SYSTEMS THINKING APPROACH AS A UNIQUE TOOL FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY IN THE CAT BA BIOSPHERE RESERVE OF VIETNAM

Thanh Van Mai

Abstract


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Tourism is not simply an industry, but is an open, dynamic and complex system. The system consists of many interacting components and involves many different stakeholders. The development of tourism in a sustainable way impinges on and is subject to many factors. The limitation of traditional approaches to tourism research has become evidently in many cases. These approaches have usually looked at a particular issue or issues of the whole tourism picture. As a result, it has become difficult to manage tourism toward sustainability. This paper provides an overview of the systems thinking approach and its application in the study of the tourism system in the Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve of Vietnam. This study shows that systems thinking has proved to be an effective and powerful tool to explain the complexities of the tourism system.  It has helped to simplify, clarify and integrate isolated problems associated with the industry, and provided a mechanism for group learning and decision making to achieve desirable outcomes. The paper proposes systems thinking be used as an appropriate tool for sustainable tourism development.


Keywords


complexity, dynamics, sustainability, systems thinking, sustainable tourism development

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