CSR in Tourism
Md. Abdul Hamid
European Master in Tourism Management
University of Southern Denmark
The obligation of businessmen
to pursue those politics, to make those
decisions, or follow those lines of action
which are desirable in terms of the objectives
and value of the society
(H. R. Bowen, 1953).
“CSR is a concept whereby
social and environmental concerns
in their business operations and
in their interaction
with their stakeholders
on a voluntary basis”
(European Commission , Green Paper , 2001)
CSR is about how companies manage
the business processes
to produce an overall positive impact
(Mallen Baker, 2010 )
Carroll’s pyramid of CSR: Nature of Responsibilities
Lantos prefers to classify as…
Morally mandatory (economic, legal and ethical responsibilities)
Fulfillment of philanthropic responsibilities (going beyond preventing
• Strategic CSR:
Benefit the enterprise through positive publicity and goodwill
"Tourism which is in a form
which can maintain its viability in an area
for an indefinite period of time"
Sustainable tourism development…
"Meeting the needs of
present tourism and host regions
while protecting and enhancing opportunity
for the future"
Reasons of adopting CSR in tourism sector…
• Product improvement
• Ethical and moral value enhancement
• To gain customers and employees loyalty
• To get favor of local community
• To improve PR and image to its stakeholders
• Increase brand image & gain competitive advantage
• To escape themselves from new laws and
regulations (‘good citizen’ attitude show)
Institutionalization CSR has been endorsed in
of CSR Europe since the late 1990s.
EC launched, in 2001, its own
strategy through forming ‘Multi-
stakeholder Forum on CSR’
It forms finally, in 2006,
‘European Alliance for CSR’
UNO is trying to promote the CSR
agenda through the Global Compact.
UN Global Compact is currently the
largest and most recognized global CSR
initiative (7700 member companies in
Tourism enterprises and its shareholders
• Local and national authorities
• Other civil society and public interest groups
• International development agencies
• Other international tourism organizations
Application of CSR in Tourism
Till now it’s in the ‘infant’ level
The scarcity of ‘self-described tourism CSR initiative’ is
WB, IMF, & NGO community is working as watchdog from 2002
Focus is merely on ‘environmental management’ not human
rights, governance and labor
WTTC (world travel and tourism council)…working to motivate
organizations to cope CSR activities
WTTC emphasizes on voluntarily adaptation of CSR ventures
Implementing CSR and other environmental policies, the tourism
sector lags behind other EU industries
Environmental CSR in Sustainable Tourism
- Tourism CSR is only a part of Sustainable tourism development
- Environmental impact minimization has received the most attention
of CSR activities in tourism
- According to UNEP study, around 30 codes of conduct were exercised
by the stakeholders.
Social and Ethical CSR in Tourism
- Tourism plays significant role in poverty alleviation
- Some discrepancies are found very often: Gender discrimination, labor
exploitation, labor migration and trafficking etc.
- UNWTO Task Force has developed a code of conduct regarding
‘Protection of Children in Tourism’ in 2000.
- WCTE (world committee on tourism ethics) is working to settle disputes
CSR in Tourism
Millennium Declaration by 189 countries (2000) was a milestone
UNWTO launches ST-EP (sustainable tourism-eliminating poverty)
in 2002 which is complimentary to MDGs (Africa & Asia).
Different awards have been introduced for CSR performance in
ISO 26000 series is going to be assigned for satisfactory role in
CSR tourism (Sweden & Brazil is working to make it more
To achieve ISO 26000, an organization has to show performance on these areas
Criticism / Other side of the coin
Friedman argues (1970), the only responsibility of the managers is to increase
The Economist (2005) shows, corporations act in the best interest of society when
they act in their own best interest.
Acting ‘good’ and advertising it may elicit charges of hypocrisy, leading other
companies to decide that Corporate Social Responsibility might be more trouble
than it’s worth (The Economist, 2004).
Orlitzky et al. (2003) found: “A positive association between CSR and Financial
performance across industries!”
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