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    Dynamics of coastal tourism: drivers of spatial change in South-East Asia

    Hampton, Mark, Bianchi, Raoul ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0998-9025 and Jeyacheya, Julia ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4245-9453 (2023) Dynamics of coastal tourism: drivers of spatial change in South-East Asia. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. ISSN 0129-7619

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    Coastal tourism has grown significantly across South-East Asia from the 1960s, particularly in three key destinations hosting large tourist numbers: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. It encompasses different scales from basic backpacker accommodation in budget enclaves to large scale capital-intensive luxury resort enclaves. Coastal tourism studies typically range from descriptive analyses of destinations’ evolutionary dynamics and resort morphology to more granular ethnographic inspections of socio-economic patterns of transformation and resource conflicts. More recent critical research theorises the spatial reorganization of coastal tourism in relation to economic restructuring processes. Although national tourism policy and economic development is often analysed, forces shaping coastal tourism development have been little examined and research typically focusses on impact case studies without analysing the underlying political economy. This paper interrogates the political-economic drivers of the historical-geographical and spatial organisation of coastal tourism in these three major destinations and demonstrates how processes of tourism capital accumulation are experienced/contested via intensified commodification leading to increasingly complex and diversified coastal tourism political economies.

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