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Tourism and Sustainability: Transforming Global Value Chains to Networks in the Kalunga Territory, Brazil

Authors: Keith Bosak*, The University of Montana, Stephen F McCool, University of Montana
Topics: Tourism Geography, Economic Geography
Keywords: tourism, sustainability, value chains
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Deepening concerns about the environmental, social and economic consequences of travel are transforming conventional models of global value chains (GVCs), a concept at the heart of traditional approaches to economic development. The focus on equity and the redistribution of political and economic power, combined with exponential changes in communication technology are at the foundation of revolutionary change in how we conceptualize GVCs in the context of tourism. GVCs are being transformed through the ‘new’ types of tourism that focus on economic, social and environmental sustainability. Sustainable tourism connects local communities directly with global markets through tourist visits. In the developing world, this global to local connection is often seen as a path to poverty alleviation and economic development. Sustainable tourism as a form of development often brings in a wide array of actors not previously involved in mass tourism. These include local, national and global NGO’s, as well as governments at all scales that participate in tourism planning, development, marketing and management. At the same time, the world is rapidly changing in a multitude of ways. These rapid changes present myriad challenges for sustainable tourism. We argue that a systems approach with a focus on resilience as an outcome of sustainable tourism is one way to address change and complexity. GVCs can be transformed through sustainable tourism and can also be integrated into the systems approach as a method to enhance understanding. We illustrate this approach through an ongoing nature-based tourism development project in the Kalunga territory of Brazil

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