Revisiting Tourism in Sustainable Development

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Balcony K, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Organizers: Jarkko Saarinen
Chairs: Jarkko Saarinen


Sustainable development has become a guiding paradigm in tourism planning and development. In research the idea of sustainability has been “one of the great success stories of tourism research,” making tourism studies more policy-relevant (Hall, 2011:650). Due to the fast growth of global tourism and estimated future growth prospects of the industry, the need for sustainability has become increasingly crucial in tourism development and planning. However, the core elements and ideas of the sustainability ‘often got lost in translation’ when we are ‘doing development’; too often short-term economic dimensions are emphasized over social and environmental ones (UNRISD, 2015). Thus, there is a need to revisit the idea of sustainability in tourism development and planning discussions (McCool & Bosak, 2016). In this respect Butler (1999) has stressed the need to see tourism as a (potential) tool rather than an end for development. Furthermore, we should also ask to what end does tourism serve and what it is that tourism should sustain? And, how do we do this – e.g. how do we sustain social-ecological systems at different scales?

These kinds of big questions provide a context for the session aiming to re-think and revisit the idea of sustainable tourism by discussing the roles and impacts of tourism in/for sustainable development. The aim is to understand tourism in a context and see tourism development as part of a transforming system. The session welcomes both conceptual papers and empirical case studies focusing on the relationships between sustainable development and tourism.


Butler, R. (1999). Sustainable tourism: A state-of-the-art review. Tourism Geographies, 1, 7–25.
Hall, C.M. (2011). Policy learning and policy failure in sustainable tourism governance: from first- and second-order to third-order change? Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 4–5, 649–671.
McCool, S.F. and Bosak, K. (eds)(2016). Reframing sustainable tourism. Springer.
Saarinen, J. (2014). Critical sustainability: Setting the limits to growth and responsibility in tourism. Sustainability, 6, 1–17.
UNRISD (United Nations Research Institute for Social Development)(2015). Revisiting sustainable development. Geneva: UNRISD.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Jarkko Saarinen University of Oulu 10 1:20 PM
Presenter Wame Hambira*, University of Botswana, National stock exchanges, tourism and sustainability: towards the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. 20 1:30 PM
Presenter Pamela Montero-Alvarez*, University of Florida, Angelica Almeyda Zambrano, University of Florida, The Role of Rural Communal Sustainable Tourism in Protected Area Conservation: Lessons learned from “La Minga”, Loreto, Peru 20 1:50 PM
Presenter Ia Iashvili*, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia, Tatia Doghonadze, Akaki Tsereteli State University, Georgia, Tinatin Gvenetadze, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia, Transdisciplinary Research for Pro-Poor Sustainable Tourism Development: Case of Georgia 20 2:10 PM
Presenter Sayaka Sakuma*, , Conditioning to Host: a case study of homestay tourism in Okinawa, Japan 20 2:30 PM

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