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Ambosli National Park (Kenya) - Recommendations for Park Management and Regenerative Toursim

Masahiko Takai Mr., Small Impact LLC

Amboseli National Park (ANP) in Kenya is now registered in the Tentative List for Natural World Heritage of UNESCO. This paper initially reviews the major challenges and issues of ANP released by Kenyan Wildlife Service and Amboseli Ecosystem Trust. Then, recommendations for benefit sharing with local communities, for opportunities for ROI in protected areas for conservation, for improvement of park & recreation management and sustainable tourism are proposed. This paper takes the holistic views recommending regional government to take actions “beyond ANP” for the total regional ecosystem, and also recommending regenerative tourism with high touch beyond sustainable tourism.

An Integrative Literature Review of COVID-19-Driven Sustainability-Based Strategies for Tourism: 2020-2023

Maryanne Eva, Ponts Business School

The unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic exposed severe vulnerabilities within existing business models. Global supply chains, educational services, health care systems, and specific industries such as the travel and tourism sectors have been profoundly disrupted. The adverse effects on businesses and socio-economic systems suggest the need to reevaluate and reshape existing management strategies to increase business preparedness and responsiveness to future global disruptions. This integrative literature review presents a critical analysis and synthesis of the literature during the height of the pandemic from 2020 to 2023, exploring how the latter generated momentum for adopting new sustainable business models within the hard-hit tourism industry. Despite varying perceptions concerning the depth of the transformation required, this study revealed a shared understanding of the necessity to leverage sustainable tourism practices to address challenges arising from the pandemic. Specifically, the literature refers to (a) the need to stimulate the industry recovery through sustainable practices, (b) the opportunity to rethink and rebuild tourism practices, products, and services more sustainably, (c) the opportunity to increase the risk-prevalent tourism industry’s resilience and its ability to face future crises, (d) the need to adopt a collaborative approach among the industry’s stakeholders and engage with local communities. The gaps identified suggest that further studies could focus on identifying relevant governance mechanisms to implement and manage resilient and sustainability-based strategies within the tourism industry. Additionally, future research may prioritize empirical research and evidence-based sustainable solutions for the tourism industry and assess their replicability in other risk-prevalent sectors.

Assessing Sustainable Tourism: Insights from Four Regions in Quebec

Yasmine Benbelaid, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

This communication proposes to share the outcomes of a comprehensive sustainable tourism diagnosis conducted in four distinct regions of Quebec, namely Monteregie, Mauricie, Lanaudiere, and the Magdalen Islands. The study encompasses a diverse range of 45 tourism enterprises operating across various sectors within the industry. This project represents the results of my postdoctoral internship.

Design Students’ Perspectives on Safety Concerns when Designing Future Tourism Services

Minna Virkkula, Oulu university of applied sciences
Laura Hokkanen, Oulu university of applied sciences
Jonna Häkkilä, University of Lapland

The safety of services is essential part of a company's social responsibility. In the tourism industry, ensuring the safety of services is crucial, but often overlooked in the design process. Incorporating safety aspects during the initial design phase can eliminate potential safety issues and improve quality of the services. By addressing safety concerns early on, unnecessary worries related to activities and services can be resolved. This paper examines the design perspective on safety in Lapland outdoor activities. Two studies were conducted with art and design students, including an online survey to identify safety concerns in various tourist scenarios, and a focus group study on safety design. The study produced themed safety concerns on psychological, physical, social, financial, personal data, communication, and environmental safety factors. Safety design is an increasingly relevant topic in the future. When committing safety aspects in design, it can eliminate potential safety issues and improve tourists' trust between the service provider and the customer. Through safety design, it is possible to enhance the customer experience, develop social sustainability in services, and create additional value for the customer.

Estimating Effects of Tourism using Multiple Data Sources: The Miranda Tool as Part of a Spatial Decision Support System for sustainable destination development

Tobias Heldt, Centre for Tourism and Leisure Research- Dalarna University

Planning for sustainable mobility and destination development in rural areas is increasingly important when tourism grows in numbers. A key to address the challenge of transformation and adaptation of local communities to mitigate adverse effects in seasonal peak hours like traffic congestion, power failure, waste management and sewage flooding, is to properly estimate the number of visitors to a destination.

