So far, we have explored the effects of tourists and advertising on environmental quality. Here we add to our model hotels and profits from tourism.
What happens if more and more tourists come, as more and more hotels are built? In other words, if the goal is unlimited, uncontrolled growth?
Note: we use the term 'hotels' to include not only hotels, but the general infrastructure associated with tourism.
We have introduced Income from Tourism and Hotels into the diagram.
Notice also that we have marked two loops, showing circular causality.
Follow the green arrows (from Tourists) to see how reinvesting profits from tourism into building more hotels causes runaway growth in tourists.
Follow the arrows to see how growth in tourist numbers DECREASES environmental quality, which DECREASES attractiveness and therefore tourist numbers. So an INCREASE in tourists eventually causes a DECREASE in tourists.
There are only two types: Positive Feedback Loops and Negative Feedback Loops. These are very common in nature and all kinds of systems.
Often called 'vicious circles' (or 'virtuous circles'), they cause runaway growth or collapse. Running cattle cause panic, so more cattle run, which creates more panic.
Negative feedback loops generally resist change by producing change in the opposite direction. More prey feed more predators - but more predators will kill more prey.
Complex systems have many interacting feedback loops. Their action drives changes in tourist numbers, predator/prey populations etc.
Because rising tourist numbers fuel BOTH feedback loops simultaneously!
So at the same time as the tourist numbers are rising, the Environmental Quality - the renewable resource that all this activity depends on - is deteriorating more and more. This discourages tourists seeking an interaction with nature - creating a limit to the growth of those tourists.
Note: In Mass Tourism, tourist numbers can continue to increase because the Advertising, Hotels - and other factors such as price - attract them more than the Environmental Quality. The consequence is that the environment continues to degrade at a fast rate.
This sharp increase in tourists, followed by a dramatic drop, is an 'overshoot and collapse' pattern of behaviour characteristic of the Limits to Growth Archetype.