Tourism is destined to become one of the most significant socio-economic phenomena of the coming years. But it is a complex and elusive activity, which is difficult to circumscribe and measure. The relevance and complexity of the phenomenon have generated a new discipline – the economics of tourism – and many valuable textbooks. So why do we need another textbook? Perhaps because there is still a gap. The textbooks on the economics of tourism assume that the student already knows the basics of political economy, and describe the manifold dimensions of the tourist phenomenon in depth and detail. On the other hand, the political economy textbooks don't mention the tourist sector at all, and pursue an (apparently) abstract and excessively theoretical approach. Thus the student risks finding himself in a strange paradox: when he studies political economy he does not grasp the utility to be derived from that knowledge, and when he moves on to the economics of tourism he is faced by a hiatus, a chasm that is too wide. This book is designed as a little bridge, a walkway leading from political economy to the economics of tourism. Having forded the stream, the student should be able to freely clamber up the paths of the economics of tourism.