While responsible tourism is fast becoming a global trend nowadays, some may wonder if it makes better business sense than traditional mass tourism. By defining the words “business sense” from Cambridge dictionary, it means an understanding of the ways in which business works successfully and/or if something makes good business sense, it will help a business to succeed. Tourism is a huge business. In the last twenty to thirty years, tourism both as an activity and an industry has a sustained growth, estimated to comprise US $5890 billion or 9.9% of total world GDP, and employing more than 22 million people in 2008 (UNWTO 2008). Therefore, it is worth to pay a high attention to analyse whether the implementation of responsible tourism really makes the industry flourish.
First of all, it is important to understand what mass tourism and responsible tourism are. Mass tourism cannot be simply defined even not any from The World Tourism Organization. The conceptual of it is the act of visiting a popular tourist destination such as the London Eye, Eiffel Tower, and Great Pyramids and so on with large amounts of people at one time. From a paper of the South Pacific Tourism Organization (2003), Mass Tourism tends to have the following characteristics including a concentration on high volume sales with high throughputs and turnarounds, full utilization of packaged holiday components offered as single product at an all inclusive price, often with a short term time frame and development of large scale transport system, infrastructure, accommodation, supporting facilities and attractions within destination, usually at a fast pace and often supply led. Mintel (2003) described the mass tourism industry as being ‘like most profit seeking industries [in relying] heavily on short-term gains, often disregarding long term effects’.