Destinations are a central feature of tourism and the focus of much tourism research. Destinations have been studied from diverse perspectives using multiple concepts and a range of approaches. As a result, destination research today has become increasingly fragmented as studies have become more specialized. There is a need for a more integrated approach, one which systematically draws together these different research threads to provide a comprehensive and coherent picture and a fuller understanding of destinations, their structure and how they function. This book provides such a synthesis by critically reviewing a wide range of international research and incorporating in one volume many different facets of destinations from studies which have appeared in related but often divergent literatures. Conceptual and methodological issues are illustrated with empirical examples from Europe, North and South America, Asia and Oceania. This material is drawn together around two major structural themes: spatial and organizational structure. Spatial structure concerns the physical location, distribution, configuration and inter-connectedness of products, services and actors and the factors which underlie the resultant patterns of these. Organizational structure focuses on the diverse configurations and the ways in which multiple actors, collectively and individually, come together, interact and behave to produce the experiences sought by tourists.
The originality and contribution of this work lies in the systematic examination and combination of these two themes across destinations from the national to the local scale. This integrated approach provides fresh insights, produces a comprehensive understanding of destinations and identifes avenues for future research.