The problem of estimating tourism numbers is a known challenge since, for example, guest nights statistics are in-complete and non-commercial lodging (sharing solutions) are increasing. Recently, the promising utilization of mobile phone data has emerged as a means to estimate tourism volumes. Additionally, sewage data and speed camera records stand out as two alternative data sources capable of indicating tourism activity.

This paper aims to introduce the Miranda-tool and its associated methodology, which together enhance the accuracy of estimating tourism volumes and their economic impacts through the use of the newly developed GIS-based DUGIS-platform. The Miranda-tool embodies both a technical GIS platform that brings together diverse data sources to estimate and present the economic effects of tourism and a procedural methodology guiding the collection of data sources and necessary stakeholder collaboration within the tourism planning framework.

Using Sweden's No1 winter tourism destination as a case study, this paper illustrates the Miranda-tool's potential as a Spatial Decision Support System for both sustainable tourism and transport infrastructure planning. In conclusion, the Miranda tool holds potential for enhancing the comprehension of tourism volumes and their associated impacts, particularly in early-stage strategic planning processes.

Evaluating the social impact of culinary experiences, a question of scales and methods.

Laura Arciniegas, Universitat de Barcelona

Food tourism and storytelling in the Scandinavian North

Kajsa G. Åberg, Region Vasterbotten

The relation between place, food and tourism is gaining interest from actors in both private and public sectors in the Nordic countries. Food is discussed as potential for product development and image building, based on reasoning on how value may be added through geographical food branding. However, food and drink may also be regarded as a tangible way to communicate local ways of life and as bearers of symbolism and values. The process of commercialization is therefore closely linked to aspects of control and respect, elements found in the criteria section on socio-cultural sustainability in the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) system for sustainable tourism development. The regional development organization in the Swedish region Västerbotten has developed a work methodology based on the GSTC criteria which together with initiatives of the Sámi associations can be used to illustrate how food, place-based heritage and tourism communication can be performed in virtual as well as tangible ways, to promote economic and sociocultural potential. This presentation entails a case study published in Folklore, people and place: International perspectives on tourism and tradition in storied places (Åberg and Carson in Hunter and Ironside eds., 2023, Routledge), together with an exploration of the strategic context of Västerbotten where the regional tourism organization has based its approach on the GSTC. The authors Åberg and Carson are human geographers, exploring aspects of tourism development in more peripheral areas of the Scandinavian North.


Öykü Öztürk Karali, Global Sustainable Tourism Council

The Green Road Project, viewed from an environmental justice perspective, delves into the complex interplay between tourism and the environment. Tourism heavily relies on natural resources and environmental beauty to sustain itself, yet it also inflicts significant negative impacts such as land and resource depletion, waste generation, and carbon emissions. Unfortunately, these adverse effects often go unaddressed or are deliberately disregarded in tourism policies, leading to socio-environmental conflicts globally.

This study specifically examines the socio-environmental conflict surrounding the Eastern Black Sea Green Road Project, aiming to understand the perspectives of stakeholders in the region. The Green Road Project, proposed by the Eastern Black Sea Development Agency (DOKA), seeks to address transportation challenges between plateaus by improving connectivity and infrastructure, thus facilitating tourism in the region.

However, the study covers that national tourism policies primarily prioritize economic interests over ecological concerns, neglecting issues of ecological distribution and procedural justice. Consequently, this imbalance exacerbates local-level conflicts over ecological resources and undermines efforts toward inclusive, equitable, and sustainable tourism practices.


Pedro Moncada Dr., Universidad del Caribe

Case Study : Use of the GSTC Criteria as a self-diagnosis tool

Impact of GSTC Destination Assessment on socio-economic and environmental changes in destinations: the case of Sukhothai Historical Park and City of Dubrovnik

So Young Lee, Global Sustainable Tourism Council
Tiffany Chan, Global Sustainable Tourism Council
Mihee Kang, Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Juggling expectations and certification standards: Journey of a Norwegian destination towards acquiring the sustainable destination label

Per Strömberg, University of South-Eastern Norway
Ajay Kumar, University of South-Eastern Norway

Juggling expectations and certification standards: Journey of a Norwegian destination towards acquiring the sustainable destination label.

