chapter  4
61 Pages


Tourism supply is a complex phenomenon because of both the nature of the product and the process of its delivery. Principally, the product cannot be stored, cannot be examined prior to purchase, it is necessary to travel to consume it, heavy reliance is placed on both natural and human-made resources and a number of components are required, which may be separately or jointly purchased and which are consumed in sequence. Tourism is a composite product involving transport, accommodation, catering, natural resources, entertainment as well as other facilities and services, such as shops and banks, travel agents and tour operators. Many businesses also serve other industrial sectors and consumer needs, thus raising the question of the extent to which producers can be considered as primarily suppliers of tourism. The many components of the product, supplied by a variety of businesses operating in a number of markets, create problems in analyzing tourism supply. It is therefore convenient to consider it as a collection of industries and markets and to examine it using not only the neoclassical paradigm but also other schools of thought. This approach allows the analysis not only to cope with the complexities of the tourism product but also to take account of developments in economic concepts, theories and methods, with special focus on industrial economics and the issues with which it has been concerned.