The Business of Sustainable Tourism Development and Management
eBook - ePub

The Business of Sustainable Tourism Development and Management

Susan L. Slocum, Abena Aidoo, Kelly McMahon

  1. 328 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

The Business of Sustainable Tourism Development and Management

Susan L. Slocum, Abena Aidoo, Kelly McMahon

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About This Book

The Business of Sustainable Tourism Development and Management provides a comprehensive introduction to sustainable tourism, crucially combining both theoretical and practical approaches to equip students with the tools to successfully manage a sustainable tourism business or destination.

Covering a range of crucial topics such as mass tourism, alternative tourism, human capital management, and many more, this book incorporates a global curriculum that widens the sustainable tourism debate to include theoretical perspectives, applied research, best-practice frameworks, business tools, and case studies, facilitating a more comprehensive sustainable tourism educational strategy. Information on how to effectively implement strategies that can be applied to business environments, entrepreneurship, and job skills to enhance career preparation is at the forefront of this textbook.

Highly illustrated and with an interactive companion website including bonus learning materials, this is the ideal textbook for students of tourism, hospitality, and events management at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

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Chapter 1
Introducing sustainable tourism


This chapter provides a general introduction to tourism. It defines travel and tourism and provides the historical context that gave rise to the use of tourism as a development tool. It explains the different development paradigms and shows how tourism has historically been viewed from within each of these paradigms. The impacts of tourism are discussed, and sustainable tourism is introduced as a method for minimizing the negative impacts of tourism. The process for evaluating a company’s environmental and social attitude towards sustainable tourism is presented, as are the steps for constructing a sustainably-minded vision statement aimed at encouraging organization-wide support of ongoing sustainability initiatives.


At the completion of the chapter, students will be able to:
  • Define travel and tourism and describe their differences;
  • Recount historical trends giving rise to tourism;
  • Explain the prominent development paradigms and associated tourism platforms;
  • Critique the impacts of tourism on destinations;
  • Differentiate sustainable tourism from other forms of tourism;
  • Determine a company’s (or destination’s) environmental and social management and marketing practices; and
  • Write a vision statement to ensure support for sustainability throughout an organization.


There has never been a more exciting time to study travel and tourism. Tourism is recognized as the world’s largest industry and reaches every corner of the earth, from the glaciers of Antarctica, to the savannahs of East Africa, to the tallest mountains in Asia, and to the ancient Inca cities of South America. With an estimated 1.24 billion international travelers, tourism generated $7.61 billion in economic impact in 2016 (United Nations World Tourism Organization [UNWTO], 2017). If we consider the number of domestic tourists (those traveling in their home country), scholars estimate that this number is six to ten times higher (Sharpley, 2009). For example, it is estimated that at any given moment, there are over 300,000 people flying above the United States on planes (Sheller & Urry, 2004), and Americans drive approximately 3.17 trillion miles each year (US Federal Highway Administration, 2016). It is not surprising that tourism is being used as an engine of economic growth. Tourism provides foreign exchange earnings, government revenue, infrastructure improvements, and is a source for job creation and small business development.
Before we discuss the history of travel and tourism, it is important to define these two concepts. Travel is the physical process of moving from one area to another and is often the mode through which tourism occurs, although not all travel is tourism. Tourism is defined as “a social, cultural, and economic phenomenon” (UNWTO, 2014, p. 1) that includes “the temporary movement of people to destinations outside their normal places of work and residence, the activities undertaken during their stay in those destinations, and the facilities created to cater to their needs” (Mathieson & Wall, 1982, p. 1). Figure 1.1 provides a breakdown of the tourism industry. Tourists seek experiences through cultural and natural settings, often looking to form an emotional connection to a region and its people. Tourists pursue relaxation, such as visiting the beaches of Cancun Mexico, thrilling experiences, such as those found at Disney World, or may explore an exotic destination, like the Amazon, to learn about traditional cultures. This book focuses primarily on the tourism industry as a means to understand its experiential nature, and to provide an understanding of tourists’ needs and expectations in order to support the successful development of business opportunities in this field.
Figure 1.1 The tourism industry
Figure 1.1 The tourism industry
Job creation is the most visible strength to support tourism development as tourism is the leading employer worldwide. The World Travel and Tourism Council (2016) estimates that tourism provides 284 million jobs, equivalent to 1 in 11 jobs in the global economy. Because the tourism supply chain is linked to other industries, such as agriculture, the arts, construction, and outdoor recreation, tourism can support job creation for women, youth, migrant workers, rural communities, and indigenous peoples. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary General for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), acknowledges that “the sector’s wide reach also stimulates entrepreneurship and growth of micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). MSMEs are the sector’s main innovators and sources of economic diversification, as well as being major job creators across sectors” (World Economic Forum, 2017, p. 1). However, the development potentials of tourism have not always been recognized, and even today, not all communities welcome the ‘invasion’ of millions of tourists.

