Tourism Planning and Traditional Urban Planning Theory: Planners as Agents of Social Change

Alan A Lew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In terms of community focus, the field of urban and regional planning is much more comprehensive in both subject matter and outcomes than is most tourism planning, as least as each is taught in higher education around the world. Tourism planning, however, draws upon a good portion of urban and regional planning methods, especially in the area known as rational planning. As such, the more narrow area of tourism planning could be considered a subfield of urban and regional planning. One major shortcoming of tourism planning is an apparent lack of attention to the normative issues of (1) how planners should plan and (2) what issues planners should focus on in their planning efforts. These questions address the complexity of data and issues that planners deal with, including questions of what data or information is collected, how it is organized, and how the information will be used to make decisions. Tourism planners could benefit from greater familiarity with these fundamental concepts of planning theory. Keywords: tourism planning, urban planning, planning theory
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-392
JournalLeisure/Loisir: Journal of the Canadian Association of Leisure Studies
StatePublished - 2007


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