Human ecologists have sought explicitly to identify processes of population growth and development at an organic level. For them, the community is understood as an adaptive mechanism which maximizes the efficient use of resources under the pressure of population growth. On a larger scale, competition among cities for lucrative positons in a national interdependent urban structure is viewed as the driving force behind differential urban population growth. This ecological approach regards individuals' micro-economic competition for resources, i.e., land use or employment, as the force behind the resulting spatial differentiation of place. Assuming free competition for resources, ecologists could thus assert that the resulting differentiation of space would be most effective for the population.
Tourism is viewed as a rapidly growing foundation of the economy in many developing nations. This paper provides an analysis of the dependent nature and structural duality of the tourist industry in Third World countries. It is argued that the principal consequences are inter and intraclass fragmentation and the exacerbation of regional disparity, which in turn impede national development. The major theoretical emphasis is on the role of the tertiary sector in developing nations; this is discussed within the framework of current polemics concerning indicators of development. The analysis is based on writing about economic development in Third World countries and examples are drawn from Mexico.