A brief history of travel and tourism

From the onset of human existence, people have traveled. Primarily they moved in search of food, moderate climates, and other natural resources to ensure survival. Once civilizations were formed, people traveled for trade and military control.
Travel, specifically to see sites and to experience cultures, did not begin until the Greek Empire (500 BCE), when people sought out education and religious activities, and city-states, such as Greece and Rome, became attractions in their own right. These empires possessed a large middle class, and the use of a common language and currency around the Mediterranean Sea provided a system for relative ease of travel. The Romans were known for their engineering talent, building roads, aqueducts, and shrines across their empire, as well as rest houses to accommodate travelers. While travel eased during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance provided new opportunities for commerce and leisure travel. The Grand Tour era in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries allowed the wealthy, elite class to increase their status in society by exposing them to the ‘civilized’ world of art, science, and culture around Europe.
Technology advancements during the Industrial Revolution increased modes and speed of travel, including trains, steamers, and eventually the automobile and aircraft. However, the concept of organized travel did not begin until 1841, when Thomas Cook conducted his first excursion from Leicester to Loughborough in England, which included a picnic lunch and a brass band. The advent of paid vacations in the early twentieth century, the development of mass air travel during World War II, and the number of service veterans exposed to foreign countries during the war led to an increase in the desire to travel, and also the avenues to accommodate a large number of early adventurers. Table 1.1 shows milestones that led to the rise of tourism.
Table 1.1 Elements that influenced travel
Date Event
4000 BC Sumerians invent money
600 BC The rutway invented, a basic form of the railway
1613 Grand Tour becomes popular
1807 First steamboat service – Albany, New York
1825 First passenger train service – Darlington, England
1814 Thomas Cook’s first excursion from Leicester to Loughborough, England
1844 First passenger cruise line – P&O sailing from Southampton to Gibraltar
1872 Thomas Cook’s first round the world tour
1903 First major hotel company opens in London – Trust Houses
1914 First passenger air flight – St. Petersburg – Tampa Airboat Line
1945 International Association of Travel Agents is established
1958 The Boeing 707 introduced
1975 The United Nations World Tourism Organization established

Tourism as development

Mass tourism (defined further in Chapter 6) exploded after World War II, although the role of tourism as a development tool was not yet fully recognized. This section explains development paradigms since World War II and the role tourism has played in economic development, as well as the evolving understanding of both the positive and negative impacts of tourism over time.
A paradigm is a system of concepts, values, perceptions, and practices shared by a society, which forms a particular vision of reality or a worldview. As society changes, so does its sense of reality, and the way it makes decisions about knowledge. Paradigms determine what is important and unimportant, reasonable and unreasonable, legitimate and illegitimate, possible and impossible, and what needs attention and what society should choose to ignore. Jafari’s (1990) Tourism Platform model identifies four tourism paradigms between the 1950s and 1990s as a way to show how tourism knowledge has been incorporated into society. It is important to note that these stages are not necessarily separate or chronological, as many of these paradigms still exist today. The goal is to help explain the changing values associated with tourism, which has led to the development of the global tourism industry.

Jafari’s Tourism Platform model

  1. Advocacy platform
  2. Cautionary platform
  3. Adaptancy platform
  4. Knowledge-based platform

Advocacy platform

After World War II, the world was in a state of complete devastation. The ravages of war left their mark on almost every region of the world, with countries like Germany, Japan, England, France, China, and much of Southeast Asia and Northern Africa in ruins. Buildings, roads, communication systems, and food supply chains were gone, leaving in their wake millions of hungry, unemployed people struggling for survival. The international community quickly reali...

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Contents
  6. List of figures
  7. List of tables
  8. List of images
  9. Preface
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. 1. Introducing sustainable tourism
  12. 2. Understanding capital
  13. 3. Globalization, localism, and sustainability
  14. 4. Governance of sustainable tourism
  15. 5. The sustainable traveler
  16. 6. Mass tourism
  17. 7. Alternative tourism
  18. 8. Marketing for sustainability
  19. 9. Supply and value chain management
  20. 10. Certification
  21. 11. Human capital management
  22. 12. Visitor management
  23. 13. The future of sustainable tourism
  24. Glossary
  25. References
  26. Index