Following a Marxist and, more specifically, a global capitalism perspective, this paper outlines the peculiar characteristics of tourism to argue that the recent developments of this sector have prominently contributed to the transnational integration and global accumulation of capital. These developments are explored by using a Marxist conceptual framework, including class and value relations, within a broader ecological context. Taking into account the particular pattern of development and rapid growth of tourism in recent decades, we examine the implications for the uneven and combined development of global capitalism. More specifically, we examine whether the growth of tourism may sufficiently counteract the global over-accumulation crisis, as well as the particular ways in which capital can extract and appropriate rent from tourism. It is broadly argued that the development of tourism tends to increase the unevenness, as well as the inequalities and the instability, of global capitalism and while it seems to apparently relax the current over-accumulation crisis, it rather tends to further exacerbate the unfolding socio-ecological crisis.
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