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There has been a phenomenal growth of backpacker tourism from the overland routes to India in the 1960s, to present-day backpacker tourism across the less developed world. As a result there has been significant economic development impacts of backpacker tourism upon local communities especially in areas with the largest concentrations of backpackers (South and South-East Asia particularly Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and India), as well as increasingly in Latin America. This volume provides a focused review of the economic development impacts of backpacker tourism in developing regions furthering knowledge on how backpacker tourism can play a crucial role in development strategies in these areas. First, it reviews the origins of the backpackers with a detailed examination of their "hippy" predecessors on the overland trail, before discussing the emergence of modern backpackers including social and cultural aspects, and how new technologies are changing their experience. It then analyses the powerful economic development impacts of backpackers on local host communities in cities and rural areas with a special focus on coastal destinations. Extensive case study material is used from backpacker destinations across Asia, Latin America and Africa. In doing so the book provides original insights into how backpacker tourism is highly significant for poverty alleviation and effective local development since it has strong linkages to the local economy, and less economic leakage than conventional tourism. Written by a leading academic in this area, this volume will be of interest to students of Tourism and Development Studies.