Tourism and Mountain Destinations: from the supply and demand toward a holistic approach
Tourism is a multidimensional and multifaceted activity interrelated with many different industries and aspects within a community. For this reason, tourism has traditionally been difficult to be defined. Habitually tourism is understood from the demand approach rather than supply. From the demand approach tourism is everything that tourists do at a particular destination. Thus, a mountain destination is a place where tourists go to fulfill their specific needs. Some authors have highlighted the bias that occurs when the definition does not include the vision of supply services. Thus, Leiper (1979: 400) defines the tourism industry as “all those firms, organizations, and facilities which are intended to serve the specific needs and wants of tourists”. From this approach the challenge is defining which firms, organizations and facilities are intended to serve residents or tourists. An instrumental approach to this dilemma is the classification of companies in two types according to Smith (1989):
- Companies that would not be able to survive without tourism.
- Companies that could survive without tourism although adjusting to a smaller size and activity.