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Economics - International Economics / European Integration | Tourism Development in the GCC States - Reconciling Economic Growth, Conservation and Sustainable

Tourism Development in the GCC States

Reconciling Economic Growth, Conservation and Sustainable Development

Spiess, Andy, Al-Mubarak, Faisal, Weber, Alan S. (Eds.)

2016, Approx. 300 p.

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  • ​Develops new strategies to
  • avoid past errors and proposes remedial actions to currently unsustainable
  • tourism development pathways
  • Investigates the effect of
  • unsustainable rapid development and its detrimental environmental,
  • socio-cultural and security impacts
  • Examines the net social
  • benefit of tourism development, to encapsulate economic, social and
  • environmental benefits and costs, and asks whether benefits outweigh costs overall​
​Tourism is one of the world's largest as well as fastest growing industries and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states are expected to be increasingly important engines of such growth, and tourism promotion is often considered an integral element of their economic strategies. The sector is generally publicized as a vital source of employment, revenue, foreign exchange benefits, public infrastructure, diversification and inducement in reviving national pride. Nevertheless tourism as a catalyst for economic development can be a controversial device. While certain short term economic benefits clearly arise from an expanding tourism industry in the Gulf economies, its unsustainable rapid development has had detrimental environmental, socio-cultural and security impacts, particularly because this industry is dependent on and a major user of natural resources and habitually collides with the values, skills, and aspirations of GCC nationals. This book develops new strategies to avoid past errors and proposes remedial actions to those currently unsustainable development pathways. In consideration of the fact that all types of tourism will eventually have a negative impact on the fragile environments of the GCC, we will take a closer look at the net social benefit of tourism development, to encapsulate economic, social and environmental benefits and costs, and ask whether benefits outweigh costs overall. Such an approach will include nonmonetary values and will allow the necessary trade-offs across economic, social and environmental domains. Concurrently, research indicates that in their aggressive pursuit of tourism development, Gulf governments either failed to address or deliberately ignored the critical question of local employment, ergo it is also crucial to assess the status quo, discuss why tourism has or has not been able to succeed with the set policy goals and especially elaborate the political rationale behind these deficiencies.​ 

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Arabian Peninsula - GCC Economies - Middle East Sustainability - Persian Gulf - State-society relations - Tourism

Related subjects » International Economics / European Integration - Political Science

Table of contents 

​1. The Price of Branding: tourism and the elusive search for "culture" among Emiratis in Dubai, UAE.- 2.State-society relations, economic change, and tourism in the GCC states.- 3. Who are We? Tourism and National Identity in Jordan and Qatar.- 4. Planning for and Management of Sustainable Tourism within Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) in Saudi Arabia.- 5. Sustainability Questions on GCC Investments in Sports: A Critical assessment of UAE and Qatari Football.- 6. Hidden Treasures: The Potential of Geotourism in Saudi Arabia.- 7. National Tourism Organizations in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).- 8. Towards a Long-Term Tourism Paradigm for the Gulf​

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