Tourism development — centres versus peripheries: the Israeli experience during the 1990s

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Initially tourism was potentially considered as a vehicle for reducing inequalities in regional development through the spread of resources from the more developed regions of a country to its less developed areas. Later, case studies demonstrated that, although certain peripheral areas have emerged as tourist attractions, the large urban centres gained even more in terms of tourism-generated investment and income. This study examines the Israeli situation comparing tourism development indicators in central versus peripheral areas. Although the two largest cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv appear to attract much of the country's investment in tourism hotels and enjoy a large flow of visitors, data for the 1990s reveal that peripheral areas are having higher share in tourism than their counterparts in the central areas. Furthermore, compared with their proportion in the general population, the peripheral areas location quotient related to tourism development indicators is far higher than that of the central areas. The single largest centre of tourism is now located in the town of Elat, situated in isolation in the southernmost tip of the country. The resort areas of Tiberias on the Lake of Galilee in the northeast and that of the Dead Sea area in the southeast came to be large tourism centres. Also, the most flourishing B&B industry has developed in the northern peripheral area. The study contemplates whether or not the Israeli experience is applicable to other countries and concludes with an attempt to draw broader generalisations. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-111
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Research
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2004


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