerable to global-local shifts in market demand and product development cycles. This dynamic context presents particular challenges for urban planners and is something that planning education must address if future professionals are to address issues of rapid change and uncertainty. In Australia, for example, tourism is a major driver of social, economic and environmental change in coastal environments, where over 85 per cent of the population live (Hugo, 2011). Some of the issues confronting planners in coastal tourism regions include managing and responding to significant shifts in population growth, migration, an ageing population seeking retirement lifestyles, urban design for both tourists and residents, urban congestion, access and efficient functioning of transportation, ensuring adequate energy and water supplies, adapting to climate change, responding to disasters, preserving natural and cultural heritage and community consultation (Bosman & Dredge, 2011; Australian Government, 2011: XXI). In these locations, tourism management and environmental and urban planning are inextricably related, and yet our educational programmes often provide little opportunity for students to explore the real-life complexities of post-disciplinary place management.
The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and Hospitality Education
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified