Destination Unknown? The Emergence of Corporate Social Responsibility for Sustainable Development of Tourism

University dissertation from The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics Lund University

Abstract: This dissertation explores the nexus between sustainable tourism development and corporate social responsibility (CSR). It addresses the scope for CSR to promote sustainable tourism in an international development context. This objective was pursued by exploring three sub-questions: what tools have been used to stimulate social responsibility in tourism; how has ecotourism influenced social responsibility in tourism; and finally, how have various stakeholders approached CSR in tourism? These questions were investigated through case studies within three research cycles, and documented in six published, peer-reviewed articles. Using a qualitative and exploratory approach, the author finds tourism to be lagging behind other industries in assuming a responsibility to mitigate its environmental and social impacts. Existent voluntary performance schemes for tourism sustainability, as well as alternative forms of tourism (ecotourism) are reviewed in order to identify their contributions to developing CSR in tourism. A significant deficiency of existent tools is identified in their neglect to address social impacts, especially the ones emerging in the contemporary context of globalization and trade liberalization in tourism.