Organic, incremental and induced paths to sustainable mass tourism convergence
This paper positions sustainable mass tourism (SMT) as the desired and impending outcome for most destinations. Natural resource scarcity, development of green technology, climate change awareness, the global financial crisis, institutionalised environmentalism and Internet technology all facilitate the emergence of sustainability as a societal norm that is combining with the longer established norm of growth desirability. SMT convergence is occurring along three distinctive paths in an evolutionary manner that reflects environmental pragmatism. The market-driven 'organic' path describes the conventional tourism area life cycle model of Butler, whilst the regulation-driven 'incremental' path entails deliberate alternative tourism (DAT) in which carrying capacities are gradually increased to accommodate higher visitation levels. The hybrid 'induced' path describes planned mega-resorts conceived as growth poles. Each model is invested with its own specific planning and management implications.