Authors: Ajay Kumar & Per Strömberg, University of South-Eastern Norway

Short abstract: External third-party audits are crucial for ensuring the quality of sustainability in tourism, utilizing tools like certifications and accreditations. Certification is widely employed as a means of assessing quality in sustainable tourism practices, enhancing credibility and overall quality standards. In 2018, Innovation Norway's Sustainable Destination Standard achieved the esteemed status of being recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). This standard, consisting of 45 criteria and 108 indicators, undergoes thorough assessment, recording, and monitoring. It covers a comprehensive range of aspects including nature, culture, environment, social values, community engagement, and economic viability. The complexity of sustainability, particularly within highly fragmented tourism destinations, necessitates collective and coordinated efforts. These efforts aim to implement measures that contribute to more sustainable tourism development. In this context, the local Destination Management Organization (DMO) plays a central role as a steering organization. Rjukan in Vestfold and Telemark County of Norway earned the "Sustainable Destination" label from Innovation Norway in 2021. This paper discusses about the challenges and opportunities that sustainable destination labels present for a destination from a management perspective. Stakeholder theory and institutional theory are used to provide a conceptual background for the decisions made by the manager of the DMO. DMO Visit Rjukan is used as a case to describe the managerial perspective of acquiring the sustainable destination label in Norway. The insights from this paper will contribute to the literature of role of DMOs in ensuring sustainability of tourist destinations in a country.

New challenges call for new skills: providing quality education for sustainable destination managers with the WeNaTour project.

Ilaria Doimo, ETIFOR
Martina Catte, ETIFOR
Federica Bosco, ETIFOR
Alessia Fiorentino, ETIFOR
Nicola Orio, Università degli Studi di Padova
Thomas Zametter, Carinthia University of Applied Science
Arthur Posch, Fachhochschulstudiengange Krems IMC
Shane O'Sullivan, echnological University of the Shannon
Dominik Muehlberger, Austrian Federal Office and Research Centre for Forests

Major challenges have altered the status quo of tourism in Europe in the last years: COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, geopolitical instability, the energy crisis, and widespread inflation. Concurrently, significant societal changes in work-life, movement, and recreational patterns are also affecting tourism dynamics and trends. The current tourism landscape is thus profoundly different than it was until 2019, and it is in strong need of finding new solutions and pathways to radically innovate while keeping local communities and the environment at the core of its strategies. Destination Management is the systematic management approach capable of guaranteeing a shared vision of long-lasting development for which integrating tourism international sustainability standards and approaches is essential. However, tourism lacks specific interdisciplinary and governance skills that generally refer to Sustainable Tourism Destination Management, while educational institutes lack curricula that foster the ability of students and professionals to lead the change towards sustainable tourism. Therefore, WeNaTour project, co-founded by the Erasmus+ Programme by the European Union, was developed with the aim to increase the capacity of educational institutes and businesses to integrate research results, innovative practices, and digitalisation into a first-class educational offer to foster sustainable tourism while supporting the creation of new products and services in emerging markets. It will do so by assessing innovation and market potential of novel niches; designing new services in two GSTC-certified Destinations; delivering high-quality multidisciplinary training embedding GSTC-certification; creating an international Alliance on Sustainable Tourism to replicate and exploit results and lead to tourism transformation and long-lasting impacts.

Pressure from tourism hardest for religious World Heritage Sites and those in forest and coastal areas

Eva Hagsten, University of Sodertorn
Martin Thomas Falk

Short abstract (max 250)

This study empirically investigates tourism as a threat to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, given their characteristics and location. The main contribution of the study is a new measure that relates the time from inscription to the occurrence of a threat, based on data from the State of Conservation reports. In this database, there is information on 1,200 World Heritage sites for the period 1978-2023 with 29,000 observations. Two indicators relating to tourism as a threat are used: One relating to demand and the other to supply. Estimation results reveal that the occurrence of a tourism threat is highest for religious sites. Forest areas and marine and coastal areas are the ones most threatened in the group of natural sites. In the group of cultural properties, religious sites are most affected. World Heritage sites in Europe and North America have the lowest risk of being threatened by tourism. The size and year of the inscription are not relevant in these cases.

