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Critical Sustainability: Setting the Limits to Growth and Responsibility in Tourism
Department of Geography, P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014 University of Oulu, Finland
School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
Received: 6 November 2013; in revised form: 5 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 December 2013 / Published: 19 December 2013
Abstract: The idea of sustainable development has been discussed in tourism research for almost a quarter of a century. During that time, sustainability has become an important policy framework for tourism and regional developers guiding their planning and development thinking. Sustainability has also emerged academically as an important field of research with an emphasis on defining the limits to growth and responsibilities in tourism. However, while there are urgent needs to incorporate sustainability into tourism, there is also a growing amount of frustration among scholars on the conceptual nature of sustainability and how tourism as a private-driven economic activity relates to the ideals of sustainable development. This has created an increasing need to understand and potentially reframe the concept. The purpose of this paper is to overview the conceptual dimensions of sustainable tourism and discuss some of the main sources of frustration. Based on this, it is concluded that while a conceptual plurality seems to be unavoidable, there is a need to re-frame i.e., rescale and decentralize tourism in policy frameworks and practices aiming towards sustainability.
Keywords: sustainable tourism; responsible tourism; limits to growth; governance
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MDPI and ACS Style
Saarinen, J. Critical Sustainability: Setting the Limits to Growth and Responsibility in Tourism. Sustainability 2014, 6, 1-17.
Saarinen J. Critical Sustainability: Setting the Limits to Growth and Responsibility in Tourism. Sustainability. 2014; 6(1):1-17.
Saarinen, Jarkko. 2014. "Critical Sustainability: Setting the Limits to Growth and Responsibility in Tourism." Sustainability 6, no. 1: 1-17.