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An Introduction to the Geography of Tourism

Second Edition

Velvet Nelson

Tourism is an astonishingly complex phenomenon that is becoming an ever-greater part of life in today’s global world. This clear and engaging text introduces undergraduate students to this vast and diverse subject through the lens of geography, the only field with the breadth to consider all of the aspects, activities, and perspectives that constitute tourism. Indeed, geography and tourism have always been interconnected, and Velvet Nelson reinforces the relationship between them by using both human and physical geography to interpret all facets of tourism—economic, social, and environmental. She shows how geography provides the tools and concepts to consider both the positive and negative factors that affect tourists and destinations as well as the effects tourism has on both peoples and places. Her real-world case studies, based both on research and on the experiences of tourists themselves, vividly illustrate key issues. This comprehensive, thematically organized introduction will enhance students’ understanding of geographic concepts and how they can be used as a way of viewing and understanding the world. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 384Size: 7 1/2 x 10 3/8
978-1-4422-7107-4 • Hardback • March 2017 • $110.00 • (£75.00)
978-1-4422-7108-1 • Paperback • March 2017 • $59.00 • (£39.95)
978-1-4422-7109-8 • eBook • March 2017 • $56.00 • (£37.95)
Velvet Nelson is associate professor of geography at Sam Houston State University.
List of Illustrations
Preface to the Second Edition
List of Abbreviations
1 Geography and Tourism
2 Basic Concepts in Tourism
3 Overview of Tourism Products
4 The Historical Geography of Tourism
5 The Transport Geography of Tourism
6 The Physical Geography of Tourism: Resources and Barriers
7 The Human Geography of Tourism: Resources and Barriers
8 The Economic Geography of Tourism
9 The Social Geography of Tourism
10 The Environmental Geography of Tourism
11 Tourism and Sustainable Development
12 Representations of Place and Tourism
13 Place Promotion in Tourism
14 Experiences of Place in Tourism
[T]his book is not an attempt to be an exhaustive guide to tourism geographies, but rather a guide on using geographic concepts and methods to interrogate a fascinating subject. . . .Those of us who prefer to think of tourism geographies as a way to teach geography by using tourism as a subject matter will most likely find Velvet Nelson’s text a natural fit. (Previous Edition Praise)
Geographical Bulletin

Velvet Nelson’s text fills a critical need for those of us who teach tourism and want to impart the nature and power of a geographic perspective to undergraduate students. It will have a valued place in my library and classroom. For an introduction, it covers an amazingly broad tourist landscape geographically and topically—including important discussions of climate change mitigation, female travelers, pro-poor tourism, place representation, landscape aesthetics, and food and wine as cultural resources. Nelson writes with great clarity and organization, effectively balancing the treatment of concepts and terminology with a discussion of empirical case studies and tourist experiences. Her book will play an important role in educating the next generation of tourists and tourism geographers. (Previous Edition Praise)
Derek H. Alderman, University of Tennessee, USA

We've been overdue for a fresh new geographer’s perspective on the rapidly changing tourism industry. Velvet Nelson provides an excellent introduction for geographers interested in applying the breadth of their discipline to the exciting study of tourism. Her book will also help other tourism researchers understand the contributions of geography to this cross-disciplinary study. Nelson strikes a balance between lively and academically sound, with a scope of case-study examples that range across the United States and around the world. Drawing from geography’s rich and varied traditions, her book explores economic, social, environmental, and other factors that are affected by, and in turn shape, tourism developments. (Previous Edition Praise)
Mark M. Miller, University of Southern Mississippi

"In this second edition, prominent tourism geographer Velvet Nelson provides an excellent foundational text for the field. With the standard sixteen-week semester in mind, Professor Nelson meticulously leads students through the vast scope of tourism geography, listing key terms and inviting students to further explore this exciting field through her bibliographies. The book also contains excellent, highly relevant examples throughout. This is THE textbook for undergraduate-level tourism geography courses.​"
Daniel Knudsen, University of Indiana

"Velvet Nelson’s compelling text effectively presents geography as an essential approach to understanding tourism and introduces students to a broad range of topics in this interdisciplinary field. Most importantly, this book helps students think critically about key issues in tourism including place and identity, sustainability, and economic development."
Steve Hanna, University of Mary Washington

My students really love the book. They appreciate the clarity of writing and, for a group of non-geographers, they come away with a better understanding of what geography is/can study/can be, and how tourism fits into the picture.
Matthew R. Cook, Eastern Michigan University

Intended for mid- to upper-level undergraduates in their first or only tourism geography course

Reinforces fundamental geographic concepts and helps students to think geographically as they apply these concepts to tourism

Exposes students to current issues in tourism and themes in research

Offers relatable first-person experiences of tourism

Encourages students to think about their own perspectives as they participate in tourism

Richly illustrated with maps and photos

For historic preservation courses, provides valuable perspective on the ways historic sites intersect with tourism

New features
A focus on the role of technology, social media, and peer-to-peer exchanges in Travel 2.0

A discussion of sustainable development and tourism

Trends in tourism products such as food and beverage tourism, marijuana tourism, and dark tourism

Case studies on current topics such as the 2016 Rio Olympics, terrorism and conflict, and the growth of low-cost air carriers

First-person experiences on “voluntourism,” gay travel, and traveling in Europe during the refugee crisis

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Lecture Notes. The Lecture Notes provide the tables and figures from the text.