The Force Field of Tourism

  • Jorge Ridderstaat Central Bank of Aruba
  • Robertico Croes University of Central Florida
  • Peter Nijkamp VU University Amsterdam


The literature on tourism development has focused on a one dimensional relationship between tourism development and quality of life. The impact of shock events on the relationship tourism development and quality of life seems ignored.  Rather less attention has been paid to the multi-dimensional aspects of the relationship between tourism development and quality of life, and the potential impact of shock events on shaping this relationship. This study proposes a conceptual framework describing a triad of relations between tourism development (TD), quality of life (QoL) and shock events, and advocates that a bilateral relation exists between these three constructs. The framework also integrates three types of theories, each of which with the potential to explain tourism growth from a different perspective. The study analyzes a number of challenges facing tourism and discusses how these challenges interact and affect the interconnectedness between TD, QoL and shock events. The dynamic interplay of all these forces shapes tourism development patterns and will determine the nature of tourism development. The present study contributes to the tourism literature by identifying and structuring core elements that are responsible for the dynamics of tourism. In essence, it advances the understanding of this complex phenomenon, while providing building blocks for an anticipated view on the future of tourism