Keywords: World Heritage Sites, Tourism, Accommodations, Threat, Duration model

Raising sustainability standards in leisure industry

Gorete Araújo, CiTUR, Polytechnic University of Leiria
Alexandra Lavaredas, CiTUR, Polytechnic University of Leiria
Francisco Dias, CiTUR, Polytechnic University of Leiria

Raising sustainability standards in leisure industry

Nowadays, it became clear that the option for sustainable development (SD) is not a discretionary choice, but an imperative for all of humanity. The SDG propose a common framework of peace and prosperity for people and the planet. The exponential growth of tourism, its multiple and transformative impacts on economies and the environment, place this industry at the epicentre of concerns about SD.

Based on the European DIRECTIVE (UE) 2022/2464, which complies European companies to produce a sustainability file integrated in the annual management report, this paper highlights social, cultural, environmental and governance indicators vis-a-vis with financial results. Linking the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) metrics for leisure facilities with the Tourism’ SDG and GSTC indicators, a framework based on the Pression-State-Response (PSR) model is presented. The objective is to help companies to select the best indicators to monitor their activity more efficiently. Additionally, the model presented provides information about: (i) the actions that pressure the environment, the cultural heritage and the local community; (ii) how it affects the resources involved; (iii) which responses companies, and society as a whole, can give to these changes to re(establish) the equilibrium.

By providing information related to sustainable weaknesses and strenghts that may affect the companies’ profit, managers will be able to report, not only the norms and indicators that will be considered mandatory by 2028, but also those that are better aligned with the strategy and objectives of the entity and which serve, simultaneous, as a policy instrument for the sustainable development.

Keywords: Sustainability, leisure facilities, Tourism Sustainable Development Goals, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) indicators, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Pression-State-Response (PSR) model

Sustainable hospitality workforce - a study of decency and dignity in hotel housekeeping

Maria Thulemark, Dalarna University
Susanna Heldt Cassel Prof., Örebro University
Tara Duncan Prof., Dalarna University

Key Words: hospitality work, decent work, sustainable work, working participant observation, embodied intersectionality

Threats from climate change are increasing for Natural World Heritage Sites

Martin Falk, University of South-Eastern Norway
Eva Hagsten, University of Sodertorn

The aim of the paper is to analyse the occurrence and intensity of threats to Natural World Heritage Sites from climate change as assessed by IUCN experts. The data comes from the Conservation Outlook Assessment database, which covers 250 sites for three time periods (2014, 2017 and 2020). The threat of climate change is broadly defined and includes temperature extremes, rapidly disappearing glaciers, coral bleaching, droughts, desertification, rising temperatures and rising sea levels. Simultaneous probit and ordered models with individual site effects are used to analyse the occurrence and intensity of both a perceived actual and a potential threat.

The estimates show that both the occurrence of a current climate change threat and its intensity increase significantly over time when site characteristics and location are taken into account. An important finding of the study is that the likelihood of a climate change threat not only increases over time, but also depends on the type and characteristics of the location. The probability of a current climate threat is highest in marine and coastal areas and lowest in desert areas. The probability of an actual climate threat is significantly lower for locations in Africa, while the probability of a potential climate threat is highest in Latin America.

Keywords: Climate Change, threats, expert assessment, marine and coastal sites, Natural World Heritage sites, Probit and ordered probit model.

Türkiye's Sustainable Tourism Transformation: An Overview

Mustafa Sogut, GSTC

Türkiye has initiated a paradigm shift in its tourism industry, marked by a collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), renowned for setting robust sustainability standards. The agreement, initiated in 2022, prioritizes sustainability commitment, commencing with formulating national program criteria and certification bodies training. The initial phase is targeted for completion by the end of 2023, with subsequent stages progressively implemented by 2025, ultimately aiming to meet all international standards by 2030.

This strategic move aims to position Turkey prominently in sustainable tourism, aligning with the goals of The Paris Agreement. Turkey has proactively steered its tourism industry towards sustainability, enhancing global competitiveness and aligning with international trends through collaboration with GSTC. Simultaneously, the nation introduced the Safe Tourism Certification Program in 2020, certifying nearly 12,000 facilities and extending its focus to include sustainability standards in accommodation facilities from April 2022.

Central to Türkiye's sustainable tourism development is the Türkiye Sustainable Tourism Industry Criteria (TR-I), obligating adherence from the Turkish tourism industry. Developed collaboratively with domestic and international stakeholders, TR-I aligns with cultural and global sustainable tourism standards. The certification program, consisting of 42 criteria across three stages, has seen substantial progress, with 15.178 of Türkiye's hotels verified/certified as of January 2024.