Sustainable Tourism and Innovation
Galactica Suite Resort
Review of sustainability issues, theories and applications in tourismrelated and general business; Accelerating technological change and
the implications for medium- and long-term sustainability planning
MBA 1 – Glenn Smith
2013 – 2014
The Brundtland report
"Sustainable development is development that meets the
needs of the present without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs".
Two key concepts:
the concept of 'needs', in particular the essential needs
of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should
be given; and
the idea of limitations imposed by the state of
technology and social organization on the
environment's ability to meet present and future needs.
British development institute DFID
DFID defines sustainability in terms of sustainable
“A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets
(including both material and social resources) and
activities required for a means of living. A
livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and
recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or
enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in
the future, while not undermining the natural
The capacity of a system to
“bounce back”, to recover from
a shock, or a perturbation.
• Gilded traps are a type of social trap in which
collective actions resulting from economically
attractive opportunities outweigh concerns over
associated social and ecological risks or
consequences. Large financial gain creates a
strong reinforcing feedback that deepens the
trap. Avoiding or escaping gilded traps requires
managing for increased biological and economic
diversity. This is difficult to do prior to a crisis
while financial incentives for maintaining the
status quo are large.
• Overfishing is an example of a gilded trap.
• Other examples of gilded traps: (invention of the
automobile, tobacco cultivation, development of
the beef industry in the early US history...)
Early 14th century Venice: vibrant economy of the colleganza (a joint stock
company to finance trading expeditions since 976). Rich merchant provides
capital to young navigator. When goods brought back and sold (spices, for
example), 75% of profits go to the merchant, 25% to the navigator.
1315: Upper Class stops social mobility with the Libro d’Oro => La Serrata, the
colleganza is banned. Venice declines.
Between now and 2050
Terrestrial Biodiversity is expected to decrease by a further 10%
between now and 2050;
Mature forested areas are projected to shrink by 13% by 2050;
One-third of freshwater biodiversity has already been lost and
more will disappear by 2050;
Global water demand is projected to increase by some 55%, due
to growing demand from manufacturing (+400%), thermal
electricity generation (+140%) and domestic use (+130%);
The number of people facing water scarcity could rise by 2
Air pollution is set to become the world’s top environmental
cause of premature mortality, with substantial increased
mortality expected from particulate matter (PM), ground-level
ozone, sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxides (NOx).
The tourism sector accounts for:
5% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions
its overall contribution to climate change, by
some greenhouse gas measures, is 5.2-12.5%
Aviation accounts for 40% of tourism’s CO 2
Car transport accounts for 32%
Accommodation accounts for 21%
Activities for tourists: 4%
Other forms of transport: 3%, including in
particular cruise ships.
The poverty trap
Source: Scheffer 2009:35, Figure 2.14
Sustainable tourism: The Cape Town Declaration of 2002
“Sustainable tourism development requires the informed
participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong
political leadership to ensure wide participation and consensus
building. Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process
and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the
necessary preventive and/or corrective measures whenever
Sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of tourist
satisfaction and ensure a meaningful experience to the tourists,
raising their awareness about sustainability issues and
promoting sustainable tourism practices amongst them.”
“Responsible tourism” is tourism which:
minimizes negative social, economic and environmental impacts
generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances
the well-being of host communities
improves working conditions and access to the industry
involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life
makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and
cultural heritage embracing diversity
provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more
meaningful connections with local people, and a greater
understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
provides access for physically challenged people
is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and
hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
Guiding Principles for Economic Responsibility
• Assess economic impacts before developing tourism and exercise
preference for those forms of development that benefit local communities and
minimise negative impacts on local livelihoods (for example through loss of
access to resources), recognising that tourism may not always be the most
appropriate form of local economic development.
• Maximise local economic benefits by increasing linkages and reducing
leakages, by ensuring that communities are involved in, and benefit from,
tourism. Wherever possible use tourism to assist in poverty reduction by
adopting pro-poor strategies.
• Develop quality products that reflect, complement, and enhance the
• Market tourism in ways which reflect the natural, cultural and social
integrity of the destination, and which encourage appropriate forms of
• Adopt equitable business practises, pay and charge fair prices, and build
partnerships in ways in which risk is minimised and shared, and recruit and
employ staff recognising international labour standards.
• Provide appropriate and sufficient support to small, medium and micro
enterprises to ensure tourism-related enterprises thrive and are sustainable.
Guiding Principles for Social Responsibility
• Actively involve the local community in planning and decision-making and
provide capacity building to make this a reality.
• Assess social impacts throughout the life cycle of the operation – including the
planning and design phases of projects - in order to minimise negative impacts and
maximise positive ones.
• Endeavour to make tourism an inclusive social experience and to ensure that
there is access for all, in particular vulnerable and disadvantaged communities and
• Combat the sexual exploitation of human beings, particularly the exploitation of
• Be sensitive to the host culture, maintaining and encouraging social and cultural
• Endeavour to ensure that tourism contributes to improvements in health and
Guiding Principles for Environmental Responsibility
• Assess environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of tourist
establishments and operations – including the planning and design
phase – and ensure that negative impacts are reduced to the minimum
and maximising positive ones.
• Use resources sustainably, and reduce waste and over-consumption.
• Manage natural diversity sustainably, and where appropriate restore
it; and consider the volume and type of tourism that the environment
can support, and respect the integrity of vulnerable ecosystems and
• Promote education and awareness for sustainable development – for
• Raise the capacity of all stakeholders and ensure that best practice is
followed, for this purpose consult with environmental and conservation
Looking to the Future: Y Generation’s Unique
Challenges & What Happens to Tourism?
The Y and following Generations have the responsibility to be the privileged
Stewards of environmental protection, economic welfare, community
resilience and cultural heritage during a time of radical transition on a scale
never before seen. You will witness and participate in transformations that
will dwarf those experienced during the Twentieth Century.
Ray Kurzweil, 2005: “I set the date for the Singularity—representing a
profound and disruptive transformation in human capability—as 2045. The
non-biological intelligence created in that year will be one billion times more
powerful than all human intelligence today.
Kurzweil believes that progress in artificial intelligence, nanotechnology,
biotechnology and information technology is so fast that we will be able in a
few decades to break free from the constraints of our genetic legacy and
achieve “inconceivable heights of intelligence, material progress and
longevity…a union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and
skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater
capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our own creations.”* He
predicts a world of abundance as the cost of information and technology
drops sharply, while efficiency and productivity continues to rise.
Imagine Kurzweil is right: what implications
for hospitality and tourism?
What destinations will be overrun due to increased affluence of rapidly
developing countries (such as BRICS)?
What marketing techniques will be used in future?
Is online booking going to dominate the market of the future even more?
What destinations will become accessible that are not already?
Could virtual reality replace tourism?
Will more seek “primitive” experiences, or digital-free environments, as an
escape from oppressive modernity?
What sustainability problems will tourism enterprises face? What new tools
will they have to promote sustainability?
What would be the best investments to make now?
What forms of hospitality or tourism are ill-adapted and will not survive this
sort of rapid change?
What forms of hospitality and tourism can exist in a world that is undergoing
runaway global warming?