Tourism and Human Development

Robertico Croes, University of Central Florida
Manuel A. Rivera, University of Central Florida


This study investigates the link between tourism and human development, and claims that tourism has a double effect on human development. The investigation is anchored in two theoretical frameworks, the tourism led growth (TLG) and Sen’s capability approach. Based on a production process, the study employs a case study approach applied to Ecuador, and uses cointegration and Granger causality analyses to assess the connectedness between the two constructs. The explored interconnectedness in the case of Ecuador reveals that it is human development that promotes tourism, and not the other way around as was expected. The direct implication is that Ecuador reveals a lopsided human development situation with clear capacity constraints in the tourist sector and the overall economy. The larger implication is that rising incomes will not necessarily prompt enhanced human development performances.