chapter  1
6 Pages

Introduction

WithEwen J. Michael

Tourism can be seen as an industrial function that produces a vast array of highly differentiated outputs. In fact, tourism is not one industry but many, for tourism outputs come from a range of different production processes. Part of the quantum of the tourism product is undeniably rural, where consumers seek the attributes that only visits to a regional

—location can provide. The regional tourism product itself is also highly differentiated indeed some would argue that it is unique in every location – but, as an industrial activity, it can only be delivered in specific circumstances. Where a tourism function is possible, however, it may offer substantial economic and social benefits for the host community in circumstances where there are sometimes few alternatives. In this context, micro-clustering may offer an approach that helps create new tourism destinations, or expand existing ones, in a framework that could channel the benefits to meet the needs and values of the existing (or should that be remaining) population.