Authors: Stoyanova-Bozhkova, S.
Editors: Buhalis, D.
The term transitology is associated with the theoretical approaches used to analyse and explain the tourism development trajectories in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. It originates in the field of political science of tourism studies and owes its popularity to the political, economic and sociocultural changes that started in Eastern Europe in the 1990s. Over the last decades, transitology was developed further by scholars studying tourism development in times of uncertainty and rapid changes. Thus, it gradually expanded to include a number of theories that are not bounded by geographical context. The value of transitology is that it acknowledges the complexity of the tourism ecosystem. It equips tourism management and marketing academics and professionals with a set of concepts and analytical frameworks that inform the strategic management process. It is relevant to decision makers from all types of tourism organizations, including business, public, not-for-profit, corporate organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Tourism managers and researchers can employ the concepts to gain understanding of the developments that have happened in the past or are taking place in society, and their implications for the future development and growth of destinations and individual businesses. They are able to appreciate that ‘all natural and social systems are interdependent, nonlinear, complex adaptive systems’ that are ‘generally unpredictable, qualitative and characterised by causes giving rise to multiple outcomes’(Farrell and Twinning-Ward in Hall, Smith and Marciszewska, 2006, p. 13). Transitology encompasses a number of concepts that have been used in the studies of tourism development in different time and space contexts, as illustrated in the figure. These loosely fall into three broad categories: modernist transitology, historicist transitology and modernity (Blokker, 2005). Each has been a focus of academic studies and critical debates.