This is actually an important question for me and has been for some time. A little background information as to why.
The town which I've called home for most of 30 years has gone from a small place full of rednecks, hippies, American Indians and outlaws to a globalized playground of industrial capitalism. 'Extreme sports' (mountain-biking, river-rafting, rock-climbing) as well as thousands of RVs, tour-buses, family vacationers, etc., now make 'the economy' primarily due to the natural beauty...and, of course, its marketing. Like other places in the region, colonization has historically been based upon mineral/petroleum extraction, which is also now making a comeback. So, there's a ugly fight a-brewing politically. More on that in a moment.
Some previous posters above made what I think is a basically correct distinction between travel and tourism. It is the case that tourism has no real connection to the places it brings hordes of people. In the popular lingo, most people come here to 'do' somewhere. You may think I made a typo just now. But, no, really people 'do' a 'where,' as in "We did _______ National Park today, and we're doing ______ Falls tomorrow." Been there, done that. Let's move on. Here's some selfies to prove it.
Aside from this, there are the various power relationships, as well as the relationship to power in general, which is somewhat different than anywhere else I've lived. Here, one basically has work in the 'service' economy or they work for the government on some level. That's just about it. You sell food, trinkets, rent hotels/condos, bikes, jeeps, climbing gear, etc., or you have some colonial 'civil servant' job. The cost of living is ridiculous, and rent is extremely high, so if you are a low-wage cook, wait-staff, or retail clerk, you better not get frustrated at the snobs, the products of their shitty parenting, or the upper-middle class 'bro,' because they will tell the BAWSS and you'll be hunting a new shitty job where the business-owners can be incestuous. This is just on the 'lowest' level. I won't even get into land-ownership, rent, 'affordable housing' projects, or the disgusting globalized labor market being foisted upon people from all over the global South and Eastern Europe, all for shit wages and shit living situations. Other than these folks, it's spoiled middle-class kids who want so much time-off it's nearly impossible to fill a schedule on a consistent basis. They have nothing to lose, so anyone local either has to work a shit-ton during the most pleasant weather, or they may not be able to afford the off-season...what little is left.
Another trend I've noticed is the constantly expanding array of high-tech fuck-offs in order to lure return tourists along with new ones. New gear, new machines, new clothing, new places exploited, new 'services,' new power-trips. All brought to you by junk mined in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, drilled from the floors of various oceans or from deserts of the US Empire, then manufactured in shitty factories in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, then shipped to the US and then across country to where I live in the name of corporate profits. Name brands like Patagonia and Prana pretend to be 'fair' but who's really buying that. Apparently, plenty of rich white kids.
(I got hold of a Prana catalog recently which told us of their progressive 'fair' practices, but the only dark-skinned people in the fucking thing were literally picking cotton!!!)
Now for a snapshot of the politics. Oil and mineral extraction are making a comeback here and threatening the last remaining wild habitats in the region as well as the landscape of which so much of this global capitalist playground depends. It's an alluring landscape. It's what I've called home for so long. I have a deep attachment to it. However, I have no truck with the main thrust of environmental finger-waggers, since they are mainly concerned with 'sustainability.' Sustaining what, exactly? That's the question. And the answer most given runs like 'the economy at the same time as ecology.' In other words, things like they are now, but with 'clean energy' instead of 'filthy energy.' No questions regarding capitalism, civilization, corporate-power-meet-State-theft, the US Empire and (further) foreign wars, etc.,
Basically the 'solutions' our priggish -progressives offer is a disgusting combination of more of the same: of NIMB-erialism, our-colonialization-is-better-than-yours, and aren't-we-diverse-for-bringing-low-wage-workers-from-the-global-South. The chickens have simply come home to roost and as usual the political left has no real interest in stopping the headlong drive to global destruction, but to only manage it, regulate it...always with the irony of using facets, or pet-projects, of 'the right' to do its dirty work ( cops, military, prisons, corporate protection on their fave corps, and populist rhetoric about 'jobs'). Progressives, as we all know, are non-violent, right?
Pardon the illustrative rant, but the front-lines in the battle to save what little is left is perforated with the heavy hand of Statism and reverence for it through self-policing/management, a soul-less psychology of quantification, and Christian moralism thinly disguised in Gaia drag. It's difficult to see a way out of it honestly. To point any of this out publicly would be disastrous. The social sanctions would be hard to bear, given that so many who own land/housing and businesses here would silence dissent through refusal to hire and rent...all while invoking Ghandian non-violence and 'social justice' for those half a globe removed (ex: Tibet).