Abstract for: A System Dynamics Approach to Exploring Sustainable Tourism Development

Tourism is an important industry in many developing countries. In the past few decades, the issue of how to minimize the negative effects of tourism on natural and cultural environments and maximize its positive effects on economic development has been a major topic for tourism researchers and practitioners. Successful tourism-related policies not only can deliver economic benefits to communities, regions, and countries, but also can facilitate their sustainable economic, environmental, and cultural development. Within this context, it is important for policy-makers to incorporate sustainable initiatives into tourism-related policy making. The question of how policy-makers can incorporate sustainable initiatives into tourism-related policy making in a way that will allow them to develop implementable policies and achieve sustainable tourism is, however, not a simple question to answer. Since tourism practices are depicted as processes that reflect different competing interests and values, in order to incorporate sustainable initiatives into tourism-related policy making and achieve sustainable tourism, the first step should be understanding different competing interests and values and their possible contributions to sustainable tourism. This study is aimed at contributing to this area by investigating tourism stakeholder groupsí interests and values and their influences on tourism development through a system dynamics approach.