Economic activity today is still based on a linear model of production and consumption: extract/produce and consume/throw, which exhausts natural resources and generates waste. The current linear economy does not optimize materials nor favour their recycling, reuse or recovery. Hence, the concept of Circular Economy (CE) has received increasing attention between policymakers and stakeholders worldwide. However, the literature on CE was mainly developed for the manufacturing sector, and only a few references are found on the tourism sector even though it is a sector where huge consumption of energy and water, food waste, congestion problems and CO2
emissions take place. This work aims to evaluate the importance of tourism in the CE literature and to identify current research trends and possible gaps in the literature on CE and tourism. In order to identify papers for this, the authors carried out a literature review of papers in the social science citation index (Web of Science) and Scopus. The keywords used are related to the tourism sector and CE, and the last search was made at the end of January 2020. Only papers published in English have been considered in the sample, which totals to 55 articles. Each contribution is analysed and, according to its content, classified into eight streams; then, the paper identifies two knowledge areas in tourism that this scientific production covers and the areas with lack of knowledge generated. Findings show that more research is needed about tourism’s intersection with CE in order to generate possible solutions towards a more sustainable tourism industry.
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